Any lesson

2nd February 2007 at 00:00
Ages 14 to 18

Put your pupils into the ring for a round of verbal boxing to assess their oral skills of arguing, discussing, and persuading in English and other subjects.

Divide into teams of three to six pupils. Set up home and away matches and give each home team a motion to argue.

Give pupils time to prepare their arguments for both the home and away match.

Each match begins with two teams sending one of their members into the ring, the classroom, for the first round.

After two minutes of robust debate, in which each "boxer" tries to out-argue their opponent, the round ends and the boxers return to their respective corners for one minute; either to tag a fellow team member into the ring or collect new ideas to use in the next round. The best argument over three rounds decides the winning team.

This series of lessons soon runs itself, leaving you time and space to listen, assess and record pupils' achievements Josephine Smith is head of English at Casterton Community College, Rutland

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