Attention grabbing

25th April 2008 at 01:00
English. Ages 14 to 16. I set my pupils a task of creating an advertising pitch for a choice of local charities

English

Ages 14 to 16

I set my pupils a task of creating an advertising pitch for a choice of local charities. Our enterprise co-ordinator helped secure representatives from the charities to come and judge the final presentations.

Suddenly pupils had a heightened sense of purpose and a real deadline to aim for.

They also gained a sense of their audience as they prepared speaking and listening coursework.

Pupils' preparations of their campaign ideas were excellent opportunities for oral work. They negotiated roles, presented drafts of ideas and shared their research about the causes.

Indeed, the less I got involved, the better they did, so we agreed that they would stay in "office" role all lesson unless they had to switch into "classroom" mode to check something with me.

The quality of the pupils' final pitches surpassed everyone's expectations, and the charity representatives were delighted to find how their work had been interpreted by young people they were keen to reach.

Most pupils were assessed for their discussion roles in the preparation, and their presentation skills in the final pitch. An enjoyable and profitable fortnight

John Gallagher is head of English at Stratford-upon-Avon Grammar School for Girls.

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