Bread and butter

23rd November 2007 at 00:00

Spread your resources around - anything from food to the local Bobby can make your lesson go with a swing, says Sue Cowley. Resources are great. They give focus to a lesson, something for the pupils to handle, experiment with and keep them busy. Of course, pretty much anything can be a resource - the more unusual, the better.

Have a well-planned method for storing and dispensing resources, one that gets the pupils to do the work. Group the class into teams, and make handing out the resources sound like a treat.

Resources can be eco friendly. Incorporate plastic bottles, cardboard boxes and newspapers into a lesson. Ten uses for an empty plastic bottle, anyone? That way, they get recycled twice.

Use multi-sensory resources - taste and smell are often under-utilised, so incorporate food whenever you can. Smear butter on bread to explore population spread in geography; divide and sort Smarties in maths.

Remember that people can be a resource as well. Make an effort to invite visitors into your classroom - a nurse, a police officer, a parent who works in the media. This gives you a well-deserved lesson off, and you could also have the pleasure of hearing that your class is "wonderfully behaved". "Oh yes," you lie through gritted teeth, "they're always like that for me as well."

Sue Cowley is an author, trainer and presenter. Her books include Guerilla Guide to Teaching (Continuum). For more information, visit

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