My little boy was given a "headbands" game and using the same principle I created my own pictures to use in Year 8 lessons at Castle High School in Dudley, where I was teaching while on the Worcester University Graduate Teacher Programme last year.
For one lesson I used five pictures to show pupils the process of acid-rain formation and the problems caused. A student comes to the front of the class and is given a headband to wear with a picture stuck on it.
They don't know what their picture represents and have to guess from clues suggested by the rest of the class.
I can gauge the knowledge of the class by the complexity of the clues they give and can also tell the knowledge of the person wearing the band. For acid rain, the pictures included the symbol for carbon dioxide with a rain drop, a photograph of a tree damaged by acid rain, and a parcel addressed to Scandinavia from the UK.
I always stick the pictures onto the board and leave them on for the whole lesson (all the pictures are laminated). It's a great lesson starter - when they've seen the pictures the pupils can tell you what they are going to learn about and then at the end of the lesson it can be used as a plenary by asking them to write a statement summing up what the pictures show.
After the acid rain lesson, the students wrote a statement to explain the problems of acid rain.
In history, pupils can wear headbands for famous people and for historical events, and this simple idea can be adapted to lots of different subjects.
The children love it.
Zoey Lowe Newly qualified teacher, Wolverhampton