Lesson planner

28th August 2015 at 01:00
Your weekly collection of inspirational lessons, imaginative resources and newly released books

primary literacy

Cinderella's slipper

To introduce my class to writing speech, I use an immersive literacy activity based around Cinderella. When we reach the part of the story where Prince Charming finds the glass slipper, I bring out a mysterious shoebox. The pupils are always desperate to see inside, so when I remove the lid revealing a silver, sparkly shoe, they ask lots of questions.

As a class, we discuss Prince Charming's search for the owner of the shoe, the questions he might ask and the responses he might receive. We then talk about how these conversations could be written down and model this using speech bubbles and speech marks. The pupils use these to write down the different characters' responses.

Then I or my teaching assistant accompany a group of children around the school to ask different teachers if the shoe is theirs. The teachers try the shoe on and the pupils note down their responses. The children's use of dialogue is always great and they really enjoy collecting this information.

The big finale is finding whose shoe it is - fortunately my foot fits and I have the matching shoe in my cupboard.

Nicola Goscomb teaches at a primary school in south-west London

Primary computing

Sound check

With children surrounded by multimedia screens, it is important to ensure that they have a clear understanding of what they are seeing as well as the hardware needed to record it.

A fun way to introduce pupils to microphones is to get them creating voice-overs for their favourite television shows. I begin by showing the class a clip from The Simpsons with the volume muted, and they immediately get started trying to work out what is being said. They then work in groups to plan and write a short script for the clip.

Using the narration tool in Movie Maker, the pupils record their voices over the top of the cartoon, leading to some hilarious outcomes.

This is a great introduction to using recording equipment. It also provides an opportunity to explore techniques for getting the correct volume of speech - for example, by adjusting the input levels on the screen and experimenting with the distance between the speaker and the microphone.

James Holmes is head of computing at Cranborne Middle School in Dorset

Secondary drama

Race through history to teach morality plays

In morality plays the characters personify different moral qualities. But before students can grasp the allegorical significance of these 15th- and 16th-century dramas, they must first understand their place in history.

Arrange seven chairs in a line and explain that the gaps between them represent 500 years. So the first chair is 1,000 BC, the second 500 BC and so on all the way up to the present day.

Ask when Shakespeare lived and take a few guesses before placing a few students at the right point on the timeline. Give them a suitably Shakespearean vignette to perform and encourage them to improvise and be as silly as possible.

Do the same for the Greeks and build up the timeline, with each group performing a brief, humorous scene in a different theatrical style. Race through history, jumping back and forth, getting students to repeat their scenes again and again, more quickly each time.

Students will notice that certain periods of history are full of theatre and others eerily empty. Now place morality plays in the line and explain what they were about. Then break up the timeline and get the students to recreate it from memory.

Finally, introduce a scene from a morality play and, in groups, work out how to stage it, keeping the same playful style as before.

Rob Messik is a drama teacher at Brighton College

To access resources for all three lessons, visit: bit.lyLessonPlanner28August

Log-in as an existing print or digital subscriber

Forgotten your subscriber ID?


To access this content and the full TES archive, subscribe now.

View subscriber offers


Get TES online and delivered to your door – for less than the price of a coffee

Save 33% off the cover price with this great subscription offer. Every copy delivered to your door by first-class post, plus full access to TES online and the TES app for just £1.90 per week.
Subscribers also enjoy a range of fantastic offers and benefits worth over £270:

  • Discounts off TES Institute courses
  • Access over 200,000 articles in the TES online archive
  • Free Tastecard membership worth £79.99
  • Discounts with Zipcar, Buyagift.com, Virgin Wines and other partners
Order your low-cost subscription today