My best assembly - Name games

10th October 2008 at 01:00
Robin Warren has ways of making your gatherings more imaginative and thought-provoking

This assembly idea can be used time and again with different ideas, people and themes - it is a template. It is also useful for themed weeks, when you have visitors, or even when you want to introduce a new concept or topic.

The aim is to present clues about someone or something, and the children then have to guess who or what it is. This can be simplified or made harder for older children.

You will need:

- A box with an opening for children to feel inside.

- Objects linked to the person or theme.

- Smart Visual interactive whiteboard software or similar, although PowerPoint is as effective.

- A range of musicalvisual clips.

This assembly can be led by a teacher or with the help of a few children. I prefer the latter, so I would call upon members of the school council to give me a hand. It also needs planning, so this can form part of your school council sessions.

Begin by choosing a famous person. If you get stuck for ideas, go to www.famouspeople.co.uk. This could be a celebrity, someone from children's popular culture or a historical, sporting, or political hero. Brainstorm everything you know about them.

You could search the net for facts; most contemporary people have a website, although you could use Wikipedia for further information. This will provide you with facts that you can use to create clues. This is also a good writing opportunity, as clue writing can be tricky.

As the children enter assembly, play music linked to this person. You could be really clever or terribly obvious. Be clever.

Begin by explaining that pupils must use the information presented to guess who the person is. They can have up to 10 guesses, but they must not guess unless they have some explanatory evidence. They can ask questions if you allow it.

Show some pictures. These should either be pixelated or disguised so that the image is impaired. It is also useful to use the spy tool on Smart Notebook if you have it. Another idea is to simply scribble over the picture so that only a little bit shows.

Further ideas:

- Play sound effects: http:resources. bravenet.comaudio_clipssound_ effects is good.

- Show short film clips: YouTube or Espresso are useful sources. Don't show too much, or you will give the game away. You and the children have to be particularly clever at not making it too easy.

- Have objects in your feely box that you can ask some children to come and describe.

This is a fun assembly that the children enjoy. It is also a good template to use across the school. It involves the children, keeps them interested and makes them think. Your difficult task as the teacher is to come up with a thought for the day and a song you can sing together.

Robin Warren is head of Moss Hall Infant School in Finchley, London.

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