My brilliant idea - Star turns

17th October 2008 at 01:00

Languages - Ages 11-14

This is an active idea for reinforcing directions in any language. It is ideal for a key stage 3 class. Pupils will need to be familiar with basic directions: turn left, turn right, go straight on and stop. I normally allow two or three lessons to familiarise them with the new vocabulary.

We then take a 30-minute slot out of one lesson to practise outside. I borrow cones from the PE department and make three or four routes for pupils to follow.

Then I put the class into teams and each is given a route. Everybody except the person guiding must be blindfolded. I get the pupils to remove their ties and use them as blindfolds, which gives them an incredible amount of pleasure.

Each team must then get everybody to the end of the route, one pupil at a time, walking and being guided.

Teams must let everybody have a go at being guided and giving directions. They must follow the cones closely and anybody cheating goes back to the start.

When they get the hang of it, we see which team can get everybody through the quickest and we also try one person guiding the whole team at the same time with pupils forming a chain, one hand on the shoulder in front. It doesn't always go to plan, but pupils remember left, right, straight on and stop.

Lindsay Slack teaches at Wakefield Girls High School in West Yorkshire.

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