Odd-one-out activity

29th November 2002 at 00:00
If the class is unfamiliar with this activity, start with an everyday example, such as three pieces of fruit from a lunch box - an apple, some grapes and a banana. Pupils might identify the banana as the odd one out because it is the only fruit that will grow outside in this country. Encourage pupils to offer reasons for a particular choice or an alternative odd one out. Discuss how they set about the task of identifying the odd one out, taking care to emphasise the key skills they have used.

Introduce three words, pictures or artefacts relevant to your RE topic. For example: Hindu gods: BrahmaVishnuShiva.

Infant baptism: candlewhite robewater.

Jewish artefacts: kippahmezuzahtefillin.

Symbols of Easter: Easter eggchickcross.

Explain to pupils that they will be working in pairs to find as many different odd-one-outs as they can, with good supporting reasons.

Invite suggestions and include as many variations as possible - remembering to emphasise the importance of offering a reason to support the choice.

After five to 10 minutes, focus on criteria for choosing an odd-one-out that emphasise religious ideas and concepts. The pairs then complete a blank odd-one-out pro-forma selecting the best reasons for deciding on the differences and similarities (see diagram above, which reflects one possible focus). The most important point is to choose items that can generate a range of responses at different levels - so that everyone can succeed - but which can also lead to some key concepts in RE. You need to think through where the lessons will go once you have used the odd-one-out to stimulate interest and to diagnose what they already know (or don't know!).

Advantages of using odd-one-out:

* key vocabulary is used to develop pupils' understanding;

* pupils start making connections between items rather than just "knowing" their individual properties;

* permits different levels of interpretation and so supports success;

* challenges pupils to go beyond surface features;

* encourages flexibility;

* is quick to prepare;

* makes the teacher think as much as the pupils;

* provides insight into the way pupils think;

* powerful illustration of how people presented with the same information come to different conclusions because of the different frameworks and contexts they use.

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