Teaching ideas at Gallions

19th March 2004 at 00:00

Here is one of the many songs used at Gallions during the course of a day, which children sing and act out to any tune or rhythm that fits. Objectives include saying and using number names; counting to 10, copying and sustaining simple rhythms, plus knowing and naming body parts.

Dr Knickerbocker, Knickerbocker number nine,He likes to move to the rhythm in time, So let's get the rhythm in our hips (changes to hands, feet, etc.),So let's get the rhythm of the number nine, One, two, three, four, five, six, seven, eight, nine.


This literacy hour lesson is linked to a research project on forces and materials, and also looks at vibration. It aims to cover objectives to do with using and making dictionaries and glossaries and creating definitions.

The class teacher has her cello. The children look for "cello" in the encyclopedia, but don't look at the definition. The teacher plays the cello and children are asked to describe what they see and hear.

Through shared writing they create a definition of "cello", for example: "A cello is a musical instrument made of wood, metal. Sound is made by strings vibrating. A bow is used to make music." Then they compare it with what the the encyclopedia says.

As an independent task they are asked to write a definition of their own of, say, "violin", and of a percussion instrument they have not seen before.

At the end they come together and read out their definitions, showing their violins and perhaps playing them.


Role-playing helps in teaching pupils how to identify a range of common materials and that the same material can be used to make different objects.

The classroom is set up like a museum and the teacher acts as a guide. Together, they label objects in the museum according to their material.

Staying in role, the teacher tells the children that the museum is hoping to improve its service by making it more interactive. It has been suggested that the museum employs actors who stand like waxworks and come to life to demonstrate the different uses of specific materials. So, for example, one child might be a clock.

Children get into groups - metal, wood, glass, plastic - and create freeze-frames that depict objects made of different materials. Then groups in the role of visitors record on clipboards all the ways that each material is being used. They can add to the list and collate ideas on five posters.

When another teacher enters the classroom, the class teacher will say:

"There's a visitor to the museum", and the children will get into role. As the visitor passes, a child might say: "I'm a clock and I'm made of plastic." The visitor could then ask if there are any other things made of plastic.

Pupils go on to create a new section in the museum called Materials in the School, surveying and researching objects and perhaps collating the results on a graph (mathsICT) to assess the most prevalent material.


This lesson is part of a science project on plant shapes and structure and the life cycle of plants. Dance objectives include partner work, counter-balance, lifts, shape, and to explore, improvise and combine movement ideas fluently.

The lesson is preceded by more traditional work on the life cycle of plants, including design work to build awareness of plant shapes and how they relate to the environment.

Students play "the root game", with one making a stretching or reaching shape and each student making his or her own shape and joining on. One by one the whole class connects to each other. The teacher can give directions to make the game more challenging, for example the root system must touch the door and the centre of the room. Students are encouraged to develop their own plant shapes and actions.

In groups of four, students also create a dance narrative of their choice of plant, showing how roots support the plants and plants reach for the sun. The dance should have a clear beginning, middle and end, starting with the seed or bulb.

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