Tried and Tested - Sounds clever

15th May 2009 at 01:00

Subject: Anywhere you use extended writing

Lesson: Point, evidence, explain

Ages: 15-18

Supplied by: Chris Wheeler, RE Teacher, Ashton on Mersey School in Manchester

1. What is it?

A lesson to help pupils understand the concept of point, evidence, explain (PPE), which is employed in extended writing in a number of subjects, including RE, English and psychology.

2. Who is it aimed at?

You can use it most successfully with 15 to 18-year-olds, and it can be easily adapted to suit more able pupils.

3. What do you want the lesson to achieve?

The idea is that pupils will engage with the activity and understand how to select relevant evidence to support any point of view, and not just their own. The explanation gets extra marks and I describe it as their chance to explain to the examiner just why they chose that piece of evidence.

4. What happens in the lesson?

Present pupils with the lyrics to "The Drugs Don't Work" by The Verve. They listen to the song and are asked to speculate about its meaning. After a discussion of the initial ideas, ask pupils to highlight a line from the song that supports their argument. Then split the class into groups of four or five. Give them an A3 sheet with the lyrics on and this time suggest a possible interpretation of the song. Again they have to find evidence from the song lyrics. Finally, get them to write a paragraph or two using the PPE technique.

5. How do you know it has been successful?

Pupils comment on how they enjoyed the lesson and how afterwards they understand better the theory behind selecting evidence and then explaining its relevance.

6. Why would you recommend this to other teachers?

I have always received positive feedback when being observed teaching this lesson. It can be used with a number of ages and abilities and can be tweaked to use different songs, short films, poems or whatever.

7. Give us three top tips

- Try to download the music video for the song so that visual learners have something to focus on.

- Change the song according to your target audience. Make sure it can be interpreted in different ways.

- Give your most gifted pupils an obscure meaning for the song to see if they can be imaginative with the evidence they provide.

8. Useful resources

- YouTube is a great place to find music videos.

- Use Google to search for song lyrics as there are many websites that list them.


Title: Thematic essay do's and don'ts

Age group: 16-18

Subject: History

What is it? A PowerPoint introduction to breaking an essay up into themes and giving it structure

Find it:



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