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Tips of the trade: 25. Back - up lesson ideas

It is always useful to have activities to hand that require little preparation and no marking. One favourite is to organise a revisionreview quiz of the previous month's work. Split the class into groups and give them a textbook to go with their exercise books. Each group has to work out 15 to 20 questions, plus answers, on areas they have studied. This encourages group work and independent research. After a set time, call in the work and use it to give a whole-class quiz.

Some classes can be asked to prepare materials on a topic as if they were going to teach it. If the work goes well, let them teach it the next time. If the materials or approaches are particularly good, use them yourself.

My favourite task is to get each pupil to write five statements about something we have studied. The statements must be true, but obscure. After a short preparation time, each pupil reads out their five statements. After each one, other pupils write down a guess as to what the subject is. If they guess right at statement 1 they get 10 points, at statement 2 seven points, and so on. Top scorer gets a good commentreward. This activity can also be converted to group work.

These lesson ideas encourage active learning and help reinforcement and reflection on work done. They allow you to sit back while still engaging in a valid exercise that generates no marking and requires little planning.

Roy Watson-Davis is an advanced skills teacher in the London borough of Bexley. Have you any useful tips to pass on? We pay pound;50 for alltips published. Send yours to: susan.young@newsint.co.uk

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