The Plenary Producer Ideas from

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  • Plenary
  • Ideas from –
  • The Creative Teaching and Learning Toolkit (and Handbook) – Brin Best and Will Thomas
  • ’35 Ideas for Plenaries’ – Pimlico Academy – Chris Marshall
  • Made by Mike Gershon –
  • TES resources site
  • Edward De Bono – How to Have Creative Ideas (Vermilion, Chatham, 2007)
  • My head
  • Other people’s heads
  • If you want to make the slides whizz through really quickly and then press escape to choose a plenary at random do this:
  • Select all slides, change slide transition to ‘0’ seconds and uncheck the ‘advance on mouse click’ box. Start the slide show and it should work.
  • Useful summary about plenaries -
  • Show me the answer Questions Questions to ask What’s your opinion? Word Fill
  • Freeze Frame Hangman Classwork peer assessment Pupil as teacher Instructions
  • Tell me 3 things… Get Creative Recipe Time Story-Time True/False
  • Just a Minute What do you know? Taboo Stop!... Mr Postman Bingo Sheets
  • Inside the Octagon Different Shoes In the Spotlight Home Improvement Get in Character
  • Design a plenary Blockbusters Controversial Issue Dominoes My word!
  • Concept Map Pictionary What if? Txt Msg Flow-Chart
  • Millionaire 5-5-1 Anagrams Helpful Tips Question? Answer.
  • Cross the Curriculum Self, Peer, Teacher No to no and no to yes As easy as 1,2,3 Quick-fire
  • Labelling Brainstorm Mind Map Storyboard Comic Strip
  • Evaluation Tree Which Pic? Hot Seating Draw your brain You’re Bard!
  • Skills skills skills 5-5-1 Deluxe Art Schmart Sculpture Vulture PLTS
  • Definition Poster Campaign VAK Beat the Teacher Pyramid
  • Extra Extra Exam Question Shape and Colour Play Doh Targets
  • Equation K U I Success! Txt Msg Flow-Chart
  • Neighbours 60 Seconds Predict it Show and Comment Random Feedback
  • Mr Wrong The Big Match Live! Open Question Publishing Mogul Probing Questions
  • Objective Traffic Lights Aide Memoire Question? Answer. 2 Chop and Sort Same…Different?
  • Classified Information Make me your selection Word Limit Whiteboard How, where, when, why, what Everyday People
  • Different Writing Styles Missing Sequence Plenary Dice Graph It Material
  • Knightmare Enter the Box Continuum Odd One Out Maker Pyramid 2
  • Musical Sentence Stems Video Errors Activity Planning Question Tennis Voice Over
  • Circle Time Conflict – Tension Timeline Partnering Charades
  • Football Set your own homework Quiz the group Re-draft What? How?
  • Mime Rorrim Celebrities Musical Styles Camera, Action
  • Forecast Points of view Chinese Whispers Animal Magic Change the world
  • Plenaries

Show me the answer!

  • Using mini-whiteboards, true/false cards, hand signals, different coloured cards etc. pupils must show you the answer to a series of questions
  • Answer!
  • Back to Plenaries


  • e.g. A series of questions
  • (perhaps relating to the lesson
  • objectives)
  • 1) What does fair trade mean?
  • 2) What is not fair trade?
  • 3) Why?
  • 4) Does fair trade work?
  • 5) Does fair trade matter?
  • Back to Plenaries

Questions you would like to ask

  • e.g.
  • Today we have been studying elections. Write down the questions today’s lesson has inspired you to think of.
  • Or, Write down 3 questions to ask other people in the class about today’s lesson.
  • Back to Plenaries

What’s your opinion?

  • Students write/speak/act out their opinion(s) about the topic covered.
  • This could be used as a springboard for shared evaluative discussion of what has been studied.
  • It could also link back to a similar activity done at the start of the lesson/topic.
  • Back to Plenaries

Word Fill

  • e.g. Fill in the missing words (can include the words underneath - in the wrong order of course - for differentiation)
  • The X _______ is a popular programme on ____.
  • All of the contestants are extremely________ and ________.
  • Simon Cowell always says ______ things and makes the performers feel ______ about themselves.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • e.g. Give students concepts/ideas/things to draw whilst others have to guess what they are
  • Can divide group into teams to make it competitive
  • Alternative – short list of concepts/ideas and students have to draw in books or on mini-whiteboard and then feedback their thinking/explanation.
  • Back to Plenaries

Freeze Frame

  • Students have to produce a freeze-frame showing one aspect of their learning.
  • This could be developed so they have to dramatise the learning in the lesson. (“Oh my god! 2x + 3y = 19!)
  • Back to Plenaries

Bingo Sheets

  • e.g. Pupils get bingo sheets with key words/phrases and you read out definitions...
  • Back to Plenaries


  • You know what it is!
  • Back to Plenaries

Classwork Peer Assessment

  • e.g.
  • Students asked to swap classwork (relies on it having being done) and peer assess their neighbour’s on the success criteria you set.
  • Can also use two stars and a wish.
  • Back to Plenaries

Pupil as Teacher

  • e.g. One (or more?) pupil is the teacher.
  • They have to summarise the lesson (unit) and question the class on what was studied.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • e.g. Ask students to write intricate instructions for a specific task related to the lesson.
  • For example voting in an election or staging a protest march.
  • An alternative would be to write detailed instructions for the learning they have done during the lesson/or of the lesson itself
  • Back to Plenaries

What if?

  • What if we hadn’t done today’s lesson?
  • What if you weren’t allowed to know what we’ve learnt today?
  • What if everything I’ve told you today
  • was false?
  • Back to Plenaries

Tell me three things...

  • you have learnt today
  • you have done well
  • the group has done well
  • you would like to find out more about
  • you know now that you didn’t know 50 minutes ago
  • Back to Plenaries

Get Creative

  • Cloak Sled Tourist Machine Fuse
  • Show how each of these random words might link to today’s lesson.
  • Explain the influence or link
  • Could do quick-fire point and say, A+B pairs, increasing links (i.e. first link 1, then 2 etc.)
  • Adapted Edward De Bono’s ‘How to Have Creative Ideas’. See
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Students have to describe a key word without using that word (it is taboo!).
  • (could do it in teams, pairs, whole-class)
  • Back to Plenaries

Recipe Time

  • Students have to write a recipe
  • of the lesson (or their learning).
  • Can be a good way to narrativize
  • the lesson and so help recall.
  • Could develop by asking for a
  • dramatic (or genre-specific) recipe
  • of the lesson
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Re-tell today’s lesson as a story. Ensure you have a beginning, a middle and an end.
  • Develop through genres i.e.
  • Fable
  • Sci-fi
  • Thriller etc.
  • Back to Plenaries

True or False

  • True..................................................or is it false!
  • Could pre-plan questions or get students to write their own for the rest of the class
  • Back to Plenaries

Just a Minute

  • One pupil starts to speak about the topic covered. At the first repetition, pause or mistake another takes over - and so on until the minute is up.
  • Back to Plenaries

What do you know?

  • (variation – ideas must be pictures instead of words)
  • Lesson title/topic
  • etc.
  • Back to Plenaries

Inside the Octagon

  • 8 way thinking comes from Howard Gardner’s multiple intelligences. The simplified octet is –
  • Numbers How many...
  • Words Where does the word come from..
  • People Who...
  • Feelings What emotions...
  • Nature How does the environment affect...
  • Actions What do people do...
  • Sounds What songs have been written about it...
  • Sights What images represent...
  • (from
  • Two ideas – i) Who is affected by what we have studied today?
  • ii) What sounds could convey today’s lesson?
  • iii) What emotions have helped/hindered your learning today?
  • Back to Plenaries

Different Shoes

  • If…
  • Gordon Brown/an LEDC farmer/dolphins
  • …had taught today’s lesson, how might it have been different and why?
  • Back to Plenaries

In the spotlight

  • A volunteer (or group) is asked five
  • questions based around the lesson.
  • The rest of the class mark down
  • whether they agree or disagree
  • with the answers so that the whole
  • class is tested. Could use whiteboards
  • or voting cards.
  • Back to Plenaries

Home Improvement

  • How can _______________ be improved?
  • Why would your changes be an improvement?
  • Who for?
  • How long would they last?
  • (could be used for a specific area covered in the lesson, or about the lesson itself, or about the learning that went on in the lesson etc.)
  • Back to Plenaries

Get In Character

  • Hand out character cards of people or groups related to the lesson.
  • Students then have to answer questions in character, come up with questions for other characters (still in role) or discuss how their character may have felt had they been in the lesson.
  • Could have 3-4 characters and then put students into mixed groups.
  • Back to Plenaries

Design a Plenary

  • Ask students to design a plenary activity to use next lesson. Set success criteria.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Set up a Blockbusters
  • style grid using
  • appropriate
  • key terms/names/places
  • etc. from the
  • lesson or
  • unit
  • No
  • Back to Plenaries

Controversial Issue

  • Make a deliberately controversial statement relating to the lesson as an incitement to reflective discussion
  • e.g. after a lesson on sustainable development, the teacher could proclaim:
  • “So why don’t we just not bother with sustainable development? What would happen then?”
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Create enough cards for one each.
  • Students have to join them up a la the great pub/lounge/caravan game ‘dominoes’!
  • Many uses – i.e. could spell out the lesson objectives, a question to reflect on, key words/concepts from the lesson that link
  • Back to Plenaries

My Word!

  • Students are given (or choose) a word related to the lesson. They must stand up and point to someone in the class who must then give the meaning. That person then chooses the next person to pose a word.
  • Back to Plenaries

Concept Map

  • Give students a list of words related to the lesson.
  • This can either be on cards or on the board.
  • They must then turn these into a ‘map’, where each connection can be explained and justified.
  • e.g. Democracy Voting
  • Safety Freedom
  • Back to Plenaries

Who Wants To Be A Millionaire?

  • Google ‘Who Wants To Be A Millionaire template’ and off you go!
  • Back to Plenaries

5 – 5 – 1

  • Summarise today’s topic in 5 sentences.
  • Reduce to 5 words.
  • Now to 1 word.
  • (with as many variations as there are numbers!)
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Students unravel anagrams to reveal the key words/phrases/ideas from the lesson
  • Develop by getting students to come up with their own mana rags
  • Back to Plenaries

Helpful Tips

  • Write 5 top tips or golden rules about the topic for students taking the lesson next year.
  • Develop with snowballing, group answers or posters etc.
  • Back to Plenaries

Question? Answer.

  • Set a question at the beginning of the lesson – as the aim, lesson objective etc.
  • Return to this and ask students to now produce an answer. This could be in lots of different forms – written, verbal, still image, poster, storyboard
  • Develop with word limits, producing for specific audiences.
  • AfL with mini-whiteboards, thumbs/colours agreement when answers read out.
  • Back to Plenaries

Stop!...wait a minute Mr Postman

  • Use post-it notes to share reflection, recall and evaluation.
  • Could be done in groups of 3/4 on sugar paper and then presented.
  • Could use pictures relating to parts of the lesson or people/characters related to it.
  • Could have a number of A3 sheets with different questions/areas on.
  • Back to Plenaries

Cross the Curriculum

  • How does today’s learning link to three other subjects?
  • How can you use what you have learnt today in other subjects?
  • What skills can you take from today and use elsewhere in school?
  • How would you encounter the same topic differently in other subjects? (e.g. environment)
  • What links today’s topic to _______________ (insert subject here)
  • Back to Plenaries

Self Peer Teacher

  • Use a self-, peer-, or teacher- assessment to achieve excellent AfL and Student Voice practice.
  • e.g.
  • Two stars and a wish
  • 3 good things, one to improve
  • What I found interesting/learnt/struggled with
  • Back to Plenaries

No to no and no to yes

  • Students are not allowed to use the words ‘no’ or ‘yes’ when answering questions.
  • Questions can be posed by the teacher, in pairs or groups.
  • Back to Plenaries

As easy as 1 2 3

  • Place students in groups of 3 and number them 1-3.
  • 3 statements on the board which the corresponding individual must explain to the rest of the group.
  • Develop by ‘phone-a-friend’ where if one student can’t explain they find another student with their number in the group and learn from them.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Quick-fire questions on the topic to individuals in the class.
  • Develop by getting students to write the questions and put them in a box which you then draw from.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Back to Plenaries


  • Back to Plenaries
  • Today’s lesson/what you have learnt

Mind Map

  • Ask students to produce a mind map of their learning. This could be done using concept branches, key words, 3 things they have learnt etc.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Make a storyboard of today’s lesson/your learning/a key concept/the topic studied…
  • Back to Plenaries

Comic Strip

  • Produce a comic strip showing what you have learnt today/explaining the lesson.
  • Could be developed by having a PowerPoint slide with specific speech bubbles they have to put in their strip (i.e. Wow! Proportional representation really is a potential alternative to first-past-the-post)
  • Back to Plenaries

Evaluation Tree

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Ask students where they feel they are on the tree in relation to the lesson or topic.
  • Can be used repeatedly to articulate progress/problems.
  • Could print out on A3/A2 and get students to put post-it notes on with their name. Could then pair up strong and weaker students etc.

Which Pic?

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Which picture matches your learning today? Explain why?
  • (pictures = new ideas, problem solving, discussion, experimenting, team/group work, creativity)

Hot Seating

  • Students (or the teacher) take the ‘hot-seat’ and answer questions in-role that the class have come up with.
  • This could be as an expert on the topic just covered, or as an individual linked to the topic.
  • (e.g. a specific individual such as the head of the Bank of England or a representative of a group affected such as a working-class factory hand in 19th century Britain)
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Have fun by dressing up – use props etc. to get into the role; e.g. bowler hat for a banker of flat cap for a w/c man

Draw your brain

  • Either hand out outlines of a brain/head or pupils draw it themselves. Then, get them to fill it with everything they have learnt (knowledge and skills) during the lesson.
  • Could develop by having them draw the brain at the start of the lesson so as to signpost that they will be able to fill it up by the end.
  • Back to Plenaries

You’re Bard!

  • Write a poem, 5 lines long and that rhymes, summing up what you have learnt today.
  • e.g. (after a lesson on JFK and Vietnam)
  • This is a poem for plenary,
  • About the policies of J.F. Kennedy,
  • He tried to contain,
  • The red, Russian stain,
  • Before ending up in the cemetery.
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Develop by using different poetry styles, i.e. Haiku, sonnet, limerick (as seen above), non-rhyming, acrostic, tongue twister

Skills skills skills

  • What skills have you developed today? Choose one and explain how you have developed it….
  • Develop by linking to PLTS ( and perhaps focussing on a different skill week by week.
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Write 5 sentences summarising today’s topic…
  • Now reduce that to 5 key words…
  • And finally to one word….
  • 5-5-1 Deluxe!
  • Use shapes and pictures to deluxe-ify 5-5-1

Art Schmart

  • Draw the most important thing you have learnt today.
  • Could develop by then asking students to stand in two lines facing each other and explain their drawings. One line then moves along and the ‘pairings’ change.
  • Back to Plenaries

Sculpture Vulture

  • Bring in a random bag of packaging, newspapers, fabrics, materials etc. (I keep a few bags in my room and chuck in anything that might be useful as I go along) and get students to make a sculpture of the lesson/their learning/a key topic.
  • Develop by having a plinth or shelf in your room where the best sculpture plenaries get displayed.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Back to Plenaries
  • Creative Thinker
  • Independent Enquirer
  • Team Worker
  • Self Manager
  • Reflective Learner
  • Effective Participator
  • Pick one of the skills and explain how you have used it today…
  • Pick one of the skills and explain how you have improved it today…
  • 3) Pick one of the skills and explain how you will aim to use it or improve it next time…


  • Choose three new words you have learnt today or in the last few lessons and write dictionary definitions.
  • Develop by then asking students to write a paragraph for each of the words (or one using all three at once).
  • Back to Plenaries

Poster Campaign

  • Design a poster advertising the lesson/your learning.
  • Develop by setting word limits i.e. no more than 7 words
  • or target audiences i.e. a Year 6 student
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Visual, auditory, kinesthetic.
  • Back to Plenaries
  • What have you learnt with your eyes this lesson?
  • What have you learnt with your ears?
  • What have you learnt with your body?

Beat the Teacher

  • Your task is to try and beat the teacher!
  • Come up with questions based around your learning today and see if the teacher can answer them.
  • Develop by: - snowballing
  • - writing questions on pieces of paper and placing
  • in a box. One student (sensible - able to vet) then
  • sits opposite the teacher at the front of the class and pulls out questions to ask a la Mastermind.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Back to Plenaries
  • Question you have about the lesson
  • Things you have been reminded of today
  • Things you have learned today
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Extra! Extra!
  • Write a newspaper headline about today’s lesson…
  • Develop by: - asking for a plan of the article to go with the headline
  • - asking for a series of different headlines (i.e. sensational, serious, tabloid etc.)
  • - asking for a headline with picture

Exam Question

  • Write an exam question based on your learning today. Then, swap books and answer someone else’s question.
  • Develop by writing a mark scheme for the question as well, using peer/self assessment or using different types of exam questions – multiple choice, short answer, essay etc.
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Use only shape and colour to create an image of your learning.
  • Then, show it to a partner and see if they can guess what the learning is.

Play Doh

  • Use Play Doh to make a sculpture showing what you have learnt this lesson or what skills you have used/improved or a key concept etc.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • What three things have you done well this lesson?
  • What can you improve next lesson?
  • How will you do this?
  • Develop by signposting with exemplar, ideas of targets or oral Q+A
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Write an equation showing your learning…
  • For example –
  • Eggs + flour + milk + sugar X oven = cake
  • Back to Plenaries


  • As a result of the lesson today I:
  • Know…
  • Understand…
  • Can use the information in the following other situations….
  • Back to Plenaries


  • I have been successful in the following three ways…
  • I could make this better next time if I…
  • If I were starting again and designing this for myself I would do this instead…
  • Back to Plenaries

Txt Msg

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Write a txt msg explaining your learning


  • Back to Plenaries
  • Draw a flow-chart
  • showing the lesson


  • Ask students to review the lesson through their neighbour. For example:
  • What three things has your neighbour learnt today?
  • What would your neighbour like to find out more about?
  • What does your neighbour think about….
  • What answer to the overall question can your neighbour give?
  • Set targets with your neighbour by sharing your work
  • (Develop by sitting different abilities together, snowballing so that a pair of neighbours then become the neighbours of another pair,)
  • Back to Plenaries

60 Seconds

  • Timer on board –
  • Set students the challenge of summing up the lesson in sixty seconds.
  • Students then read out their summations until a really full picture is presented to the class.
  • (Develop by setting paired work – one speaker, one scribe; giving certain words/phrases to include; adjusting the time for more quick-fire/in-depth answers)
  • Back to Plenaries

Predict it

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Ask students to make a prediction based on the knowledge gained in the lesson. For example:
  • What do you think we will study next lesson?
  • What would happen if a catalyst were brought into the reaction?
  • Predict the changes if welfare benefits were removed

Show and Comment

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Students show their work and others give AfL-style feedback (2 stars and a wish etc.)
  • Could be done with groups showing work to the whole class.
  • In groups of 3 or 4 with each individual showing to the rest of the group.
  • With individuals who have done good exemplar work/would benefit from public praise or encouragement showing to the whole class

Random Feedback

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Use dice, short straws, roulette wheel, tombola, guess the number of sweets in the jar, to pick a group (or two) at random to feedback to the whole class on the lesson.
  • Develop by rotating group to group if doing extended project work or coursework.
  • Could be used as a nice modelling tool for coursework – start with students/groups who are further on and they can model for the others.

Mr Wrong

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Give students the wrong answer and ask them to explain why it is wrong.
  • e.g. Parliamentary democracy has no safeguards for the individual against the state.
  • Potassium is an un-reactive element
  • 3+8 = 12

The Big Match Live!

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Use a matching activity to consolidate learning.
  • For example: - Match the concepts to the pictures
  • - Match the word with the definition
  • - Match the verb with the action
  • Some potential concept images -

Open Question

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Pose an open question that can lead to generalisation of key ideas from the lesson (accessible to all)
  • e.g. (after a lesson on media bias)
  • Why do we read newspapers?
  • Why do newspapers get made?
  • How can we see power through newspapers and Television?
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Publishing Mogul
  • You are to become a publishing mogul. In order to start your empire you need a first book for publication. Make a mini-book on the topic we have been studying (end of lesson or more likely end of unit)
  • Develop by branching out into different media – i.e. a blog, webpage, encyclopaedia entry, radio programme, webcast etc.

Objective Traffic Lights

  • Back to Plenaries
  • How do you feel about the lesson objectives?
  • Red = don’t think I have grasped this
  • Amber = feeling OK about this, have just about got there
  • Green = Confident I have achieved this
  • Develop through AfL tools i.e. hand out traffic light cards that students show visibly, use coloured pens for students to indicate on their work how they have assessed themselves, have a class count of red/amber/green and then pair up greens with reds and ambers to try and improve the spread

Probing Questions

  • Back to Plenaries
  • A probe
  • Also a probe
  • Prior to the lesson come up with a list of probing questions about the topic which you can then use to test understanding.
  • Develop by asking G+T students to come up with the questions as an extension activity. Also, why not print a question list off and ask students to work in groups with one being the question-master (be good to model how they should probe and follow-up questions)
  • A…probe!

Aide Memoire

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Students have to come up with something to help them remember what has been studied. This could be a mnemonic, visual aids, a story, a song etc. Allows differentiation for learning styles.
  • Develop by asking students to share their aide memoires and producing a pool of the most helpful ones.

Question? Answer. 2

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Put a question on the board and have different answers around the room. Students go to the one they think is right and justify their decision.
  • Make this easier by having A,B,C,D points or posters in your room. Then you can have the answers on the board as well to save faffing.
  • Develop by getting one member from each answer area to try and convince the others that their answer is right (good for encourage use of reason and uncovering of fallacy, misconceived reasoning etc.)

Chop and Sort

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Produce three different solutions to a problem related to the lesson. Distribute these among groups who then have to cut them up. They then swap with a group who has an alternative solution and have to sort it into order, then explain it.
  • Develop by using different media – i.e. images, poems, newspaper articles etc. the task could be not to explain the solution but explain how the re-sorted item links to the learning/lesson objective.
  • Sorted, respect due.


  • Give group of shapes/expressions/graphs and students identify
  • what is the same and what is different about them.
  • Back to Plenaries

Classified Information

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Ask students to classify information related to the lesson.
  • e.g. fact/opinion, masculine/feminine words, studies using according to different kinds of methodologies used.
  • Develop by asking students to come up with their own classification systems and a rationale behind it.

Make me your selection

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Set students a problem to solve. This could be the original lesson objectives, something signposted in the lesson or an holistic question. They then have to select information/learning from the lesson that will enable them to solve the problem.
  • Develop by giving a review list of information from the lesson that students choose from.
  • Or, ask students to come up with a problem that they then ask others to solve by selecting from the lesson/learning

Word Limit Whiteboard

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Set a question at the start of the lesson, or frame the objectives as a question, and then return at the end of the lesson. Students must produce an answer on mini-whiteboards to share with you/the class. Set a word limit to increase challenge.
  • Develop by asking for a word limit and a picture; asking them to answer the question with another question; asking them to walk around the room holding the whiteboard and find people with the same answers.

How, where, when, why, what

  • e.g. …does democracy work?
  • …is the economy?
  • …do human rights affect people?
  • Back to Plenaries

Different Writing Styles

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Write up what you have learnt in the lesson as an article for a ‘broadsheet’ newspaper, as a spy report for MI5, as 1-2 pages in a Ladybird book for 10 year-olds etc.

Everyday People

  • Back to Plenaries
  • How can you link today’s lesson to your everyday life?
  • In what contexts would you encounter what we have learned about today in your day-to-day life?
  • How can you use what we have learned to day in your life inside and outside of school?

Missing Sequence

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Students receive a process (or the lesson itself) cut up or distributed between cards which they must then put into the right sequence. However, one (or more) of the bits is missing and they must work out what should go there.

Plenary Dice

  • Back to Plenaries
  • Back to Plenaries
  • Draw a graph showing your learning during the lesson.
  • Or;
  • Ask students to draw a graph showing a certain aspect or topic from the lesson
  • Graph It


  • What material is today’s lesson most like and why?
  • Example materials -
  • Wood, stone, wool, felt, linen, silk, charcoal
  • Develop by providing pictures of a series of materials; by providing students with some physical items or materials they must link to the lesson/use to explain aspects etc.
  • Back to Plenaries


  • Back to Plenaries
  • Make a grid 4 by 5 on the floor at the front of the classroom (or have five ‘stages’). Sort class into four teams. Each team sends a student up. They stand on the first square of the grid. They can only move on if their team gets a question right. Ask the teams in turn and the first student to the end of the grid/last stage is the winner.
  • (it’s a bit like the old TV show Knightmare)
  • Start
  • Finish

Enter the Box

  • Student comes up to the front of the class and steps in an imaginary (or real!) box. They are not allowed to leave until they have answered a question correctly.
  • Could develop by student having to pick others in the class to answer correctly and ‘release’ them
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  • Use continuum to allow students to identify themselves with a
  • position or stance related to the issue or topic looked at.
  • Particularly appropriate if the lesson has centred around making
  • an informed judgement.
  • Develop by questioning students on their position on the continuum; only allowing reasons based on evidence from the lesson; asking students to decide the continuum question or statement
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Odd One Out Maker

  • Make an odd-one-out activity based on today’s lesson
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  • Could be key words, pictures, diagrams, concepts etc.
  • Students then try them out on each other.

Pyramid 2

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  • Three key words that are important
  • One thing you will do to follow up, or question you want to ask

Musical Sentence Stems

  • Fill a hat with sentence stems about the lesson. Play music as the
  • hat is passed around the room. Stop the music and student has
  • to pull one out and either answer it or choose someone they
  • think can answer it.
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Video Errors

  • Make a film of yourself (or another teacher or student if you are camera shy!) explaining the topic covered in the lesson. Insert a number of deliberate mistakes/common misconceptions that students have to identify.
  • Develop by asking students how they would have presented the material better; why they think common misconceptions are commonly misconceived (thinking about thinking)
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Activity Planning

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  • Plan an activity that Year 7 students could do to learn what we have learnt today.
  • Develop by changing the audience; asking for a rationale; asking for an identification of the strengths and weaknesses of their activity in relation to the learning.

Question Tennis

  • Arrange the class in two rows facing each other. The first student asks the student opposite a question about the lesson. If they get it right the person sat next to them gets to ask a question of the student opposite. If they get it wrong, the first team continue asking the questions.
  • A1 asks B1.
  • If B1 gets it right, then B2 asks A2.
  • If B1 gets it wrong, then A2 asks B2.
  • Etc.
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Voice Over

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  • Students work in groups of four.
  • 2 students sit facing each other and have a silent conversation, moving their mouths whilst the other two stand behind them and provide the voice-over. Have the beginnings of a conversation about the lesson on the board to start them off.
  • Sitters must sound the alarm if speakers go ‘off-topic’ or fail to synchronize their speech with the sitter’s mouth movements.

Circle Time

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  • Use circle time to:
  • Review
  • Reflect
  • Explore the learning
  • Explore questions
  • Relate feelings to the lesson/learning

Conflict - Tension

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  • Where has conflict or tension arisen in today’s lesson?
  • (then explore this)
  • Note, this can either be used as a behaviour tool to speak about relationships within the classroom or in relation to the learning.
  • e.g. (learning)
  • ‘There was tension between different interpretations of The Human Rights Act by people’
  • ‘There is conflict between mammals and birds trying to use the same drinking water.’


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  • Draw a timeline of the events we have covered so far.
  • Sketch a timeline of the lesson
  • Draw a timeline of what you learnt and when in the lesson
  • Draft a timeline of what skills you used and when in the lesson


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  • Hand out half question cards and half answer cards. Students must then match themselves up in silence.
  • Develop by having a third questions and two thirds answers, with two answers being correct for every one question; sticking questions and answers on students’ backs; questions find questions that lead to the same answer and answers find answers that could be from the same question


  • Act out a key word, concept, idea from the lesson. (teacher or students could do it, others guess)
  • Develop by having the ‘charade-doer’ then questioning the class about their choice once it has been guessed; others explaining how they might have done it differently (makes mental concepts explicit); students doing it in small groups so everyone can have a turn
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  • Draw up a pitch with 5 lines running across it for marking draw goals, put the 'ball' in the middle and put the children in 2 groups or teams. They can either work as a team to answer questions or you can pick some out individually from each team if they get a question right they get to move a line across and if they get 3 in a row they get to shoot to save the other team must get their question right. This is a fun and interactive lesson and you can gauge the questions to ability if they have individual questions.
  • From TES Resources website

Set your own homework

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  • What homework would you set yourself on what you have learnt today? How would this help you to build on what you have done?
  • (students can then do the homework, or the class can vote for the best one and all do that)

Quiz the group

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  • One group come to the front and are quizzed by the rest of the class on what they have learnt, how they have learnt and what skills they have used/developed


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  • Get your work peer-assessed and then re-draft it according to the feedback. (can probe understanding by questioning students as to why they have assessed as such and why they have changed it as they have)

What? How?

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  • Explain what you have learnt today and how you have learnt it
  • ?


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  • Students get into pairs and mime key learning/ideas/concepts whilst the other has to guess what it is.


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  • Write what you have learn backwards. Swap books and decode!


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  • How would a famous celebrity summarize today’s learning? Choose a celebrity and make your summary

Musical Styles

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  • Choose a music style, sum up the learning and then recite it in your chosen style.
  • e.g. could write a rap about the lesson, do a group monastic chant, sing a country style song etc.

Camera, Action

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  • Make a 30/60 second news bulletin about the lesson/learning and capture on a webcam or student mobile phone. Upload if you can and play back to the class.


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Points of view

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  • Ask students to imagine the different points of view people would have on today’s learning. This can be people in the media, people they know, types of people, groups and so on.

Chinese Whispers

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  • In groups or a whole class, send whispers round summarising the learning. Compare the end result with the summary and then explore the learning, maybe referencing communication, memory and listening.

Animal Magic

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  • Summarize your learning in the character of an animal of your choosing

Change the world

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  • How could what you have learnt today change the world? In a small, medium or large way? On a local, national, global scale?

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