Snowballing

Enables pupils to think about their own responses to issues and consider other points of view.

This technique enables pupils to think about their own responses to issues and gradually begin a collaboration process with those around them to consider their thoughts on the same theme. It is a useful way of encouraging less vocal pupils to share ideas initially in pairs and then in larger groups. It also ensures that everyone’s views on an issue may be represented and allows a whole class consensus to be arrived at without a whole class discussion. A relevant question is asked or scenario described. 2. Pupils individually write down their thoughts, opinions and/or suggestions. 3. Pupils form pairs and compare answers. They discuss their positions and reach an agreed or compromised position on the issue, which is then recorded. 4. Pupils move into groups of four and undertake a similar process. Another agreed position is reached and noted. 5. The group of four becomes a group of eight and the process is repeated. A further agreed position is reached. 6. As the groups get bigger it will be necessary to elect a spokesperson/facilitator, time-keeper, resource manager, scribe, etc. 7. A fi nal whole-class position is then discussed and justifi ed. 8. The view of any pupil who objects strongly to the agreed position could be recorded if the individual feels that their opinion is not adequately represented. 9. A debrief afterwards might explore not only knowledge and understanding, but also the process of the activity: how did pupils come to a decision? How was compromise reached? What skills were they using?

Choose a scenario which is relevant to the current class subject, or which pupils are the most familiar with.

A question is posed or scenario described. Pupils individually write down their thoughts then compare with their partner, discussing positions which must result in a comprimise.

Traffic Lights

Encourages pupils to indicate how well they achieved what was expected by the end of a lesson or session.

This simple activity encourages pupils to indicate how well they achieved what was expected by the end of a lesson or session. It might also be used by pupils as a means of expressing how confi dent they are that they know the response to a question which has just been posed by the teacher/facilitator. For the latter, this activity allows an instant assessment of how well a class or group may have grasped an issue or topic. See Fist-to-Five and Thumb Tool for other activities that encourage pupils to think about their learning. Pupils are each given a set of three cards – one with a green circle, one amber and one red. 2. After a session pupils are asked how confi dent they are that they have met the objectives. At this point, pupils choose which circle they are going to show: Green if they are very confi dent that they have achieved the objectives and what was expected; Amber if they feel that they have had partial success in meeting the objectives, but some more work might be needed; and Red if they consider that they have made little or no progress towards meeting the objective.

Choose a particular topic for the activity, perhaps a topic which is relevant to the current subject.

Pupils are given set of three cards – 1 green circle (very confident), 1 amber (partial sucess) and 1 red. Ask pupils to show how confident about the topic they are.

OPV (Other People’s Views)

Encourages pupils to view the other person’s point of view on a particular issue or topic.

This method encourages pupils to view the other person’s/opposing point of view on a particular issue or topic. Pupils think about how sharing opinions can help to gain new perspectives on factors, consequences and objectives that underpin the issue in question. Pupils think about how a particular point of view might be relevant for the person holding it, but how it should not be imposed on others. See the Consider All Factors activity for ideas on collating a list of comprehensive factors affecting an issue

John shares with Emma 4 coins while Sarah only gets 2 coins. Think about how each of them feel.

Pupils think about how sharing opinions can help to gain new perspectives on factors, consequences and objectives that underpin the issue in question.

Revolving Circle

Builds confidence in communication.

This method builds up pupil confidence in communication techniques as they engage in short discussions. It also allows pupils to sample a wide range of views without holding a whole class discussion. Pupils may, as a result, refi ne their ideas or opinions on a particular issue. Pupils divide into two groups. One group forms an inner circle and the other group forms an outer circle Pupils face each other. The pairs exchange views for approximately one minute on a particular issue. The inner circle then rotates clockwise and the outer circle rotates anti-clockwise. The new pair consider the question. The rotation may continue until pupils have had the opportunity to discuss the question with a wide range of partners. A debrief afterwards is benefi cial. This activity could also be used with simulations

Choose a particular topic for the activity, perhaps a topic which is relevant to the current subject.

Divide pupils into two groups; one forms the inner circle the other the outter. Pairs exchange views on an issue for a minute then the inner circle rotates, repeat this until pupils have spoken with a wide range of partners.

Know – Want to know – Learned

This activity builds upon prior knowledge and develops teamwork skills.

This method can be used as an introductory strategy in order for pupils to document their present level of knowledge and what gaps may exist in that knowledge, to structure progress in their learning and to analyse what new information has been learned after research. This activity builds upon prior knowledge and understanding and develops teamwork skills. If the K-W-L is carried out in groups, it may consolidate communication skills and teamwork. On a K-W-L grid (see below), pupils write under ‘K’ what they think they already know about a particular topic or issue. If pupils are working in groups, they may wish to use a Post-It style activity before writing their combined ideas onto the grid.

Choose a particular topic for the activity, perhaps a topic which is relevant to the current subject.

On a K-W-L grid (see image), before the lesson pupils write under ‘K’ what they think they already know about a particular topic, then fill out the ‘W’. At the end they return and fill out the ‘L’.

Creative Matrix

Gets pupils to think creatively about (hypothetical) scenarios, ideas, and events. Stimulating problem-solving skills which allow pupils to see issues from new perspectives.

Issues within a local community.

Each group is given a matrix with possible scenarios based on an issue. Ask groups to identify what the most likely and least likely scenarios are by selecting one option from each row. When comparing with other groups ask pupils to justify their choices.

Fist-to-Five

Encourages pupils to determine how confident they feel that they’ve achieved what was expected by the end of a lesson.

This simple activity encourages pupils to determine how confident they feel that they’ve achieved what was expected by the end of a lesson or session. It might also be used by pupils as a means of expressing how confident they are that they know the response to a question which has just been posed by the teacher/facilitator. For the latter, this activity allows an instant assessment of how well a class or group may have grasped an issue or topic. See Thumb Tool for another activity which encourages pupils to think about their learning. After a session pupils are asked how confi dent they are that they have met the objectives. One of three hand gestures might be used: Full hand up with all fingers and thumb if they are very confi dent that they have achieved the objectives and what was expected; Three fingers if they feel that they have had partial success in meeting the objectives, but some more work might be needed; or Just fi st if they consider that they have made little or no progress towards meeting the objective.

If their is no example should we maybe change this to ‘think about’.

Ask pupils to show their confidence by putting out either; Full hand (great success), Three fingers (partial success) or fist (no success).

Art Spiral

This activity allows pupils to personally reflect and communicate their thoughts, ideas and feelings in a creative way on a particular issue.

This activity allows pupils to personally reflect and communicate their thoughts, ideas and feelings in a creative way on a particular issue. Everyone in the group selects a free space on the spiral and draws something which represents their thoughts on a particular topic.

How might your represent your fears?

Everyone in the group selects a free space on the spiral and draws something which represents their thoughts on a particular topic.

Back-to-back

Encourages working together and develops clarity in communication and active auditory skills.

This activity encourages pupils to work together and to develop clarity in communication and observation. It also promotes active auditory skills. It can be easily transferred into different learning areas.

What should you draw? What about choosing a favourite animal.

Pupils sit back-to-back (no cheating), one is given an image the other pencil and paper. The pupil with the image must provide instructions on how to draw it.

Consider All Factors

Gets pupils to think about all relevant factors when making a decision or considering an idea.

This methodology encourages pupils to think about all the relevant factors when making a decision or considering an idea. It is a useful tool before deciding and planning a particular course of action, and can be used in conjunction with a possible carousel activity to gather together a comprehensive list of factors which may determine a decision or idea.

A new hotel which will help with local tourism is to be built however the community centre needs to be knocked down.

Discuss the important of considering all factors in decision making then split pupils into pairs/groups, ask to fill out the Consider All Factors worksheet (page # of the guide).