Trouble Setting Homework?

A really cute website you can use to set homework, or get the pupils to revise for tests. 

You can create class sets specifically tailored to your groups and what they need to revise.

Provided your pupils are on-line, they can create an account, join their class set and then play games/mini activities in order to help them revise.


The United Nations Lesson Plan

Link to full lesson on the United Nations



Quiz Quiz Trade

Activity that can be used for any age and any topic. It’s called Quiz Quiz Trade. 

My lovely friend Miss Baker devised this for teaching Year 7 about elections and the government. 

We did some simple work on what an election is and the different types of elections and then I gave each child a slip of paper with a question and an answer. 



The pupils then wander around the room, when they meet another student they must High 5 them and give them a massive and cheery “Hi there!”, each pupil must ask their question, if the other does not know the answer they cannot give it to them but only provide hints and prompts. After both have asked their questions, they must swap questions and move on to someone else. 

It really worked with my year 7s, and I’m going to try it with my difficult year 9s tomorrow and see how that goes! 


Board Game Exercise for Any Subject

I tried this board game activity as a plenary with a particularly rowdy Year 9 group yesterday and they loved every minute of it. Make it a competition and the will fight to the death in order to get any sort of a prize. It also strays away from generic questioning and means that every child in the room can get involved. 

All I did was create a simple table on Power Point and printed one out for each table. I would recommend that they look better printed A3 and laminated but that is not worth the time if you are only going to use them once. Obviously, if you are going to reuse them for revision or share them around then it’s worth the time to make them durable. 


All you need is these printed sheets, one per table, and a set of dice for each table. You can get packs of 10 dice very cheaply, or simply use a random number generator. They pupils roll the dice one at a time, the first determines the vertical number and the second determines their horizontal number. They must answer the question in the corresponding square. 

E.G If they roll a 5 and a 3 they must answer the square that says UN general secretary? 

It can be edited for any subject and for any age group. 

Simple and fun! 



Traffic Light Mania Part 2

In my previous post I wrote about how often I use traffic lights in my lessons, and I realised I hadn’t mentioned another way in which I use then.

To make assessment for learning a little more active I will ask the pupils questions based on the topic we are going to cover and ask them to move around the room based on their level of knowledge.




At the end of the lesson, I will ask the pupils to move to the place in the room that now best represents their knowledge. This gives a physical representation of whether they have learned and allows them to see what the have achieved in the lesson.

It also serves as a reminder of what each colour in the hand held traffic lights represents.

Easy as.

Emma 🙂

Traffic Light Mania

One of the most useful things I’ve made this year is a set of 40 traffic lights. In terms of Assessment for Learning, they have proven to be a really valuable wee tool.


I use them in a couple of different ways:

1) at the beginning of a lesson I will ask pupils what they know about the topic we are going to cover. If they have a good knowledge they hold up green, if they know some aspects they hold up yellow and if they know nothing about the topic, red. Repeat at the end of lesson and see if their colour has changed.

2) Can be used during tasks to assess how pupils are coping with the work expected of them.

Green: Fine
Yellow: Getting there
Red: Struggling

Pupils can then use the following system in order to help each other get the task complete.


3) Can be used for peer assessment. Pupils will present a piece of work and the rest of the class will grade it using the traffic lights. Each colour represents a different grade or level. This can obviously be altered based on the ability of the pupils.

Like lots of these little tools, they can be used in many different ways. It took me about an hour to put together a set of 40 and it provides a different stimulus for the pupils in the classroom.

It’s All About The Dice

Finding fun ways to end your lesson is always interesting and I tend to use my oversized dice a lot of the time.

It can be used as a plenary, a starter or a way to perk up a particularly boring topic.


Get the pupils to stand in a circle and throw the dice to one another. Whatever question it lands on, they must answer. Make it a quick fire exercise to keep them on their toes.

Questions can be changed as often as you like to suit whatever topic you are covering, in any subject!

Find your own dice in places like the link below. It might take some time to find an oversized one like mine, but it’s definitely worth it!

A Simple Way to Analyse Language

I always find that trying to get pupils to analyse text, particularly poetry, is a tedious battle. It is even more difficult when you teach pupils that are not as academically geared and not as confident as others. 

Teaching poetry and approaching the subject of poetry is generally met with groans, and moans. So how in the world do you get pupils to analyse the language used within poetry? 

Today, I taught a lesson on sonnets, focusing on sonnet 130. There were two things I wanted the pupils to have achieved by the end of the lesson; I wanted them to understand the structure of a sonnet (pretty straight forward) and also the meaning of the sonnet (not as simple). 

The last thing I wanted to do was tell the pupils the meaning of every single word. It’s boring and they achieve nothing. I recently went to a CPD session and picked up this simple and effective way for pupils to analyse language by focusing on individual words. It goes like this: 

Take some positive/negative/key words from the poem you wish to study without showing the pupils the poem: 




Cut them out, split your students into groups of three or four and give each group one or two words. In each group there must be 1 scribe and 1 reporter. 

Give them the following handout (or ask the scribe to write it down to save on paper) 

They must fill out the handout based on the word that their group has been given. 



and a completed one: 



Once each group has completed this task, the reporter from each table must report their answers to the class, reading it exactly as is on their sheet. 

From this you can keep a tally of positive and negative words and try and gauge the tone/mood of the piece. Pupils can then try and figure out how these words might be linked and what kind of poem they could be studying. 

When the pupils then see the poem, the language appears less daunting because they have an idea of inferred/suggested meanings. 

This can also be adapted and used for prose, or pretty much anything relating to language. I recently used this exercise to analyse A Christmas Carol and it resulted in the pupils producing a much more precise analysis of the language used to describe the character of Scrooge. 

This can be changed, stretched, lengthened, shortened, used as a starter, main or plenary or used as starter and referred to during plenary in order to see has the suggested meaning changed. The possibilities, as they say, are endless. 

Pretty simple but very, very effective!

Emma 🙂