Online Quiz If you want to do a short knowledge test, putting the questions on Socrative.com and letting them answer on their mobile phones is a sure-fire way of livening up a test!
Role Play The topic of “Atheism and Critiques of Religion” has 5 strong scholars: Dawkins, Marx, Durkheim, Freud and Jung. Using Google Image search, a colour printer and laminator I made some impressive masks. We sat around in a circle and the masks were distributed. Students were told they were now in role and were not allowed to step out of character. Various sentence starters were given and students gave their arguments. In the pairs, some were instructed to step out of character. For example, one pupil was told to be Dawkins and the other a Christian scientist. The students passionately argued their theories - one pair nearly came to blows! This came after a unit that had been self taught and students said that this exercise was fun, helped them grow in confidence and made them realise they did know it! Essay on a Postcard Essay planning can rarely be labelled as a fun activity. However, simple changes like doing it on a postcard can make it far more fun. The students find a gimmick fun, and trying to condense an essay to the really vital points is a useful exercise.
All other images were provided by Andy Lewis and Martin Burrett
Conclusions With all these activities, it is only possible once students already 'know their stuff' on the topic. Now a pre-warning of “Next lesson is a silent debate” prompts students into revision. I have found these to be an excellent way to build confidence, share understanding, develop evaluation skills and ensure full engagement in the lesson. They encourage the ‘flipped learning’ model, give responsibility to the students to ensure secure understanding and help them enjoy their A-Level lessons. Someone once said, “If it works for Y7, it’ll no doubt work for Y13”, they weren’t wrong.
▲ Alter-egos—Andy talks about using masks to help students get into character at Teachmeet LondonBus in March
Andy Lewis is currently Assistant Subject Leader in RE at a Catholic secondary school in Essex. Find him on Twitter @iTeachRE and his blog MrLewisRE.co.uk Image Credit: https://www.flickr.com/photos/visual_dichotomy/3623619145/ by visual_dichotomy used under Commercial Creative Commons License