Thursday, 16 February 2012
I got this idea from @totallywired77 over on twitter. He has this thing called SOLO learning that I've not got to grips with yet, but I did see this activity with it, so I borrowed it to try out. This is part of what my top set year 7s did for revision on the topic of "Aliens" (basically space and forces). They had to come up with a list of key words about the topic, which I did by standing the whole class up, getting one pupil to name a word and then asking them to "bounce" it to another pupil. The last pupil standing got Vivo Miles (our reward scheme...) to offset the possible "left-out" feeling, and to make up for the fact that words were running out by then so it was harder.
The class then cut out their own hexagons from a template (I'm going to get loads made up and laminated next half term so I can reuse them and save some time), and working in ability pairs, selected the words they wanted to use. Then they arranged the hexagons so that if the words touched they could explain a link between them. This gave me lots of opportunities to ask open-ended questions and the quality of their explanations were excellent. The class also got to go and visit other groups' patterns and question each other about the links. What was surprising was how some pupils were putting words down to fill in the gaps, so they were having to come up with even more key words.
It was a fun lesson, and I enjoyed it so much that year 10 separate biology also did it for their revision on hormones and the menstrual cycle (it really helped them to sequence their ideas and then link it into the nervous system), and year 12 biology used it for key words about DNA and genetics.