This starter provides a quick and enjoyable way to establish or consolidate knowledge, and could therefore work equally well as a plenary.
The following PowerPoint is available as a template from Mr Hayes. Each brick contains a key word which answers a specific question. These questions appear on the subsequent Powerpoint screens.
Split the class into two or more teams, then alternate between each team as you ask the questions you have prepared. If a pupil identifies the correct answer, that brick is removed from the wall and their team scores a point. Behind the wall is an important image from the topic. This is gradually revealed as the wall is demolished – three bonus points go to the first team to correctly identify the image.
This simple starter could be used either to bring knowledge back to the surface in preparation for further work on it, or to open up thinking on a new topic. It can also inject energy and pace into your lesson from the outset.
Show an image on the screen. Give the whole class a few seconds to look at it, then select one person who must talk about it for 30 seconds.
Their commentary can include any of the following:
1. A description of what they can see.
2. An explanation of what they can see.
3. Questions about what they can see.
Just two rules:
1. No pausing or padding (e.g. um … , like …, you know …, er…);
2. No repetition.
I tend to use lollipop sticks here too – everyone gets a chance to look at the picture, then one person is randomly selected to discuss it.
You could use the initial commentary to generate further discussion of the topic, or you could use it to review skills, particularly the ability to ask pertinent questions when understanding is lacking. See this page for more advice on leading discussions.