Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job


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Mrs Humanities shares…5 Simple Starter Ideas

mrs humanities sharesI’m of the generation of PGCE students that were introduced to teaching with the three part lesson and it’s a hard habit to kick.

I admit my lesson almost always starts with a starter activity, a hook for the lesson or something to draw upon prior learning.

In this post I share with you a few of my favourite 5 starter tasks.

  1. Question it!

    question-i
    Quite simply students are given a stimulus such as a photo, sound, object, key term etc. and they draw up a series of questions. In year 7 I start students off with what makes a good question and introduce the question grid to develop their practice in this area so eventually they are creating their own awesome questions. In my new school I set up the questions to ponder area, students have posted some of their questions there and we come back to them throughout the topic.

  2. 5 in 5 minutes

    Students are given 5 categories and are given 5 minutes to write a list of 5 associated with the category given. 5-in-5For instance recently in a lesson on ecosystems and the cycles of the ecosystem the categories were as follows
    1 – Biomes
    2 – Climates
    3 – Water cycle stores
    4 – Carbon cycle stores
    5 – Transfer processes in the water cycle
    I find it useful as a recall activity to activate prior learning.

  3. Senses Starter

    senses-starter
    As a teacher of Humanities I loved this activity to stimulate the senses at the start of a lesson, to get the students engaged and questioning what they would be learning. Using YouTube I’d find a suitable clip for the students to enter to, sometimes the sounds of a battle field or the fauna of the rainforest, a tornado or trench. Sometimes an image would be displayed alongside the sounds, other times simply the sound clip. Initially students to head straight into asking questions but the refusal to answer and reminder to the task on the board soon quietens them and quickly engage their senses. This has worked through for me through the key stages, although the older they get, the less likely they are to want to close their eyes and engage fully.

4. Find your Match

find-your-partner

This one usually requires a bit more planning than the others. As students enter they are given a card which has a corresponding card such as a key term and definition or map symbol and description or part of a key term. Quite simply students have to find the person with the corresponding card. Sometimes this is used to partner students up or to create a new seating plan. Other times it initiates the learning for the lesson and other times it is quite simply used to recall learning.

5. Mind the Gap

mind-the-gap

A simple activity to get students practicing the spelling of key terminology. These can be made as simple or complex as you wish. I differentiate on occasions by providing several lists of varying challenge or will give particular words to students that keep making the same reoccurring errors.

What are your go to starter activities? Share yours in the comments.

Mrs Humanities

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Recommendation – Twinkl Secondary Resources

Recently I’ve started to make use of the newly added Twinkl Secondary Geography resources.

The variety of resources is huge with 12 pages of material so far covering everything from tectonics and coasts to tourism and urban issues. The most common of geography topics all make an appearance.

At present there are plenty of resources for Key Stage 3 and a growing number for Key Stage 4 linked to the AQA, Edexcel and OCR specifications. Key Stage 5 is currently bare but an area for future development.

Each of the lesson packs are fully resourced, many of which have eco-print versions, as are many of the stand alone lessons or single activities.

Personally I really like the opportunity for differentiation in the lesson packs, they are a great starting point to differentiate up or down depending on your students. Some resources even have differentiated versions already. I wish they’d had these when I worked at my last school, they would have been of massive benefit and would have saved me so much time with planning, differentiation and scaffolding.

My personal favourites are

But don’t take my word for it, check the resources out for yourself over at Twinkl.co.uk

Mrs Humanities

 

 

 


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History on TV

history on TV

Whilst I set up Geography on TV I thought I should probably set up a History on TV.

Since I do like a bit collaboration, I’ve set up a collaborative google doc might be useful. It’s pretty simple, if you know of a show or have watched a show add it to the week it will or was broadcast. Then other teachers can see what’s on or what will be on.

history template

If it’s already been broadcast well don’t worry, add it anyway. With the power of technology these days, it can then be searched for on one of the many catch up sites or channels. Simple.

Here’s an example for Geography for the week commencing the 12th June.

12th june

If you’d like to help create this it’s really easy to collaborate. Simply click here to be taken to the google drive folder. Find the relevant week, organised by week commencing and add the following details

  • name of show
  • time its on

If it’s on a channel not listed as the ‘core’ channels add it to the ‘Others’ row and all include the channel name.

Hope we can produce something useful for each other and our students.

Mrs Humanities

 


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Geography on TV

geog on tv

Recently I asked if anyone produced a TV schedule for Geography on TV at all. I was informed that @DreamTeachGeog used to produce one but stopped at some point last year. A shame, as it’s only recently something that occurred to me as I was thinking of how to further stretch and develop inquiry within my learners.

As always I like collaboration and decided that a collaborative google doc might be useful. It’s pretty simple, if you know of a show or have watched a show add it to the week it will or was broadcast. Then other teachers can see what’s on or what will be on.

template

If it’s already been broadcast well don’t worry, add it anyway. With the power of technology these days, it can then be searched for on one of the many catch up sites or channels. Simple.

Here’s an example for the week commencing the 12th June.

12th june

If you’d like to help create this it’s really easy to collaborate. Simply click here to be taken to the google drive folder. Find the relevant week, organised by week commencing and add the following details

  • name of show
  • time its on

If it’s on a channel not listed as the ‘core’ channels add it to the ‘Others’ row and all include the channel name.

Hope we can produce something useful for each other and our students.

Mrs Humanities


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UK County Word Cloud Project by Alan Parkinson

You may have already spotted this project from Alan on twitter or on his site Living Geography since there have already been a solid number of responses.

If you haven’t, then you can read more about the project here. It’s a great link to this year’s Young Geographer of the Year theme and something that could be done in class.

Add your contribution to it by filling in the form below.

I look forward to seeing the results in the summer.