Warmers and Plenaries

Handy Things

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This idea comes from Raising Boys’ Achievement: Derbyshire County Council.

It can be used as a starter to assess prior knowledge of a topic. As well as that, you can use it as a plenary at the end of a lesson to sum up what has been learnt.

It’s easy! It works best with teenagers. Get your students to draw round the shape of their hands. In each finger or thumb, they write a summary sentence or keyword.

You could draw a big hand on the board and invite students to write their summary sentences. That way, you keep your kinaesthetic learners happy. A word of warning: I once used this as a starter activity in an observed lesson. I only wanted the activity to be 10 minutes but my students seemed to write essays in each finger and thumb. Hence, it took up a huge part of the lesson having them write their ideas on the board. In this case, I should have limited it to 10 words maximum or timed them for each point. Also, if you invite students to write their ideas on the board, draw your hand sideways and not facing up. It’s easier for them to write then.

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