Category Archives: Teaching Ideas

What problems do you want to solve when you grow up?

“Don’t ask children what they want to be when they grow up but what problems they want to solve. This changes the conversation from who do I want to work for, to what do I need to learn to be able to do that. ” Jaime Casap, Google Global Education Evangelist

Help children to think outside the box with Will Hussey’s amazing Where Can an Elephant Hide? Challenges to Kick-start Learning in Key Stage 1 and Where Can an Elephant Roost? Chalnnege to Ignite Learning in Key Stage 2.

9780857475329 Where Can an Elephant Hide? Brilliant Publications

Where Can an Elephant Hide? Challenges to Kick-start Learning in Key Stage 1

Where Can an Elephant Roost? Challenges to Ignite Learning at Key Stage 2

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Filed under How children learn, Teaching Ideas

Answering children’s questions about terrorism

What do terrorists want? When will terrorism end?

Children’s questions about terrorism can be penetrating and hard to answer. Many teachers (and parents) will be caught unawares by such questions, uncertain themselves about terrorist motivation and goals and torn between the instinct to reassure and the awareness that Britain is on continuous terrorist alert.

Brilliant Publications has just produced a book  to answer these difficult questions. Talking about Terrorism: Responding to Children’s Questions by Alison Jamieson and Jane Flint is structured around 40 questions that children may ask:

  • What do terrorists want?
  • How can we stop someone becoming a terrorist?
  • Who is keeping us safe in Britain?
  • Why are terrorists so angry and full of hate?
  • When will terrorism end?
Talking about Terrorism - Brilliant Publications

Talking about Terrorism

The authors answer the questions in clear, easy-to-understand language – providing simple, objective explanations and reassurance where possible – while being careful not to raise unrealistic expectations.

As Peter Wanless, Chief Executive of the NSPCC, points out in the Foreword to Talking about Terrorism:

“If we are to reassure our young people, encourage their tolerance of others, and prevent them from being groomed into acts that could hurt themselves or others, we must talk with them and educate them. This book sets out to help teachers do just that.  The Internet and 24-hour news cycle means that it is impossible to shield children from the reality of terrorist attacks. But, with open conversation and clear explanations, we can help them feel safe and know that the world is still a good place.”

The text is interspersed with activities that primary school teachers can use to stimulate critical thinking and encourage creative investigation of key themes. These range from discussions and debates, the use of circle time and hot-seating through to role-play, poetry and music composition, singing and artwork.

Despite the focus on terrorism the authors never lose sight of a core belief in human goodness. They make it a priority to focus on positive actions that children can perform, singly or collectively, to make the world more peaceful. Each section has inspiring stories of peacemaking and reconciliation, about the power of love over hate, of non-violence over violence and the importance of tolerance and respect.

As Iona Lawrence, Director of the Jo Cox Foundation, says in an introductory message to the book:

“Jo [Cox] really did live by the conviction that we have ‘more in common than that which divides us.’ As this book also shows, it is this phrase that can and should guide conversations with children about extremism in all its forms.”

Authors

Written by Alison Jamieson, a former consultant to the United Nations Office on Drugs and Crime, and Jane Flint, a teacher, whose work in a multicultural school in Beeston, Leeds, at the time of the 2005 London bombings provided the inspiration for the book. Their book, Radicalisation and Terrorism: A Handbook for Addressing Extremism, was published by Brilliant Publications in 2015.

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Filed under Key Stage 2, PSHE, Radicalisation and Terrorism, Teaching Ideas

Using the Two-spoon Method in Cooking

Once you know how to use two spoons to get your cookie or biscuit mixture onto a baking tray, it is easy to do. But what is the best way to teach children this essential cooking skill?

Kate Morris and Sally Brown, authors of Get Cooking in the Classroom, have created a great video to help teach children the two-spoon method.

9781783171194 Get Cooking in the Classroom Brilliant Publications

Get Cooking in the Classroom

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Filed under Healthy eating, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, PSHE, Teaching Ideas

The Bridge Method of Cutting

Once you know how to cut ingredients safely using the bridge method, it is easy to do. But what is the best way to teach children this essential cooking skill?

9781783171194 Get Cooking in the Classroom Brilliant Publications

Get Cooking in the Classroom

Kate Morris and Sally Brown, authors of Get Cooking in the Classroom, have created a great video to help teach children how to use the bridge method.

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Filed under Healthy eating, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, PSHE, Teaching Ideas

The Claw Method of Cutting

Once you know how to cut ingredients safely using the claw method, it is easy to do. But what is the best way to teach children this essential cooking skill?

9781783171194 Get Cooking in the Classroom Brilliant Publications

Get Cooking in the Classroom

Kate Morris and Sally Brown, authors of Get Cooking in the Classroom, have created a great video to help teach children how to use the claw method.

 

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Filed under Healthy eating, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, PSHE, Teaching Ideas

Working Safely when Cooking with Children

Cooking with children is great fun – but have you thought of all the safety implications?

9781783171194 Get Cooking in the Classroom Brilliant Publications

Get Cooking in the Classroom

Kate Morris and Sally Brown, authors of Get Cooking in the Classroom, have created a great video highlighting all the things you need to think about when cooking with children. This practical video contains great hints for ensuring that your cooking session goes smoothly and with maximum enjoyment!

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Filed under Healthy eating, Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Primary school, PSHE, Teaching Ideas

5 fun games for teaching a foreign language

Try these ideas for bringing some fun into your foreign language teaching. They can be adapted for use with almost any modern foreign language (MFL).

100+ Fun Ideas for Practising Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom - Brilliant Publications

100+ Fun Ideas for Practising Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom

  1. Fruit Salad
    • The children need to be sitting on chairs in a circle.
    • Give every child a word or phrase to remember, with each word allocated to more than one child.
    • Call out one of these and everyone responsible for it must get up and find a new seat.
    • Occasionally, call out ‘Fruit Salad’ and everyone must change places.
    • You could ask a child to stand in the centre of the circle and call out the words instead of you. This child should then try to take the place of one of the children who gets up. It is then the turn of this child to call out the words or phrases.
  1. Weather forecast
    • With a map as a reference, ask the children to pretend that they are on television and presenting a weather forecast.
    • Cut out weather shapes which can be moved around on the map to make it more authentic and interactive. This activity can also be done using an interactive whiteboard.
  1. Dressing up
    • If you are practising the words for clothes, try this fun game with willing children.
    • Provide two piles of clothes identical in type and colour.
    • Name an item of clothing and its colour.
    • A point goes to the team who correctly identifies and puts on the item of clothing first. This is guaranteed to have the children in fits of laughter.
  1. Fashion show
    • If your learners know the words for items of clothing and colours, ask the children to write a commentary for a fashion show and then perform it using dressing-up clothes.
    • They will have a lot of fun deciding which clothes to wear as they strut along the catwalk.
  1. On the phone
    • Try using two telephones and ask the children to sit back-to-back whilst holding a conversation. This makes the interaction more challenging, as there are no visual clues.
    • This is a particularly authentic setting for discussing the weather as normally you would never ask someone what the weather is like if you are in the same place.

For over 100 more fun ideas for teaching languages in primary schools get 100+ Fun Ideas for Practising Modern Foreign Languages in the Primary Classroom by Sue Cave, published by Brilliant Publications.

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Filed under Key Stage 1, Key Stage 2, Modern Foreign Languages (MFL), Primary school, Teaching Ideas