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Making A level lessons interesting, help needed

Discussion in 'History' started by captainrich, Oct 23, 2011.

  1. Ive just taken on a number of A level classes as a short term replacement for a teacher who has had to take sick leave, my A level teaching experience is limited severely and I took my A levels 20 years ago.

    The teacher I'm replacing is very much from the old school of lecturing and classes then make notes, to my eyes they look disinterested and I'm keen to get them more involved in their learning, especially as my Russian history needs refreshing .....

    Anyone got some ideas to get the energy flowing?
  2. kate harvey

    kate harvey New commenter

    What sort of technology have you got? Powerpoints. dvds, documentaries are always a good start for livening up the start of a lesson.
    Don't be intimidated just because they are Year 12 and 13. I use all the same teaching methods that I use in KS3 and 4 such as card sorts, role play, discussions, etc but just make them a little more sophisticated and challenging.
    For some suitable topics I also use the "teaching each other"approach where they all get a topic and have to prepare a lesson on that topic. They have to give me a lesson plan, prepare handouts and materials, etc. They then have to teach the rest of their class. They generally LOVE this.
    Let me know which topics you are doing and I can send you some other specific ideas.
  3. voodoo child

    voodoo child New commenter

    jigsaw essays - they work in groups with a title and each has to prepare one of the paragraphs. Share out with each other and then they write their own introduction/conclusion if you want to.
  4. Syria1

    Syria1 New commenter

    Put an actual examination question on the board (before you tackle the topic) - and see how much they can answer from their background knowledge (group work, spider diagram etc). Try the same question after going through the topic and challenge them to produce the ideal answer as a group. Get them to write paragraph answers using strict time limits.
  5. Favourites for my Sociology and History AS and A2 groups are quizzes (great starters or plenaries) - try quizbuster. Or the 'killer quiz' where they write their own questions and then get one section of a letter K for each correct answer, and then can start rubbing out the other team's K subsequently.

    They enjoy role plays and interviews, we write our own radio / tv broadcasts and eulogies. 'Beat the teacher' where they are given some information and then I put up some hypotheses on the board and they have 2 mins to prove / disprove my hypothesis - works best with some sort of competition element: they get chocolate if they beat me... Silent debate or argument tennis...

    Anything that works at GCSE works at A level - year 12 are just big year 11s after all, and year 13 wish they were...

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