Idea 149: ‘Heads Together’ Plenary Activity

This is a Kagan-style activity that I’ve adapted and tried out recently in my classroom. Rather than having students writing the answers to questions at the end of a lesson, I used this speaking activity instead.

I have tables of 6 in my class currently. I ask a question relating to what we have been studying in the lesson (‘tell me about the heliocentric view of the universe’). Each table puts their heads together and has a quick conversation to make sure that everyone at the table knows the answer. When they are happy that anyone on the table could answer the question, they sit down in their seats and give me a thumbs up.

When all the tables are ready, I randomly select one student. I have all the students’ names written on individual lollipop sticks so I draw one out from a bag. That student has to answer the question I posed. If they can do it successfully then they earn a point for their table.

The important thing here is to make sure your questions aren’t too closed; I prefer something where the students have to coach each other a bit to show a good level of understanding.

This is a great five minute plenary which has all the children engaged, rather than just jotting down answers in their notebook that they aren’t taking in.

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