I have written about #PoundlandPedagogy ideas before and more recently I collaborated with Mark Anderson writing about #PoundlandPedagogy of apps, which can be found here. This post contains some of my favourite ideas that have worked really well with my students, that I wanted to share and explain. The idea behind this is very simple; using cheap objects in the classroom in a creative way to aid teaching and learning. Isabella Wallace created the hashtag #PoundlandPedagogy. I am regularly inspired by and gain/adapt ideas from teachers on Twitter, sharing their Poundland resources, so hopefully these ideas can be used by others too!
Hula Hoop Venn Diagrams
Using two or three hula hoops, depending on the task, students create Venn diagrams in groups. This is fantastic because it encourages students to work together and discuss factors whilst comparing and contrasting. I have used the Venn diagrams for comparing different world religions, different individuals and in History comparing then and now. There are so many ways Venn diagrams can be used and this is a fun alternative that develops a variety of skills and requires students to use their subject knowledge. Ask the PE department if they have some hula hoops you can borrow!
I have seen lots of teachers use these templates across different subjects, especially for English Literature for character analysis. They are brilliant when studying famous individuals. My Year 7 class were recently learning about the Black Death, they labelled the symptoms onto the various body parts. In Welsh students filled in their paper person with information all about themselves, they can also be used in MFL to label body parts and when looking at items of clothing. My form group used the template when studying identity as part of PSHE and another time when studying healthy living. I can imagine they would work well in Science and PE when looking at the human body!
These can be purchased or students can simply draw around their own hands. Again a great resource because there are so many variations. When answering the 5 W’s – Who? What? Where? When? Why? each finger and the thumb can be used for each answer. In the same way the hands can be used when looking at the 5 different senses. An example is from my Year 9 students using their senses to imagine life in the World War One trenches. I created a ‘High 5’ plenary where the aim was to keep it positive, like a high 5! Students had to write on the paper hands what they had achieved, enjoyed, what went well etc when reflecting on the lesson. The English department at my school @ElfedEnglishDep often use the paper hands to help with paragraph planning and structure.
I used the washing line as a large historical timeline with my classes, putting events into chronological order. I’ve also used it as an agree/disagree line. Students have to peg their responses on the agree or disagree side of the line with explanation and justification. This can lead to great class discussions and debate! Another idea is to use a washing line as a sentence line, helping students construct sentences or different sentence patterns. My Welsh class had to work together to arrange cards with vocabulary on, correctly on the washing line so that it read clearly as a sentence. A washing line can be a class alternative to a diamond nine or diamond ranking where the class rank factors on the line in order of importance.
Splat is a great game to play, in any subject and with different year groups! There are also lots of variations to this game. Key words can be projected onto the board and two students will stand either side of the board, armed with their swatter, then I or another student will ask a question or give a definition and it is a competition to see who can splat the correct answer first! The example shown is from my MFL lesson when students were learning the vocabulary for different rooms in the house. A word would be said in Welsh and students had to splat the image that represented that key word. This idea can be used with images, dates, people etc. The splat game can also have a literacy focus. Examples include where students have to splat the correct spelling or correct homophone; with a sentence on the board and a missing homophone so students can splat which their/there/they’re should be used in that context. Another possible suggestion is having a world map then name a country/place and the student has to splat on the map where they think it is. There are so many possibilities with this game. It can be done with two volunteers at the front of the class or in pairs on desks. @WestleighTandL have their own version of this game called the ‘Fly Swatter Showdown!’.
I printed some images, connected to the lesson content, and placed them inside the food bags. As students entered the classroom they did look slightly confused at first. Then they realised the link with the image inside the food bag. Following my instructions students annotated the outside of the food bag. I don’t do this very often, although I do often use images, but it is an interesting alternative to writing in books. Students can annotate the image at the start of the lesson with what they already know then add to it as the lesson progresses. The food bags can be swapped with their peers to add extra information in another colour. Plus, like writing on the tables, they can be rubbed off and used again!
Budget plain white wallpaper has become an essential part of my teaching toolkit! Excellent for historical timelines as it allows students to create large timelines whilst working together, this can be very good at helping provide a visual overview of events or a specific period. Wallpaper works well for silents debates in any subject. Students have a debate but only through responding to each others written comments. My wonderful Year 7 History class created their very own version of the Bayeux tapestry using wallpaper too!
Finally, this is an idea that can be great fun but obviously comes with a caution as there can be potential for trouble with play doh! On Twitter I have seen so many examples of teachers using play doh with their students, especially in Science! They are a quick and enjoyable way to create 3D models and diagrams. My RE class used the play doh to create religious symbols when studying world religions but play doh can be used to create any model connected to the lesson or topic.
More ideas can be found on my Twitter page such as my plenary and ice breaker beach ball. Buntings are also great for students to write on then put on display. Other ideas, that I will write about separately include paper plates, body suits and plastic balls! I can also recommend Amjad Ali’s teaching and learning toolkit, for #poundlandpedagogy ideas amongst many other resources!
Thanks for taking the time to read my post. If you’ve been inspired by any of these #poundlandpedagogy ideas I’d love to hear from you to find out how you’ve taken them / adapted or remixed them and used them in your classroom. If you tweet your ideas use the hashtag #poundlandpedagogy or search the hashtag to see what other schools have done. Please feel free to follow my blog and leave comments below or why not just drop me a message on Twitter .