How can teachers ensure that there is appropriate challenge for G&T pupils in every lesson? In the first of a series of lessons plans, Caroline Coxon provides some ideas
The most difficult aspect of making good provision for gifted and talented pupils can be planning appropriate learning opportunities within a whole-class context. It is one thing to plan a ‘one off’ event for a group of able pupils, but quite another to ensure that there is appropriate challenge built into each and every lesson, every day, every week of every term. Some teachers are experts at this of course, knowing instinctively how to pose a probing question, encourage pupils to see things from a different angle, or tailor a task in a way that makes it more exacting.
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Making additional challenge explicit in lesson planning can be useful however, in helping teachers to personalise learning for their pupils – and allow colleagues to share their ideas and good practice. In this and subsequent articles, we offer examples of how planning can support good G&T provision. This first outline is designed for a KS2 class but many of the ideas are equally appropriate for KS3.
Pirates Ahoy! is an example of a literacy lesson for Year 5 that could be used as a stand-alone, or incorporated into a series of lessons about creating and shaping text. It overcomes two common pitfalls in classroom practice:
Key to the lesson plan
Opportunities for achieving ECM outcomes are marked within the text in brackets
(S Safe; H Healthy; Ea Enjoying and Achieving; E Economic well-being; P Positive contribution). G&T extension activities are marked with the * icon.
Plenary: while the class share their profiles, your G&T pupils could address the question ‘What makes a good characterisation?’ and be prepared to identify good examples from their peers’ work – with reasons, (P) as well as performing their own.
Lesson: Pirates Ahoy!
Length: 1 hour
Key Stage 2, Year 5
Context and curriculum links:
Narrative – Creating and shaping text – an introduction to characterisation.
To investigate character development through describing how characters look, talk or behave.
Pupils will be able to:
Resources: IWB or projector – DVDs/soundtracks of pirate films – Pirates of the Caribbean 2 (12A) Peter Pan (PG)
http://www.nmm.ac.uk/server/show/conWebDoc.159 National Maritime Museum – pirate pictures/facts
A4 sheets with character names; scissors (R and L-Handed); extra paper; glue; extract from Peter Pan
Extract from Peter Pan, for use within the development section of the lesson
‘He had two most evil-looking black eyes, his face was seamed with lines which seemed to express his wicked thoughts, his hideous chin, all unshaven, was as black as ink and as prickly as a furze-bush, his hair was long and black and it hung round his face in greasy curls. He was singing a horrible song about himself, keeping time by swinging in the air the gruesome stump of his right arm, on which a double-pronged hook was fixed instead of a hand.’
From The Story of Peter Pan Retold from the fairy play by JM Barrie by Daniel O’Connor. Pub: G Bell and Sons Ltd, 1914.
Starter – whole class – five minutes
Introduction – whole class – five minutes
Development – small groups, or * to work independently – 35 minutes (P)
Plenary – small groups/whole class – 15 minutes (Ea, P)
*Tasks for extension
1. Listen to ‘Jack Sparrow’ (the theme music to Pirates of the Caribbean 2). Consider its success in evoking character.
2. Analyse description of Captain Hook, picking out features, that evoke character including imagery.
3. Write a dull character profile using NONE of the features as discussed. Then write an exciting one!
4. Identify stereotypical characteristics of pirates. Add details to your characterisation that are NOT.
Through an extended piece of writing. Help pupils to develop criteria that they can use to judge their own work (Ea, P), for example, noting the features of characterisation that are present. What’s missing? Produce a second draft noting additions and improvements. Peer reviews, if sensitively handled, can provide valuable feedback.
What next? You could: