100 Ideas for Plenaries



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100 Ideas for Plenaries




  1. List 3 things you found out/learnt today

  2. List 3 things your neighbour has learnt today

  3. Summarise this character/scene/chapter in 5 bullet points

  4. Summarise topic in 5 sentences – reduce to 5 words – reduce to one word

  5. 60 second challenge – sum up knowledge of text, or write down all the words you can think of to describe…

  6. Identify the key points of the lesson from anagrams

  7. Break the code to identify the 3 main points from today’s lesson (a=b, b=c…)

  8. Write 5 top tips/golden rules for…

  9. Design your own writing mat to give advice to other students about…

  10. Create a poster to illustrate the spelling strategy you have learnt

  11. Create a mnemonic which reflects the meaning of a new word or term you have learnt today

  12. Write dictionary definitions for new terms learnt today

  13. The answer is XYZ – now write the question. N.B. the question must begin with the words ‘What is…’

  14. Spot missing words in cloze summary of learning

  15. Wordsearch containing key words or information learnt during lesson – use clues/definitions to help you

  16. Poetry bingo – teacher reads/shows quotations. Pupils must spot technique and mark card
  17. If the aim of the lesson was set as a question… Pupils answer questions on whiteboards – with word limit for sentence to provide extra challenge


  18. Take one minute to compose two statements in your head to explain what we have learnt and how we have learnt it

  19. In pairs, answer the question set at the start on a ‘post it’ note. Stick on board and review – did class agree?

  20. Where can you apply this skill in your HW/other subjects? Give 3 examples

  21. Choose from 5 statements on the board. Which 3 best reflect…

  22. In pairs, sequence the 5 factors/influences/events – justify your choices

  23. Prediction – what will happen next? Why do you think this?

  24. Brainstorm the conventions of the text type studied. Aim for 5 or more

  25. Use the style – in pairs or fours, tell a story in the style/genre being taught

  26. Self-assessment/target-setting - choose from a list of suggestions on OHT

  27. Show work to peer – work in pairs to set targets

  28. Teacher shows extract from previous pupil’s work – students identify 3 strengths and 3 pieces of advice for redrafting

  29. Answer teacher’s questions without saying yes or no

  30. Fist of five – pupils assess effectiveness of an image or technique by holding up the appropriate number of fingers

  31. True or false – hold up card/whiteboard to show whether statement on OHT is true or false

  32. Write the epitaph for a character you have been studying
  33. Write a short blurb for a new book jacket


  34. Jigsaw feedback – groups work on different parts of task, then reform to share findings

  35. Envoying – representatives travel to other groups to share findings, then report back to ‘base’

  36. Group ‘show and comment’ on what was learnt – on OHT

  37. Feedback to whole class by one or two groups only – according to rota or roll of dice

  38. Change role – student as teacher. What questions would you ask the class and why?

  39. Groups of 3, numbered 1-3. Put up 3 statements on OHT which individuals must explain to group

  40. Set ‘who wants to be a millionaire’ questions for your neighbour or other groups

  41. Quick-fire oral quiz to review/revisit learning

  42. Label a diagram or illustration – one word in each box

  43. Brainstorm or mind map of what has been learnt during lesson

  44. Graphic summary of lesson – steps, flowchart

  45. Pictures/cartoons – which would you put with the day’s learning and why

  46. Pictionary – draw the word without speaking or writing

  47. Tension chart – give score out of 5 for tension at various points in text. Plot on graph and review findings

  48. Simple timeline of events in chapter/scene

  49. Drama activity – freeze frame summary

  50. In role answering – hot seating activity

Another 50 ideas for plenaries




  1. Look at the main objects/props representing ideas from the lesson and put them in priority order. Put the reasons for your priority order on the cards and place in front of the objects.




  1. From you KWL grid write the “what I have learned” part on individual cards and distribute to other pupils in the class. They read your ideas, compare with their own and explain the similarities and differences.




  1. Draw a character cloud with key vocabulary to sum up the main points about the character.




  1. Design a cloze exercise for your partner to fill in, leaving gaps to describe the main points about a character, plot or setting.




  1. On the blank envelope write “Guess Who”. On the small pieces of card inside write key words or objects connected with a main character. Pass to the next table to guess the character from your clues.




  1. Write an important key quotation from the text on your paper or whiteboard. The class composes a statement to introduce the key quotation.




  1. Write an important key quotation from the text on your paper or whiteboard. The class composes a comment to support the key quotation.




  1. On the shades of meaning cards write a range of weak to strong words to describe a topic or feeling.




  1. In the circles of paper provided quickly sketch a symbol to represent the key ingredients of the poem studied today. Be prepared to answer questions about your symbol design.



  1. On the coat of arms shapes provided, sketch in very quickly the key features to represent the character, place, novel etc. and add quotations to the coat of arms to show why you have chosen particular images.





  1. As a group on the four blank sheets provided name four main themes of the poem or novel and make up two sentences to link the themes.




  1. On the green leaf shapes sum up the content of the poems studied in the lesson. Present to the class and then add the leaves to the class poet tree.




  1. Draw a pyramid of power for the text studied in the class today.



  1. Write three “Who wants to be a Millionaire” type questions based on the content of today’s lesson with four different answer options in each case.




  1. Make up three headlines to sum up three different views of the content of today’s lesson.




  1. Compose three questions for or against the character making a decision in conscience alley.




  1. As a group, make a collective drawing of the setting of the novel studied and define the space used. Demonstrate this at the front of the class.




  1. Design a writing frame to support the writing task set for homework.




  1. Compose a word bank to support the homework task set by the teacher.




  1. Compose some clever sentence starters to support the homework task set by the teacher.




  1. Compose a letter fragment from one character to another in order to encourage the class to predict what is contained in the “whole letter”.



  1. Make up five sounds to represent setting and atmosphere in a novel, poem, play studied. The remainder of the class to be asked to identify the textual clues used to provide your ideas.





  1. Compose a timeline for the main events of poetry, drama or novel and explain the references to the main events from the text.




  1. Make up a mini-saga of 25 word summing up the best features of stories read in your class.




  1. Pose a problem at the end of the lesson about a text for other pupils to solve ready for the next lesson.




  1. Write an acrostic to sum up the main themes of the text you are studying.




  1. Mask a picture used in text from the lesson. Invite pupils to talk about the rage of different possibilities beneath the masked picture.




  1. Write three subheadings for the main areas explored in the lesson today. Be prepared to say how they summarise different parts of the lesson.




  1. As a group write five sentences beginning “what if” in order to change events in a story you have read




  1. Write ten hot tips for writing this particular text type next time.




  1. Make a list of questions to evaluate a web-site at the beginning of the next lesson.




  1. Set the class up with some interview questions to prepare for your group speech in the next lesson.




  1. As a group compose some arguments against the main points put forward in the lesson. Place them on the whiteboard to show the contrasting views.



  1. Make up an evaluation sheet to assess the strength and weaknesses of a piece of writing.





  1. Write three sentences of good advice for attempting the homework.




  1. List some unusual items to add to a story and suggest ways of introducing the unusual items.




  1. As a group make up some sentences on the card provided in order to answer the homework set. Put the most relevant sentences close to the question, less relevant sentences further away and put the irrelevant points on another table.




  1. Design a very quick outline on your whiteboard of a board game for the book you have been reading with some key places to be shown from the text and some key complications in the plot to be resolved.




  1. Present you writing on OHT to the class, explaining how you composed the text together, your first ideas and parts of the drafting process.




  1. Compose five newspaper headlines to sum up the content of the chapter you have just read.




  1. Make up five labels to describe an artefact in different ways, for example a belt could be an accessory, a fashion accessory, a support or a threat.




  1. Write down five reasons for reading the book you have just finished.




  1. On the post it notes provided compose individual sentences to make a paragraph, discuss and re-arrange the order to fit the writing purpose. Explain your choices/discussion to the remainder of the class.



  1. Annotate the passage on OHT to show how a national curriculum level 5 could be awarded to this piece of writing.





  1. Make up a new set of questions to accompany the English word mat.




  1. Provide eight paragraph headings for your storyboard plan and invite the class to discuss the content of each one.




  1. Compose three powerful sentences for opening a story.




  1. Compose three powerful sentences for closing a story.




  1. Using your story prop box make a flow diagram/plan for your narrative writing.




  1. Share with the class your strategy check prompt sheet from your guided reading session.





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