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A colleague of mine fed his class a diet of DVDs and wordsearches for days prior to a holiday – by the end of term, they were bored and restless. With a focus on pupils remembering what they have learnt, here are some suggestions for alternative activities.

You Can’t Say That! – create a pile / list of words and choose an Explainer who has to explain the word on the card without using another with the same root or giving clues such as rhymes or letters. The other pupils work out what the word is – this really promotes thinking about synonyms and antonyms as well as vocabulary revision.

Question Chain – create domino type cards with a question at one end and the answer to a different question at the other. Someone starts by asking their question, the person with the answer then reads their question and so on.

Lipograms – a lipogram is a text with one common letter, often a vowel, omitted. Challenge your pupils to re-write the story of Goldilocks without using the letter O!

Yes, and – one person starts with a statement about the topic or book for example, Rivers start in high ground. The second person begins their sentence Yes, and this is called the source. Continue until everyone in the group has had a turn or exhausted their knowledge.

Grammar Poems – ask pupils to write a four-line poem using the structure 1 noun, 2 adjectives, 3 verbs, 3 adverbs. The noun will be a key word from your recent topic or character from a book.

Quizzes – a great way to review learning!

Have fun – and ryemr, hereculf, fjlyou (anagrams for happy) Christmas!

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Kathy Ewers

Kathy Ewers

Kathy is an experienced teacher who has taught in both primary and special schools holding a variety of roles including English Leader, SENCo and Advanced Skills Teacher. She is an experienced KS1 and KS2 moderator and an accredited trainer for a number of literacy interventions. Kathy leads a variety of training on different aspects of English within the National Curriculum including phonics, spelling, reading comprehension and writing. She also provides support for English subject leaders and a range of school based consultancy.