This is a great way to enable the class to see connections between things. All you need is a ball of string and labels of the things you are trying to visualise connections between.

1. Ask the pupils to stand in a circle with the labels on.

2. Read out a passage and each time a connection is heard, ask the pupils to link these labels together with string. You could also ask pupils to justify the links instead.

3. Continue until you have built up a visual picture of the links.

4. Discuss the “picture” and what it means/ask for the strongest links/reasons why they are there etc/what the string represents?



Drama/English: Use this to visualise the links between characters in a play/story. At the end you could ask: which is the most important character/why? Which is the strongest link? Etc

Maths: You could use this for mental arithmetic to see how you could move from one number to another in the circle.

Languages: You could have a range of verbs/adjectives/nouns etc in the circle and link these and ask pupils to create different sentences with these words in.

Science: You could use this to look for connections between different parts of the body eg which vein/artery connects these two parts together etc.

History: use the string to show different relationships between causal factors etc


The last teaching tip of this half term comes from Hannah Dodd- Thank you!

A New Topic

  • Outline the new topic to the pupils – you could do this by sharing the section of the syllabus that it is relevant .
  • Ask pupils to write any questions that they have about the new topic. Remind them to try to use different question types and stems. They should put these on post-it notes.
  • Stick these onto the wall. If you have more than one group, then you could produce a “venn diagram” of the questions.
  • As you go through the topic, take down some of the questions and hand them out to different pupils to see if we can now answer them.
  • Any questions that cannot be answered within the lesson could be shared out as “extension” type homework.
  • Pupils can be encouraged to add further questions to the wall, as they go through the topic.

Share it with Bunting

This week’s teaching tip is a novel way to share a group’s ideas on a topic, or to display a ranking activity so that the whole class can see it.

1. Provide the class with a card sorting activity.

2. Encourage the pupils to discuss their ideas in their group and come to a consensus on the order, in their opinion.

3. The pupils should then attach their ranked order to a piece of string to create bunting. (You could supply the pupils with pegs and string, or pre-punch holes in cards and attach them to the string)

4. Pupils display their bunting for the rest of the class who can then easily visualise another group’s thoughts. Deeper questioning can follow, or the addition of a Kagan technique such as “Stay or stray” can be added to promote further thinking.

5. The bunting can be kept and used in the next lesson, either as an aide-memoir, or as a mini plenary to enable the pupils to build or reflect on their initial thinking.



In Geography, this was used to rank different countries. It could be used to rank opinions, order events chronologically, or numbers in a pattern (perhaps they would choose these from a wider pool of numbers).


Thank you to Lisa James in the Geography Department for this tip. I hope to send a picture of this shortly.