This week’s teaching tip is a great activity to use for any topic which involves pupils’ opinions.
Draw up an imaginary line in your classroom (it may be useful to have continuum signs stuck up.)
Pose the question or topic you a studying and ask pupils to line up along the line.
Ask pupils to share their opinions about why they are stood in a particular place along the line. You could do this in many different ways, either simply by getting pupils to offer their opinions from different places along the line, so that you begin to start a facilitated debate, or by pairing people up from different points along the line.
As the dialogue continues, allow pupils to move along the line, but if they move, they must justify their reason for doing so.
Haven’t got enough room to stand in a line? You could create a “washing line” string running across the classroom which can remain in place over a series of lessons. Pupils could be asked if they can give their opinions and these can be pegged onto the line and moved over the course of the lesson. It would be good to keep a record of how they have moved. (This variation was adapted from a in idea cited in The Citizenship Teacher’s Handbook, (2009) by a Citizenship Teacher from what was then, Cedar Mount High School, Manchester).