An end of Term Lesson; with Learning and a DVD

There has been some strong hints dropped this year from my SLT about not just playing a DVD in your last lesson of the year with a class; and I can appreciate that. We have an activities week in the last week, so the ‘fun’ part of the end of term has already been catered for. However, we are all tired and personally, my ability to string many coherent sentences together is greatly diminished at the moment

So I have struck upon a plan which seems to be working well with Key Stage 3 classes. I have used the following resources:

  1. Planet Earth Box set DVD
  2. Julia Skinner’s  (@TheHeadsOffice )100 word challenge idea see

Heres how it goes:

a) I ask the class to write down 6-8 words that come to mind when they think of “deserts” or whatever the title of the DVD is that they are to watch. They have to draw a line under those words.

b) Then I tell them we are going to watch a DVD on this topic for about 30 minutes and afterwards they are going to produce a piece of descriptive writing on the landscapes they have seen and what happens there. I say they should write down some words and ideas for this during the DVD, but not many as actually watching and listening is more important than taking lots of notes.

c) I stop the video with about 20 minutes to go of the lesson (ours last for an hour) and tell them to complete their piece of descriptive writing. the only two rules they have to follow are:

  • It must not exceed 100 words (I am strict on this)
  • They cannot use any of their original 6-8 words they wrote down at the start of the lesson

Because this is the last lesson of the term chances for peer and self assessment are not available, but I know this idea could be extended further to allow for more redrafting and improving of their work.

But as a stand alone end of term lesson that both challenges my pupils to learn and think and is also a bit different, this has so far worked very well.


3 thoughts on “An end of Term Lesson; with Learning and a DVD

  1. Brilliant, brilliant, brilliant! I’m so proud of you my boy!! what a great way to get them really focussing on something of value. who knows, they may be tempted to join 100WC for real next year!

  2. That’s a wonderful idea.

    I have used those DVDs with KS4 classes.

    Get students to split a page into 4 and label each quarter with a title; Mates, Food, Water, Shelter. They should make notes about which organisms compete in the DVD for these resources.

    After playing the DVD for a set period of time get the students to snowball ideas. Students nearly ALWAYS forget to talk about plant competition even though these are discussed a lot in the DVDs.

    I will DEFINITELY use the 100 word limit on prose in future lessons.


  3. That’s a good idea. Iight try that with the school of hard sums videos.

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