Methods

There is natural rhythm within each session, within the day itself and within the week and programmes that should be understood when you are planning any programme and this rhythm should be harnessed by the methods you select for delivering your programme.

  • Team Building and Exercise Games Here
  • Using Drama Techniques Here
  • Learning Working with small groups UK Here
  • On Your Own 2 Feet (DES) Here

Methods

some tp learning methods in alphbethical order

  1. Agony aunt/uncle: Small groups of three to four. Each group takes on the role of an agony aunt or uncle. The group is asked to respond to an imaginary problem letter / email / text. Groups may wish to share their solutions.
  2. Buzz groups: Small groups of three to four. Groups are asked to discuss a dilemma or situation for a short, specified time, and then return to the large group to discuss ideas.
  3. Carousel: Half the group forms a circle facing outwards. The other half forms another circle around them, facing inwards. Each person in the inner circle should face someone in the outer circle. Each pair can be asked to talk about an issue or dilemma. Partners can be changed with ease by one or another circle moving round one place.
  4. Consequences: Each group considers the possible options and consequences of a situation. It is important to consider realistic consequences, both positive and negative.
  5. Continuum: An imaginary line is drawn down the room. Children are told that one end of the line represents one extreme viewpoint, and the other end represents the opposite view. Statements relating to a particular issue are read out, and pupils stand along the continuum according to what they think. Children may discuss their view with someone else nearby, and/or with someone who has a different view. If the possibility of polarised views is undesirable, or if pupils are less confident, ‘islands’ rather than a line can be used.
  6. Circle time: A mechanism for structured discussion and other activities where all participants sit in a circle – representing a non-divisive and safe environment within which to discuss an issue or idea.
  7. Data search: Children search through a selection of resources to find out information and answers to questions. Pupils could devise their own questions, or set questions for another group to answer.
  8. Debate: A motion is decided on for discussion. Two opposing views are then presented to the children  with relevant information or supporting evidence. After a question-and-answer session and discussion, the group votes for or against the motion.
  9. Diamond 9: Small groups are given prepared cards (nine or more), each with a statement relating to an issue for discussion, e.g. ‘The qualities of a good friend’. Each group arranges the cards in the shape of a diamond to represent their views on the relative importance of each statement.
  10. Draw and write: Children are asked to draw and/or write in response to a specific question, e.g. ‘How do you keep yourself healthy?’ This could be used as a needs assessment activity.
  11. Envoys: Various groups of pupils are formed, each with a different task or issue to discuss or research. After a given amount of time, a representative from each group goes to another group to relate the key points or findings to them.
  12. Fishbowl: One group performs an activity while the others sit around them and observe. The audience may be asked to observe generally, or to look for specific things. They could have a checklist of things to look for.
  13. Fishbowl discussion: This is a way of controlling discussion. Put not more than six or seven chairs in an inner circle, with the rest in an outer circle. Discussion takes place only in the inner circle. A spare chair ensures that someone can come into the centre. At the same time people in the centre can move out and allow others to contribute.
  14. Freeze Frame / Tableau: Working in small groups children develop a tableau to represent something, for example, a consequence of bullying.
  15. Graffiti Sheets: Children are asked to write comments/opinions/facts onto a large piece of paper that can then be displayed. Alternatively, each child may be given a piece of card, which can then be part of a ‘wall’ to which they all contribute.
  16. Interviewing outside visitors: This is an alternative to having ‘speakers’ and gives responsibility to the group for the process and for their own learning. In preparing for the visit the group considers questions such as who do we invite and for what purpose? What do we want to know? What questions shall we ask and in what order? How is everybody going to be involved? How do we make the visitor comfortable? Who will draw the session to a close? The visit should be followed by a
  17. debriefing session to draw out the learning of the subject matter and the performance of the group.
  18. Listening exercises: These can be conducted in pairs. For example, person A talks to person B for five minutes describing the qualities of a friend. Person B records what they have heard. They swap roles. This pair joins another pair and they are asked to draw up a friend specification. This work is presented to other groups or the whole class.
  19. Matching: This activity requires cards to be made up which can then be matched together by the pupils. For example, drug cards may be matched to the substances’ effects and risks.
  20. Mind map: A useful technique for planning and reviewing. Write an issue, topic or problem in the middle of a page. Branch out from the centre with the main themes and continue to branch out the ideas as far as possible. Pictures, illustrations and different colours could be used. Good as a needs assessment or evaluation.
  21. Questionnaires and quizzes: These are not tests of knowledge but triggers for discussion, where pupils will be able to acquire more information as well as explore issues that arise.
  22. Role play: Children take on the role of another person and act out a scenario. The group can rewind the action, fast-forward, and explore different consequences and decisions. They can also ‘spotlight’ certain characters and question them in role.
  23. Rounds: All children are given the opportunity to express a view or opinion about a particular situation, perhaps using a sentence starter. This works well at the beginning or end of sessions.
  24. Sides: Similar to the Continuum except there is no middle ground. children have to decide to agree or disagree with a statement. They then discuss their opinion with someone on the same or the opposite side.
  25. Snowball: Children are invited to write a word or short sentence on a scrap piece of paper eg a quality of a friend. These are scrunched up and thrown at a target (or in a snowball fight). The paper is opened up and read. A good starter or for evaluating a lesson.
  26. Snowballing: Children work alone for a few minutes, listing ideas related to a task. They then form pairs and share views. The pairs then double up and share their ideas.
  27. Standpoint-taking: This technique enables children to explore both sides of an issue. Make two concentric circles with chairs, each inside chair facing an outside chair (Carousel). Give a statement and ask the inside group to argue for it, and the outside group to argue against with the person they are sitting opposite. It is important to stress that they may not believe that particular stance but they have to find as many arguments as possible. Allow two minutes’ discussion and move the outer circle on two places. Repeat the process. Move again but this time change stances thus arguing the opposite viewpoint. Debrief and discuss the issues that arose.
  28. Story telling: Make use of fiction or develop stories within the group to explore feelings and attitudes. Relating the discussion to the fictional characters provides a safer way of examining experiences the young people may go through such as making and losing friends, bullying, needing help, bereavement and many others. Refer to current situations in ‘soaps’. How would the group resolve the issues raised?
  29. Syndicates: A type of role play where pupils are formed into groups to represent a view, opinion or organisation. The group has to enter negotiations with another group representing a different view.
  30. Tour: Groups of children prepare visual material in the form of posters to display on the wall. Children then tour the displays and discuss the materials.
  31. Triad: A pupil engages in an activity with another pupil while a third observes, maybe writes notes, and gives feedback. Roles can then be changed.
  32. Trigger drawings: (such as storyboards, situation cards, photographs, magazine articles) These can be used for discussion, problem solving or as material for role-play.
  33. Wordstorm / Thought Shower: Children offer spontaneous suggestions regarding any issue. This is a short, quick activity where suggestions are recorded, but not discussed or challenged. Recorded material can be used later.