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    Hi,

    I have a School Direct interview ( Secondary History) on Friday, and have been told that I have to prepare a mini-lesson for 25 minutes on the topic of the Cold War. I asked the Head of History at the school who would be assessing this activity for info, and he provided me with the following message (in italics):


    "The idea is that you prepare a mini lesson on a topic of your choice from the Cold War. This is open to your own interpretation. This is the process, as what we are looking for is your ability to interact with young people, how you motivate, inspire and challenge their preconceptions and ideas and how you question their knowledge. They will have substantial knowledge of the period as they have completed a unit recently on these topics. Try to create something that allows you to impart knowledge, allows them to develop historical skills and then challenges them to reason against a 'big' picture question. There will be 30 students of mixed ability.

    If I were you I would choice something specific within the period rather than trying to cover too much."


    Firstly, I was wondering if anyone might have any ideas as to how to go about doing the parts highlighted in bold. I have attached my lesson (Powerpoint) to this message. I was wondering, if anyone thinks I might be on the right lines with regards to this teacher's criteria for the mini-lesson overall?

    My mini-lesson idea is going to be on the origins of the Cold War, The mini-lesson is supposed to be 25 minutes long, however, when I timed this, it seemed to run well over this (and was at least 45 minutes long). Below is my lesson plan (also see Powerpoint slides attached). I was wondering if anyone has any ideas as to how to possibly cut this down by any chance, or if there is other approachs I could try that would be more efficient with this topic (in the available time)?

    1. Starter (5 minutes) - For first minute, I will ask students to in pairs come up with 10 different things that they can associate with the Cold War. 2 minutes - I will ask students what they have found; Then final 2 minutes I will ask a student from each pair to come and write one of their ideas on the board. I will set them a challenge also - If they can tell me why they have chosen their idea, they will gain a reward point/sticker. (See Powerpoint slide 2).

    2. Main lesson: (See Powerpoint slides also)

    a) I will outline learning objectives and ask students to write them in books ( see Powerpoint slides attached) (1 minute) and introduce this lesson (The origins of the Cold War).

    b) I will tell students the key terms: Communism and Capitalism - I will tease them to test what they think these terms mean. (2 minutes).

    c) I will then give a talk for 5 minutes on the origins of the Cold War and sub-topics will focus on: Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, Truman Doctrine and Marshall Aid; Iron Curtain; Berlin Blockade and Airlift; Consequences of Airlift. I will use questions throughout to tease answers from pupils. I will leave some info of slides in order to challenge them (see Powerpont slides 6-21). (I have timed this section but it seems to go well over the time I planned)

    d) I will then give them a source activity to do in groups on their tables with questions (see Powerpoint slide 22). (10 minutes: 8 minutes for students to work on activity and 2 minutes to feedback).

    - If anyone finishes early, I have provided an extension activity after this (see Powerpoint slide 23).

    e) Plenary/End tasks(5 minutes) - They will play a 'hot seat' activity which I called 'Top Secret'. See Powerpoint slide 24 for details of what students have to do. The aim is that students from each table will have 5 seconds each to answer a question. I will also reward the winning group of students with a chocolate bar each or something similar. (If timed properly this activity should amount to just under 3 minutes).

    - Final 2 minutes - I will ask students to write in their books one thing they have learned from this lesson today, and draw a traffic light in their books indicating how they performed (see slides 25 and 26).


    Also, as I understand that there will be mixed abilities in this group, does anyone have any ideas as to how I could possibly differentiate this lesson by any chance to meet the expectations of different needs, as I am struggling to think of what to do, especially for lower ability students?

    I apologise for asking lots of questions here, but I am quite worried, especially as it is my first School Direct interview and first time doing anything like this (and the interview is only 4 days away now), but I would be extremely grateful if someone could please provide me with some advice/help with this.

    Thanks.
    Attached Files
  1. File Type: pptx The Cold War (mini lesson 1).pptx (2.51 MB, 641 views)
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    I'm not a history teacher, but looking through your explanation there seems to be a lot there and I'm worried you might go over time.
    Your main problem in terms of timing is that your timings in your lesson plan haven't taken into account how long YOU will be talking.m or actually putting them into their groups.
    This being said, I would have thought the whole plan you have laid out would go down well for a full hour lesson, but there's too much for a 25 min lesson.

    Lesson objectives.
    How come you have two slides? - I would recommend sticking to have one slides with the All, Most and Some objectives. as your "all" is just your first L.O and your "Most" and "some" combined seem to be your second objective. I only ever have one slide for my objectives and they're in A/M/S format, and have never been pulled up for not having two lots of objectives).

    I rarely ever go through the learning objectives. Most of the time I have them up on the board as they are walking in, settling down and doing the starter. This was something noted in positive parts of my feedback when I've had observations. If you have a white board as well as projector, and you have time to do so before the lesson, it may even be a good idea to have the objectives written on the board.
    Is there a way of making the "some" objective a bit snappier? Something like "Pupils will be able to analyse the significance of events, using this to form opinions on the events".

    Do history teachers usually get students to write the objectives into their books? I don't (and I don't know any other maths teachers who do) get them to do so, as it would take a long time for some of them, and gives them the excuse to have you wait around for them when you're ready to move on for the lesson - but this would also be a good reason to have them written on the white board so they're there the whole time and you don't have to wait on a particular slide..

    Key terms
    What do you mean by "tease them"? You have written the definitions on the board for them, so questioning them will not help. Also, can I please point out that the font you have used is not very good - at least for me (i don't know about others). For me, the letters all join as one and the use of capitals throughout makes it even harder to read.

    Unless the definitions are incorrect in which case I can see how you are then "teasing them". But I don't know myself - lol.
    When it comes to key terms, I usually have them up on the board (without the definitions) and then ask them to volunteer definitions- as your lesson is quite short would stick to a max of three definitions per word. These terms are obviously very important and so I personally feel more than two minutes should be spent on them and ensuring that they actually understand.
    By having two or three people volunteer for each definition, you are able to then have the students expand on each others answers and you can also point out any misconceptions they may have.
    This should, in my opinion, satisfy (in some way) the bit in bold italics that says "how you question their knowledge."


    Starter and Slides 6-21
    Even before looking at the slides (or seeing the "6-21") I could tell you were far too ambitious about only allocating 5 minutes. It seems you have 6-7 sub-topics to talk about. There is no way that you can talk about them in enough detail in lesson than a minute for each sub-topic.

    What you could do instead is:
    Spoiler:
    Show
    (And this should motivate and engage the students) is have an A4 sheet of paper with each of the titles of the slides on - but without the date. As you have 15 slides, and 30 students just have them work in pairs and, using one side of the classroom as a timeline, decide (and hopefully remember) where along a timeline each event occurred and stick them up in the right place using blutac.
    This could take up to 10 minutes. As they will not only have to work in their pairs but as a whole class.
    IF it takes a lot less than 10 minutes, you could have them explain their reasons.



    Actually, if I were to do something like this I would use it as the starter instead of what you had planned as this type of activity would satisfy your first objectivve (which is what I try to get my starters to do). Your starter doesn't appear to satisfy any of your objectives.

    Activity.
    in my opinion, this slide needs reformatting: the 5 w's need to stand out against the rest.
    You should lead instructions with: "discuss in your groups:"
    Also, you need to make sure that thye realise they ALL have to rite their groups' answer in their books rather than only have one person from the group.
    Timing
    Have you taken into account the time it would take to put them into groups and to explain the task to them?
    Have they got a print out of the source? Have you thought about how long it will take to hand out the sources?
    2 minutes for feedback is not enough time; you will have quite a few groups and you should get feedback from each group.


    Hot Seat
    I like this activity and I believe you could actually use it for your plenary as it is testing their understanding.

    Then use your plenary as an extra activity if you have time. As for the traffic light - you are not going to see their books so you need to find out how they are feeling straight away. Either have them show a green/red/amber card (some school diaries have them in) or as "if you are feeling green, put your hand up" etc.
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    (Original post by mjfisher17)
    Hi,

    I have a School Direct interview ( Secondary History) on Friday, and have been told that I have to prepare a mini-lesson for 25 minutes on the topic of the Cold War. I asked the Head of History at the school who would be assessing this activity for info, and he provided me with the following message (in italics):


    "The idea is that you prepare a mini lesson on a topic of your choice from the Cold War. This is open to your own interpretation. This is the process, as what we are looking for is your ability to interact with young people, how you motivate, inspire and challenge their preconceptions and ideas and how you question their knowledge. They will have substantial knowledge of the period as they have completed a unit recently on these topics. Try to create something that allows you to impart knowledge, allows them to develop historical skills and then challenges them to reason against a 'big' picture question. There will be 30 students of mixed ability.

    If I were you I would choice something specific within the period rather than trying to cover too much."


    Firstly, I was wondering if anyone might have any ideas as to how to go about doing the parts highlighted in bold. I have attached my lesson (Powerpoint) to this message. I was wondering, if anyone thinks I might be on the right lines with regards to this teacher's criteria for the mini-lesson overall?

    My mini-lesson idea is going to be on the origins of the Cold War, The mini-lesson is supposed to be 25 minutes long, however, when I timed this, it seemed to run well over this (and was at least 45 minutes long). Below is my lesson plan (also see Powerpoint slides attached). I was wondering if anyone has any ideas as to how to possibly cut this down by any chance, or if there is other approachs I could try that would be more efficient with this topic (in the available time)?

    1. Starter (5 minutes) - For first minute, I will ask students to in pairs come up with 10 different things that they can associate with the Cold War. 2 minutes - I will ask students what they have found; Then final 2 minutes I will ask a student from each pair to come and write one of their ideas on the board. I will set them a challenge also - If they can tell me why they have chosen their idea, they will gain a reward point/sticker. (See Powerpoint slide 2).

    2. Main lesson: (See Powerpoint slides also)

    a) I will outline learning objectives and ask students to write them in books ( see Powerpoint slides attached) (1 minute) and introduce this lesson (The origins of the Cold War).

    b) I will tell students the key terms: Communism and Capitalism - I will tease them to test what they think these terms mean. (2 minutes).

    c) I will then give a talk for 5 minutes on the origins of the Cold War and sub-topics will focus on: Yalta and Potsdam Conferences, Truman Doctrine and Marshall Aid; Iron Curtain; Berlin Blockade and Airlift; Consequences of Airlift. I will use questions throughout to tease answers from pupils. I will leave some info of slides in order to challenge them (see Powerpont slides 6-21). (I have timed this section but it seems to go well over the time I planned)

    d) I will then give them a source activity to do in groups on their tables with questions (see Powerpoint slide 22). (10 minutes: 8 minutes for students to work on activity and 2 minutes to feedback).

    - If anyone finishes early, I have provided an extension activity after this (see Powerpoint slide 23).

    e) Plenary/End tasks(5 minutes) - They will play a 'hot seat' activity which I called 'Top Secret'. See Powerpoint slide 24 for details of what students have to do. The aim is that students from each table will have 5 seconds each to answer a question. I will also reward the winning group of students with a chocolate bar each or something similar. (If timed properly this activity should amount to just under 3 minutes).

    - Final 2 minutes - I will ask students to write in their books one thing they have learned from this lesson today, and draw a traffic light in their books indicating how they performed (see slides 25 and 26).


    Also, as I understand that there will be mixed abilities in this group, does anyone have any ideas as to how I could possibly differentiate this lesson by any chance to meet the expectations of different needs, as I am struggling to think of what to do, especially for lower ability students?

    I apologise for asking lots of questions here, but I am quite worried, especially as it is my first School Direct interview and first time doing anything like this (and the interview is only 4 days away now), but I would be extremely grateful if someone could please provide me with some advice/help with this.

    Thanks.
    The first thing that comes to mind is death by powerpoint! You have way too many slides for only 25 minutes. This will not keep the pupils engaged.

    The second thing is that you have a good 5-10 minutes when you're just talking and them and sometimes asking questions. Don't do this, this is too teacher-led. You need to get the students to do something! The activity the poster above suggested is good. Also, bear in mind that they've just completed a unit on this so they should have a lot of prior knowledge anyway, they don't need you to lecture them about it.

    The Hot Seat activity will most likely take about 10 minutes, once you've sorted them into groups and explained it etc. You will also need to be very strict on behaviour at this point! It is a good idea to have a competitive group element though, the kids should like that and engage with it.

    Your plenary (traffic lights) is good, but needs to be more immediate. You could give them different coloured cards or if they have mini whiteboards they could just write 'red' 'amber' or 'green' on them so you could see their feelings straight away. You could also question a few of them about why they have chosen that colour, what they feel went wrong/well. You could then talk about this in the interview - e.g. there were a few reds so I feel I could have done this, or this to help them feel more secure in their knowledge.
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    I also think that you have far too much going on. Too many slides and too much talking from you. Why are they writing the LO etc in their books? Do they actually do any work in their books? I think less writing and more discussion would be better (as you won't be able to assess learning from their books). 25 minutes will be over before you know it!
    Good luck!
 
 
 
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