Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

My Best Lesson - Wacky Lesson Plans Come to Friday Fruition

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

My Best Lesson - Wacky Lesson Plans Come to Friday Fruition

Article excerpt

My bottom set class of 15-year-olds came with warnings. "They will destroy you," prophesied one slightly theatrical colleague. "Just be... firm," offered another, with a sympathetic smile. With 20 excitable boys, two meek girls and an eclectic collection of educational and behavioural needs, our lessons unfailingly loopy. Except on Friday afternoons.

At the end of every week, half the class were packed off to college for the day, leaving me with a far more manageable group of 10 and a vague mission to "work on grammar skills". And so Fruit Friday was born.

The idea was straightforward: use fruit as prompts for reading and writing. I would hit the market late on a Thursday night and stock up on cut-price pomegranates, mangoes and other eats I hoped would pique their interest. After a sticky first week, I remembered to grab some hand wipes, too.

We started with the basics - use a complex sentence to describe the aroma of the passion fruit; choose five pieces of punctuation to use in a paragraph about the blackberry's flavour - before building up over the term to some truly brilliant short stories, poems and a bizarre haiku or two. …

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