Human Linking Chains

Idea from: Nicola Jones (Head of Geography)
Who is it for?  
Teachers of pupils in year 10 and 11 primarily but it could be used in years 9 and 12 where longer essays and explanations are being written.
Outline of idea:  I wanted to develop exam techniques in year 11 revision sessions that were different, interesting and required a more active and kinaesthetic approach to developing their exam technique and explanation skills.  Students therefore focus on how they link their ideas together, what it means to explain them fully and link them back to the question being set.
How it works: An exam question is written on the board. Students then get themselves into small groups or can work in rows. Students are provided with mini whiteboards or A4 plain paper as an alternative, and a set of cards which have linking words written on them, for example: therefore, this means that, as a result of, because of this, a consequence of this is.

  • Each person in the group is given a linking statement card.
  • The first person writes on their mini whiteboard the first sentence to answer the question.
  • The next person starts off the next sentence to answer the question (normally a description e.g. an impact from a case study example of a natural disaster they have studied). They then hold up a linking statement card to explain the point further.
  • The next person then writes what this could lead to on their mini whiteboard. For example, how the impact from the natural disaster impacts on a country’s level of development.
  • The next person then holds up another linking statement and so on.
  • Students would stand in lines holding all their linking statements and mini whiteboards to show an answer to an exam question.

This worked well in my lesson. They developed an understanding of exam technique, what explanations and linking of their ideas meant and how to do it but in a fun and interactive way.

Next steps:  You could try this on a variety of scales. For example three people for a 3 mark question, 4 people for a 4 mark, the whole class for an essay!