Having bright ideas for what might make a fun and interesting approach is one thing. Knowing when it is most appropriate to use them is quite another. Clearly the key consideration must relate to the way the activity helps pupils to reach the learning objectives that you have set. There are many ways of doing this of course. There is no orthodoxy. Usually we learn by experience. Sometimes we need to be introduced to new techniques, hence the massive section on 100 Great Teaching Ideas. Sometimes we need to exercise a little more caution in using activities which are in danger of being over-used. Two quite unconnected issues need raising here. The first relates to what is now commonly called a card sort activity; the other to the dreaded three part lesson. Both have all the hall-marks of being up-to-date, desirable teaching approaches, but both have serious flaws if applied unthinkingly.
Personalised learning in history at KS3
To build effectively on what students bring to the classroom, it is always useful to start a new topic by exploring individual students’ existing perceptions, as well as activating prior knowledge. You might want to do this systematically as in the example shown