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I stuck yellow stars underneath the chairs and told the children to go and choose somewhere to sit. I started to tell them the story using diary extracts, and asked them to discuss it with a friend- but they could not talk to anyone with a star under their chair - they had to answer the questions completely alone. Everyone came back together and children discussed how it felt to be left out. I got some excellent vocabulary and discussion. They asked brilliant questions and helped each other to answer them, referring to the diary. There was a great debate about the rights and wrongs of treating each other differently. It went on much longer than planned and got so much more from it than I had expected.
As a class they had so much empathy, and great debating skills which we used to discuss Guy Fawkes, ELizabeth 1st etc.
Just to add to the context as well, this was in a school where many of the class had english as a second language, and the children in school were from very impoverished backgrounds with poor literacy skills, so I was very pleased with them, especially as my partner teacher (the dep head) had planned a different lesson for her class coz she said our children would get nothing from my idea. Glad I ignored her! Got a lot more respect from her after that as well- so did the kids.
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