Author Archives: Gemma Harvey

Alphabet Challenge

I have always been a great believer in activities that have a big impact on learning but take little preparation. Often our time as teachers is being pulled in many directions so it is always good to have a few tasks that only need you to photo copy a sheet of A4, or hand out a sheet of paper, and leave the rest to the pupils. This activity can be done as a starter or plenary and is really simple but effective.

It allows for the pupils to reflect on the topic they are studying in a fun but challenging way, but also allows you to assess learning, challenge and stretch the more able and assist those who have not fully grasped a topic.

A4 sheet of the alphabet (you can find many images on google that can be linked to your subject or topic eg musical alphabet).

How it works
Each pupil has an alphabet sheet and under timed conditions they have to think of a word that begins with ever letter of the alphabet to do with the topic they have been studying. They will have to get very creative with the x’s and y’s but that is all part of the game. As the pupils are completing the task it gives you the opportunity to challenge their learning by questioning their word choice, or to assist pupils who are struggling. When a pupil feels they have finished you must check all the words are valid, and if they are correct they are rewarded.

You could vary this task in a number of ways –

  • The winner of the task could then become an assistant and move around the class helping others.
  • Could be used as a group challenge, where each group is given a different area to create an alphabet for.
  • Can be used as part of revision, with a specific topics set for each group to create an alphabet sheet and then present to the class who can judge their credibility.