Many schools have cupboards full of textbooks which don’t quite hit the mark anymore.   As we move towards a more active approach in our classrooms, they are pushed to the back and start gathering dust.  However, even if they are not exactly appropriate to your way of teaching, there are still lots of ways you can make use of them as inspiration for more active activities.

Below is a list of ways you could re-purpose them in lessons.  I would love to hear examples of how you use and re-purpose old resources in a new way in your classroom so leave a comment below.

  • Write a better question – Ask them to write replacement questions for part of a page which are better than the ones given.  They have to look at the skill being practised and what comes before/after to make sure it fits in.  They have to be able to justify why they think it is better.
  • Common Errors – Ask pupils to look at some pages and think what the most common errors pupils would make as they work through them.  They have to write explanations to help others avoid these mistakes.
  • From easiest to hardest – Copy and cut up several questions from pages and ask the pupils to arrange them in order from easiest to hardest.  They have to justify their order.  You could then ask them to write a few questions which would come next so even harder.
  • Homework Challenge – Give a number of textbook pages and ask them to devise a suitable homework activity that would follow on from this learning.
  • Top Tips – Write a top tips leaflet or design a poster to help pupils work through several pages or a unit of work.
  • Make a game –  Look at a unit in a teaxtbook and pupils design a board game to practise the skills in the unit.
  • Before or after – The pupils write a page which could come before or after this page to either build up the skills or extend them.
  • Make a context – Take a page which is only calculations. Ask them to think of a context to set this in and to re-write the questions as word problems.
  • Glossary – Look at pages and write a glossary of terms which are used.  Then create a word search or crossword to help pupils practise those words.
  • Other classes – Write the page which would be done by a class the year before or the year after on a related topic.
  • Real Life Uses – Give pupils a page and they draw a cartoon strip of people using these skills in real life.
  • Problems and Challenges – Write a problem-solving activity which pupils would do after this page.
  • Playground Game – The pupils design a playground game or activity which could practise this skill.
  • Website Support – Challenge the pupils to find a website which explains or helps to practise the same skill as the page.
  • Combine the pages – Give pupils at least 3 pages to focus on and ask them to write one page which combines all the skills they practise.  It could be on a related topic or different topics.
  • Equipment Examples – Pupils create an equipment list and instructions on how to use each to help you with the pages e.g. calculators, hundred squares, rulers etc.
  • Become the teacher – Ask pupils to look at a textbook page and they are going to teach another group the next day how to complete it.  What skills do they need to know before they can do it?  How will you teach them?
  • 2 stars and a wish – Ask pupils to write a 2 stars and a wish evaluation to the publisher of the textbook.  They could focus on a unit or the whole book!
  • Textbook Time Travel – Imagine you are a time traveller and you are taking this textbook to be used a hundred years in the past or in the future.   Re-write the questions into word problems that you think will be relevant for the pupils then.
  • Textbook Jigsaw – Photocopy lots of different pages on different topics and cut them up.  Shuffle all the questions and the pupils have to put them back together again into matching topics.
  • Sick Classmate – Imagine someone in your group is off sick today and the teacher is going to send this page home to them.  Write them a note explaining what they have to do and explaining the important learning points they missed in the lesson.
  • Make a Quiz – Pupils create a set of questions which can be used as a class quiz following on from a unit of work or textbook page.  You could ask them to grade them from easier to more difficult to use in a Millionaire style game e.g. what would a £1000 pound question be compared to a million pound question?
  • Loop Cards – Pupils create a set of loop cards or dominoes which use similar questions to those used in the textbook page.
  • Traffic Lights – Pupils look at a page and traffic light each question to show how hard it is.  Then they write a comment for each of the red questions to describe why they were hardest e.g. numbers used, vocabulary, amount to be written.

 

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