You gave pupils, in pairs, envelopes with four pieces of paper in each. 

Yes, I wanted them to develop their team working skills.

Ok. How did that help?

They … well, they had to take out the piece of paper, and, er …

That helped to develop team working skills?

Yeah. Yes. That was the idea. 

Right, and how long did that take them? Was there discussion about who would open the envelopes first? Did they have to come up with a plan?

No, not really. I guess they just opened, um, …

Opened the envelopes?


Yeah. And on a scale of 1-10, 10 being brilliant, how well did that work?

Well, not well, I guess, but you’ve atomised it a bit. The way you’ve framed them opening the envelopes, rather than the whole task, well it makes it sound silly.

Opening envelopes to develop teamwork sounds silly.


Yeah, you’re right. I can see that. So tell me what happened next. I don’t want to atomise the task, so tell me what happened. Let’s look at the big picture.

Ok, well then they had the four pieces of paper and then they had to arrange them into the correct order.

Right. And how challenging a task was that, do you think?

Well, they, they hadn’t seen the image before.

And what was the image?

The whole thing? All four made up an image of a plate celebrating the British Empire.

Did it matter that they hadn’t previously seen this image? 

It might have, yes.

It might have how?

I mean, maybe if there were, erm …

More than four pieces of paper to put together?

Yes. I guess I should have chopped them up a bit more. But it took ages!

How long did it take each pair?

Maybe a minute?

That long?

Maybe. I’m not sure. Again, I should have chopped the image into smaller pieces.

And this was to develop teamwork?


What do you think now?

It seems a bit of a waste of time, but I like the activity. I just need to rethink it. Maybe spend some more time on it.

How did the activity develop their understanding of history?

Um. Well, er, they all got to see a plate.

They all got to see a plate.


Different plates?


Right. Ok, so if you were teaching that again …

How would I make it better? How would I make it more successful? What would I change?

Exactly! Yes! What would you do?

Well, I like the activity so I think I’d definitely chop up more pieces …