Lockdown Learning? Let’s mix it up!

Activity Wheel

Want to make home learning a bit more varied and allow pupils a bit of choice, and maybe a bit of fun too? Or perhaps even before lockdown you were using a “takeaway menu” style of homework, giving students options to pick from? Imagine a spinning wheel or “picker” so that students could get a random selection from a number of pre-assigned choices. Sound good?

We recently made an activity wheel for a school website and it has been so popular that we decided add it to the CMS for all of our schools! Here you can see one in action

Each wheel can have between 3 and 10 ‘segments’ and each segment can include a title, a description, and an optional link to another website or another page within your school website. Imagine the possibilities! What would you use yours for? We have come up with a whole host of ideas, along with some specifically for World Book Day.

Here are a few ideas we have been mulling over, and have seen in action on some of our school websites:

  1. Lesson links – randomly choose a lesson for a “free” choice lesson. Add links to lessons from free resources such as BBC Bitesize of Oak National Academy. Maybe some options that students do not usually get in school such as Latin!
  2. Game time – to replace Golden Time options in school on Friday afternoon maybe link some games for them to play online at home
  3. Screen-free time ideas – have a range of ideas for something the whole family can do at home which does not involve screens (once they have used the activity wheel!) such as baking, building a den, or a craft activity
  4. Snow-day options – build a snowman, have a distanced snowball fight, go sledging…loads of ideas to turn a snow day into a fun day for families. 
  5. Character/Settings pickers for story time – each segment could be a setting or character. Spin the wheel three times then write a story incorporating the three characters/settings which were chosen
  6. Music video picker – for music class link some music videos from YouTube or other for them to watch at home. Set some follow up work or just ask them to have a little dance at home to lift spirits (and sneak in some exercise away from the laptop a bit!)
  7. Sports videos – random selection of a choice of sports skills videos – ones they can easily practice at home
  8. Art videos – lots of great videos online teach students how to draw specific animals or scenes. Random select one to draw at home. Share the results on the learning platform or via the website photo galleries!
  9. Kindness Challenges – the wheel picks from a choice of actions students can do to promote kindness at home/in the community. Help a parent with the washing up, or write a card for someone in a local care home to drop through the letterbox.
  10. Language picker – encourage learning a new language by linking to a number of Beginners lesson videos or podcasts online

And here are a few ideas with World Book Day in mind:

  1. A book recommendations carousel – each segment has the name of a book which is available to borrow from school or access from an online e-book library such as Oxford Owl for younger children or Project Gutenberg for older students. 
  2. Story Time – each segment can link to a video of a teacher reading a book for children at home. Make sure to check copyright – some books are past copyright and other authors and publishers are allowing schools special permission to read books to students learning from home during lockdowns
  3. Opening lines – have an opening line of a book on each segment. Students need to find out which book the line comes from and either read the book or write a story based on that opening line
  4. Genre picker – each segment is a different genre of literature. Students must then read a book/piece from that genre OR write a piece themselves for that genre
  5. Recreate a scene from a famous book – the picker chooses the scene (maybe with a link to a YouTube video of the movie adaptation version) and the family can then recreate the scene in photo/video/artwork for to submit for a competition
  6. Character picker – random selection of a character from a book linking to a description of them. Students to draw the character or write a letter as the character to another character from the book
  7. Students reading books – ask students to submit (unlisted on YouTube or Google drive or similar) videos for you to link to so that families can watch readings or re-enactments from students, as well as teachers!

We are sure you can think of loads of other ideas too but we hope that has given you some inspiration. To get your wheel set up follow the instructions on our help page

Let us know how you’re using your Activity Wheel as we would love to share even more ideas!

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