Twitter is an intriguing place. For all the general chat and points of view that most people associate with the format, there are also some real gems.
A #pedagoofriday post from @LearningSpy about using hexagons for work for ‘An Inspector Calls’ piqued my interest and, via a quick tweet, led me to his blog post on Hexagonal Learning as well as a range of references to follow up on SOLO taxonomy from @Totallywired77 amongst others.
This seemed just what I needed to bridge the gap with my lower Y11 group between knowing things about ‘Animal Farm‘ and being able to make the type of links they needed to achieve higher grades. So I thought I would give it a go.
I decided to focus on the character of Boxer and used the SMART board (shapes and infinite cloning) to give them a brief demonstration. At the start of the lesson I had given the group a sheet with the SOLO levels on it and discussed them briefly. The class were allowed to choose their own groups and were given a selection of pre-cut out hexagons. We started by identifying a range of points and quotations about Boxer (multistructural) and then I asked what they needed to do to move up a level – make links. This is a class, who can be challenging, with grades ranging from F to D. They all worked brilliantly discussing the points and making links (relational) with only a minimum amount of input from me.
Part way through the lesson, a member of SMT popped in – they left and returned with another member of staff to show them what I was doing! Now that has never happened before.
That was just the start. The use of hexagons and SOLO have spread throughout the English department in a matter of weeks, and were commented on positively during a mock OfSted inspection. This has definitely become part of my teaching repertoire; I have rarely found anything that works with pupils of all abilities and levels like this.