What to do:
is a strategy works
extremely well with learners of all abilities.
Although it’s very simple to sabotage a lesson it does require a little thought and planning – and confidence!
Here are a few quick and easy ideas on how to sabotage your lesson INTENTIONALLY:
- missing out a vital resource in a practical
- not providing a full set of instructions
(written or verbal);
- making deliberate/obvious mistakes with what
- not providing enough of what’s needed for
- leaving things in the wrong place;
- mis-numbering instructions;
- deliberate errors in written
instructions/information provided by you;
- disorganised resources;
- incorrect resources;
- mismatched information/instructions and
- disconnected cables/power sockets switched
off for essential electrical equipment;
- missing furniture/seats.
aims of this strategy is to get the learners thinking for themselves, solving
problems, communicating and developing their confidence, independence and
It’s great for getting them working together, sharing
and helping each other.
first time you try this you WILL have to lead them to the sabotaged part of the acitvity and walk through what is wrong, how it’s wrong, why it matters and how
it can be fixed.
After all, they are probably used to you being the
expert who knows all the answers and makes everything right!
learners miss your sabotage, then you may have to make it obvious to them that
there is something not quite right… cue hammy acting!
soon pick up that their teacher is not infallible and, sometimes, they know or
can do something better than you. This seems to be the bit that the
learners really enjoy – pointing out your mistakes and showing/telling you what
you have done wrong. It can lead to all sorts of great opportunities for
exploring their learning and getting them talking: ‘so why do you think
there is something wrong with that?’, ‘what do you need?’, ‘why do you need
it?’, ‘what else could you do/use?’, ‘what’s missing?’, ‘where is it?’, ‘who
has it?’ etc.
may want to sabotage different parts of the lesson for different
groups/abilities/tasks in different ways. Give it a go – it’s great fun!
Labels: group work, Independent learning