Live revision! Join us for our free exam revision livestreams Watch now

Teaching activity

Hit the Ground Running: A Great Induction Activity for New Students

David Blainey

30th August 2016

Over the years I have experimented with various induction activities that all have the same central goal - get new students comfortable with each other and with you. Some have involved blowing up balloons and building paper structures but, as always, these can be time consuming to prep. For the last few years I have used some lateral thinking puzzles to be solved in small groups.

Lateral Thinking Puzzles - Student Worksheet (Word)

Lateral Thinking Puzzles - Answers (Word)

Hopefully they are tough enough to spark conversation but not so impossible that students simply give up. Most groups achieved between 3 and 5 correct answers (to date no group has got number 5), and there is usually some lively conversation as a result.

Although the central aim of this is to get students talking, there is also an opportunity to contextualise the puzzles. Quite often if a group did not get one of the answers right it is due to the fact that they assumed something to be the case without knowing for sure.

Questions 1, 2 and 6 can be developed into a discussion around gender stereotypes. Once the answers have been discussed and exasperated at, you can then ask students to read over and summarise the follow up text. I ask for this to be done individually so you can then read some written work from each student and they can begin to develop their summarising skills.

You can then explain to, and discuss with, students how much of sociology is based on looking at the world from different perspectives. You can also emphasise the importance of not make assumptions. This also helps to set the expectation that in lessons students will be a) thinking, b) writing and c) discussing.

Hope you like it. Thanks to Sociology Central for the sociological thinking extract.

© 2002-2024 Tutor2u Limited. Company Reg no: 04489574. VAT reg no 816865400.