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The Five W’s

David Carpenter

16th July 2013

This is an excellent idea that can be easily adapted for a variety of lesson situations, helping to ensure students are engaged and that their notes are structured and focused.

Last week I was lucky enough to spend half an hour watching one of the excellent History teachers at our school in action, and I was really impressed with this idea and wanted to share it with you all. It can be adapted for a variety of situations and subjects.

The 5 W's are:

  1. Who
  2. What
  3. When
  4. Why
  5. Where

During this lesson, the concept was used in 2 different ways:

1. Watching a video as an introduction to the lesson: Students were learning about the conflict in Serbia, but they didn't yet know that. They were shown a video interview with a survivor of the conflict and had to make notes on the 5 W's in order to identify what the topic and objectives of the lesson were.

2. As part of a group work activity, students were given information about different groups of people involved in the conflict. The students had to read through their information and identify those 5 W's, before then sharing them with the rest of the class.

In Business and Economics lessons, we regularly watch short BBC news videos and read newspaper articles- so I can think of loads of excellent situations where I could use this activity. In particular, I can see how it helps to focus students' attention when they're watching or reading.

Thank you Hayley!

Why not give this a go in your classroom?

David Carpenter

Teacher of Economics and Business at Chislehurst and Sidcup Grammar School in Kent. Always interested in new ideas and methods for teaching these subjects, as well as keeping up to date with the latest news.

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