Discussion points

A range of resources that are particularly good for prompting class discussion

Resource focusing on the question 'Is the internet an addictive drug?'  The PowerPoint consists a video link and written stimulus to evoke thought and discussion.  Looking at the relationship we have with our phones versus people; our use of internet enabled devices, 'every minute of every day' and Social Media depression. 

Editor's note

In addition to being an excellent discussion prompt the PPT also includes several short texts for useful reading practice. The linked video is very powerful, relying on visual observation rather than listening skills.

Level
L1
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
FE SL&C Discussion
L1.1 Identify relevant information and lines of argument in explanations or presentations
L1.4 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and accurately on a range of topics
L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
L1.6 Follow and understand discussions and make contributions relevant to the situation and the subject
L2.1 Identify relevant information from extended explanations or presentations
L2.2 Follow narratives and lines of argument
L2.5 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and effectively, providing further detail and development if required
L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
A8 Listen and respond
Context
Mental health and psychology
Electrical, Electronics & Technology

I created this L2 Functional Skills resource a couple of years ago for a  young adult group that used particularly 'salty' language. As well as a reading comprehension task, it led to some fruitful discussion about swearing in general, appropriate use of language with different audiences, and facilitated the setting of some mutually agreed ground rules.

Level
L2
English
FE L2.11 Identify the different situations when the main points are sufficient and when it is important to have specific details
L2.15 Use a range of reference materials and appropriate resources (e.g. glossaries, legends/keys) for different purposes, including to find the meanings of words in straightforward and complex sources
FE L2.16 Understand organisational features and use them to locate relevant information in a range of straightforward and complex sources
FE L2.17 Analyse texts, of different levels of complexity, recognising their use of vocabulary and identifying levels of formality and bias
FE L2.18 Follow an argument, identifying different points of view and distinguishing fact from opinion
FE SL&C Discussion
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
History

Updated 11 Mar 21

Related 'Garden Birds' word search now added. This extra activity is based on the "Guide to the top 10 garden birds" poster that appears on page 2  of the Entry Level 1 resource.

Two reading comprehension exercises differentiated for EL1 and EL2/3 Functional Skills English. The Entry Level 1 version also includes speaking and listening activities.

Level
E1
E2
E3
English
FE E1.1 Say the names of the letters of the alphabet
FE E1.4 Make requests and ask straightforward questions using appropriate terms and registers
FE E1.5 Respond to questions about specific information
FE E1.6 Make clear statements about basic information and communicate feelings and opinions on straightforward topics
FE E1.9 Read simple sentences containing one clause
FE E1.10 Understand a short piece of text on a simple subject
FE E2.8 Understand the main points in texts
E2.11 Read and understand sentences with more than one clause
FE E3.9 Identify, understand and extract the main points and ideas in and from texts
FE E3.11 Use effective strategies to find the meaning of words (e.g. a dictionary, working out meaning from context; using knowledge of different word types)
E1.7 Understand and participate in simple discussions or exchanges with another person about a straightforward topic
FE E3.12 Understand organisational features and use them to locate relevant information (e.g. contents, index, menus, tabs and links)
E3.10 Identify different purposes of straightforward texts
FE E1.8 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 1
FE E2.7 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 2
FE E3.8 Read correctly words designated for Entry Level 3
E2.10 Use effective strategies to find the meaning of words and check their spelling (e.g. a simple dictionary, spell-checker)
Context
Science, Nature & Weather
Mental health and psychology

In a world where social media is everywhere and in our lives day and night the impact of this on people as individuals can be a mixture of positivity and negativity. For a lot of people the impact of the promotion of having the ‘perfect body’ whether you are male / female can have a devastating impact for example bullying, mental health and worst case scenario suicide.  So how can we improve / promote a more positive image using social media and support male / fema

Level
L1
L2
English
L1.4 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and accurately on a range of topics
L1.5 Express opinions and arguments and support them with evidence
L1.6 Follow and understand discussions and make contributions relevant to the situation and the subject
L2.5 Communicate information, ideas and opinions clearly and effectively, providing further detail and development if required
L2.6 Express opinions and arguments and support them with relevant and persuasive evidence
L2.8 Make relevant and constructive contributions to move discussion forward
FE READING understanding and locating information
FE Writing composition
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
Mental health and psychology
Voluntary & Charity

Suits ESOL students at Entry 3+.  It creates plenty of scope for  further work e.g.

Level
E2
E3
L1
ESOL
ESOL Sc/E2.3f Give a short description
ESOL Sc/E3.4f Give a short description and make comparisons
ESOL Sc/L1.3e Describe and compare
ESOL Ws/E2.2a Use adjectives
General ESOL
General
Generic resources for literacy, numeracy and beyond
Context
Art Film Media Music TV

A topical resource that requires students to interpret a news infographic and calculate the difference between two times. There is also a second question for Level 2 learners on Speed, Distance, Time. As well as enabling students to practise time calculations it can lead to discussion about this controversial rail project.

Editor's notes

Really topical and interesting. With curriculum mapping. No answer sheet.

Level
L1
L2
Maths
FM Straightforward problem(s) with more than 1 step
FM Complex multi-step problem(s)
FM L1.20 Convert between units of length, weight, capacity, money and time, in the same system
L2.15 Calculate using compound measures including speed, density and rates of pay
Context
Leisure Travel Tourism
Motor vehicles & Transport

This is a speaking and listening activity written in the style of the NCFE reformed Functional Skills assessment.  It is based on the 'Happy News: It's not all bad' reading resource previously published on skillsworkshop. Three task are covered: presentation (talk), Q&A session and a formal discussion. 

Editor's notes

Level
L1
English
FE SL&C Speaking
FE SL&C Active listening
FE SL&C Discussion
Context
News, Politics & Government items

A reading, writing, listening and discussion task. The topic is skills at risk and the older generation. Comprehension questions focus on the gist. The grammar focus is passive voice verbs. Learners will discuss and write sentences about their skills, and will write about traditional skills that are in danger of dying out.

Level
L1
L2
ESOL
General ESOL
ESOL Engage in discussion
ESOL Sc/L1.3a Express statements of fact
ESOL Sc/L1.3b Give factual accounts
ESOL Sc/L2.4b Give factual accounts 
ESOL Lr/L1.2d Listen for grammatical detail
ESOL Lr/L2.2d Listen for grammatical detail
ESOL Rs/L2.1a Use implicit & explicit grammatical knowledge to help follow meaning and purpose of different texts
ESOL Ws/L2.1a
Context
Catering Food Nutrition
Art Film Media Music TV

These two lessons explore the Windrush Scandal. 

The video gives an opportunity to listen for gist and detail, and is followed by a focus on sentence stress and intonation.

The article gives an opportunity for learners to analyse the purpose of the text and look at persuasive techniques, and is accompanied by a vocabulary from context exercise.

Level
L1
L2
GCSE L1-5
English
L2.1 Identify relevant information from extended explanations or presentations
L2.2 Follow narratives and lines of argument
FE L2.11 Identify the different situations when the main points are sufficient and when it is important to have specific details
FE L1.13 Use reference materials & appropriate strategies for a range of purposes, inc. to find word meanings
FE L1.17 Read and understand a range of specialist words in context
FE L2.14 Understand the relationship between textual features and devices, and how they can be used to shape meaning for different audiences and purposes
GCSE Reading A1 (a) Identify and interpret
GCSE Reading A2 Analyse language & structure
ESOL
ESOL Lr/L1.1a Extract information from texts of varying genre, e.g. radio, TV
ESOL Lr/L1.2e Listen for phonological detail
ESOL Lr/L1.6b Follow a discussion without participating e.g. on TV
ESOL Lr/L2.1a Extract information from extended texts in a non-face-to-face context, e.g. radio
ESOL Lr/L2.2a Listen to a narrative or conversation
ESOL Lr/L2.2e Listen for phonological detail
ESOL Rw/L1.2a
ESOL Rt/L1.2a Know how language and other textual features are used to achieve different purposes
ESOL Rw/L2.3a
ESOL Rt/L2.2a Identify the purposes of a wide range of texts, whether inferred or explicitly stated
Context
News, Politics & Government items

This is a project based on Benford's law. I had this idea after watching the Numberphile series on YouTube. This is a project based activity that involves many skills including working with large numbers, using percentages, representing data and probability.

The investigation is introduced to learners using the PPT (and optional YouTube links). Learners then split into four groups - each is given a random set of  share prices [see Excel file].  Each group investigates the occurrence of numbers starting with each digit from 1 to 9.

Editor's note

Level
L1
L2
Maths
FM Complex multi-step problem(s)
FM L1.1 Read, write, order and compare large numbers (up to one million)
FM L1.14 Calculate percentages of quantities, including simple percentage increases and decreases by 5% and multiples thereof
L1.15 Estimate answers to calculations using fractions and decimals
L1.27 Represent discrete data in tables, diagrams and charts including pie charts, bar charts and line graphs
L1.28 Group discrete data and represent grouped data graphically
L1.30 Understand probability on a scale from 0 (impossible) to 1 (certain) and use probabilities to compare the likelihood of events
L1.31 Use equally likely outcomes to find the probabilities of simple events and express them as fractions
Context
Business & Money management