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A range of starter activities for use in Media Studies.

Research continues to show the importance of a lesson starter, having a significant and direct impact on the quality of learning.  It's good to use a variety of stimulus material throughout a scheme of work to continually arouse interest.  This can be a range of visual sources, texts, stories and even music.  Used effectively, these starters can act as connector between other lessons and episodes.

The most effective starter is one which engages on a students own personal experience.  Add to the fact that the best class management techniques can be seen in a lesson that has structure, having a starter already up on the board or on the desk is a great way for settling learners, especially with punctuality issues.


  1. Have a list of scrolling images connected to the topic you are studying playing as students enter the room.
  2. Play appropriate music linked to the topic
  3. set a question or a puzzle - I like 'The tedious link' where candidates must try and connect a range of still images and text
  4. Vocabulary search - choose several words from the previous lesson and jumble up the letters.  Students can pair up to unscramble words - is also good to create a keyword mystery, eg; perrensetoait, edocne, nigfiseir...
  5. ranking exercises - provide a bank of nine statements relating to previous work and ask to create rank order OR collect in traingular or diamond form (ie, most important, two equally important, three essential...)
  6. Set some revision questions for students entering the classroom early to be getting on with, you'll set a positive tone and environment by doing this.
  7. Post-it snowstorm - get students to write down questions they had from last lesson or use this as a response/ice breaker to a question listed on the board
  8. Question Wall - simliar to the above but can be addressed throughout the lesson and you can invite students to come up at any point with questions about the session or to plug gaps in understanding.
  9. Envelope sorting activity - inside are key words and definitions and...you guessed it, they're all jumbled up
  10. Glossary - students add new terminology or write key words from last lesson in a blank glossary sheet or continue to develop one.
  11. What happens next? Play a clip or music track and stop it at a key moment.  Ask students to talk about what will happen next and explain their reasoning.
  12. pass the parcel - well, not quite.  A series of images are passed around the room carousel style.  Each student must ask a question of the object beneath the image, but must be different to what's already been written.  Good for discussion at later phase and linking to bigger topic.
  13. Question answer cards - one student has the question and must walk round the room to find the student with the answer.
  14. Time limited brainstorming - use a countdown clock to see what students know about a topic
  15. Have a humourous cartoon linked to the topic up on screen

List to follow...

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