Could You Teach Naked?
Every September it seems like there’s a new Whole School Initiative hitting the fan. As the Headteacher takes the podium on that first inset day, you hold your breath, waiting to find out what new, quirky trend will permeate your staff meetings for the year ahead…
But what if your headteacher stood up and told you that this month is all about #NakedTeaching?...
Are you game for it?
What is #NakedTeaching?
Ok, so I know I’m kind of known for controversial titles (see here and here), but no… it isn’t anything dodgy. #Naked Teaching is imagining – just for a short time – what it would be like to have to teach without any resources. I’m one of the trustees of the charity, World Wide Education Project which helps to provide an education for children in areas where school resources are scarce or non-existent. #NakedTeaching is about liberating yourself from physical resources, unshackling yourself from the whiteboard, releasing the learners from desks and freeing the learning space of worksheets, textbooks – everything!
So ask yourself: what would you teach and how would you teach it if, like teachers in impoverished communities around the world, you had no resources to rely on?
What is #NakedTeachingDay?
#NakedTeaching Day on Friday 30th September is an opportunity for schools across the UK to raise awareness of the plight of children who attend makeshift schools in slums, under bridges and in refugee camps. It’s a chance for teachers to stick the supplies back in the store cupboard, unleash their inventiveness and undress their lessons. You could even take the kids outside and lose the walls and the chairs too!
And remember, like most activities that include the word “naked”, someone has to be the first to take the plunge!... So don’t dither shyly waiting to find out if your colleague down the corridor is going to partake – set the ball rolling yourself! Let your colleagues know that #NakedTeachingDay is coming! Build up the tension and create some anticipation in your school! Friday 30th September is the day to take some exciting risks and skip unfettered onto that cordoned-off section of the scholastic beach you’ve always wanted to try. ;)
To kickstart your #NakedTeaching escapades, try one of these 5-minute resource-free teaching strategies that can be adapted to teach just about anything: (But beware – as #NakedTeaching goes, the following ideas are hardcore because they don’t even involve paper or pens…)
1. In pairs, learners sit facing each other and try to score points based on tennis scoring by coming up with words or ideas relating to a particular topic e.g. “features of persuasive writing” or “facts about the Tudors”. .As soon as hesitation or repetition occurs the opponent gets the points. This can be used for revision or to establish what pupils already know.
2. Ask learners to choose a fact/quote/number/word/question/idea relating to the subject matter that they can repeat over and over out loud. Learners must get up, move around and speak their piece to as many of their classmates as possible. Each time they exchange an utterance, they must look for the links between what each of them has said. If they think carefully enough they will always find a way to link the two things together!
3. Call out statements and ask learners to sit down if they think the statement is false and remain standing if they believe it to be true. This can be used to test understanding and knowledge, but can also be used to encourage personal response. Ask learners to turn to the person next to them and justify which position they chose or explain how they “knew”.
4. In groups, learners make up a song/chant/rap to revise their learning in a topic so far. They should connect key ideas with catchy tunes and rhythms to make concepts doubly memorable. If the kids are brave enough, let them perform their Number 1 Hits to other classmates!
5. Create a Sound Collage by asking learners to bow their heads and close their eyes. As you circulate around the space, tap random learners on the shoulder. As each person is tapped (and you can revisit certain people!), they call out their “most interesting idea or question” about the topic. Once the sound collage is finished, learners open their eyes and are asked to consider and discuss some of the “anonymous” ideas and questions they heard.
#NakedTeachingDay is organised by the World Wide Education Project. We’re hoping that your school can raise awareness and funds for the impoverished children around the world that we are currently supporting. And come up with some new ideas for their teachers too! See here for how you can donate.
Have a look here to see how you can help the fabulous Lisa Jane Ashes use #NakedTeaching to raise funds to educate children in Ghana who have nothing.
And have a look here to learn a little about our project in the Calais Refugee Camp - as well as all our other projects here
Join the conversation at #NakedTeaching and #NakedTeachingDay and share your pics and ideas!
Isabella Wallace X