Tuesday, April 16, 2024

Just a Minute

by Mark Warner
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Ages: 7-11

This is a classroom version of the radio show called “Just a Minute”. It is great for encouraging listening skills, for collaborative play, and for the development of vocabulary.

The only resource you will need is a stopwatch. First, choose a topic, such as “My dream holiday”. Choose a child to start. The child has to speak on the topic for an agreed length of time (perhaps start with 30 seconds). The catch is that the rest of the children can challenge the speaker (putting up their hand and being selected by the adjudicator – yourself), and take the topic from them for any of the following reasons:

(i) Hesitation – the easiest challenge, awarded if the speaker ums and ahs. You can decide as a group how lenient to be at first.

(ii) Repetition – the speaker is not allowed to repeat any words or phrases which are not contained in the topic title itself, although obviously pronouns, prepositions etc, can be repeated. The children soon cotton on to this idea and can get very good at adapting their words to avoid repetition.

(iii) Deviation – a tricky one, best only used with more advanced speakers (e.g. Y6 and beyond). A challenge can be lodged if the speaker goes off the given topic. Most speakers never get that far!

Agree with your class on rules to suit yourselves – we award team points or similar to anyone with a correct challenge, anyone who is incorrectly challenged (and therefore keeps the topic) and an extra point to whoever is speaking at the end of the time.

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