'Picture This'. A simple technique to teach complex concepts.


By Peter Clements , published 23rd November 2010

‘Picture This' A simple technique through which to teach relatively complex historical concepts

When Peter Clements was introduced to the creative strategy that he describes in this article, his immediate reaction was to dismiss it as childish and trivial. Yet, upon closer examination, he realised that ‘Picture This' offered far more than a lively way of increasing variety and engagement in his GCSE lessons. Just as Garnett had demonstrated with circles and finger puppets at A level (TH 118), so creative engagement in a highly visual task could help Clements to unlock high-level conceptual understanding among his students. Challenging them to select and justify their choice of key events - whether within a national storyline or a personal journey - and to recreate them using only construction toys or modelling clay and a camera provides a thought-provoking and genuinely inclusive way of helping students to explore both the diverse experiences of individuals in the past, and much bigger processes and patterns of change.

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