A colleague I share a class with set this task for one of my lessons with younger students. They seemed to enjoy it a lot and I have subsequently used it with KS4 students – and added a twist.
It starts with a model answer to a 90 word GCSE question. You can either write your own, or I heartily recommend Kate Jones’s resources – her writing booklets have questions for every AQA theme and sub-topic, every style of question, and a full set of model answers.
Start with your model answer. Remove sentences so that it only answers 3 bullet points. Add in sentences that are not relevant. Print it big (eg big enough to fit 3 A4 sheets landscape) and cut it into strips*. Get kids to sort back into paragraph order.
My most recent iteration of this task had a double sided worksheet with the mark scheme for a 90 word question on the back, and on the front, the question (in the target language, like in the exam) and a translation of the text they are aiming to build. Most students used this, and recognised at least one word per strip, which they could use to get their bearings through the paragraph, but the most able could hide this support and try to rebuild the sentences without it.
The worksheet also had these tasks:
- What do the 4 bullet points mean ?
- Reconstruct the text from the strips to form an answer to this question. (You can use the English translation for support, or hide it if you prefer.)
- Assess the response using the markscheme on the back. Are all bullet points answered? What does this mean for the score it can get? Are all sentences relevant to the task?
- Redraft an answer to the question, based on the paragraph you have reconstructed. Eliminate anything irrelevant. Add in some sentences to cover any bullet points not already answered.
- Higher students – what super structures and fancy phrases could you add to this to improve it to the point where it would be an answer to the 150 word question?
- What topic specific vocab is there in this text that you didn’t know? What structures can you find that could be used in lots of different topics?
* To speed up the cutting, you can prep the photocopier with a pile of coloured sheets in the bypass tray, eg 3 yellow, 3 blue, 3 pink, 3 orange. Copy onto those sheets then cut up all 12 in one go and separate out by colour.