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Delivering oracy training regularly, there are certain activities I return to time and time again. The opinion continuum is one of those, I think it’s possibly the easiest activity to set up, requiring almost no preparation, and yet leads to some deep thinking and fantastic discussion, with teachers and children.

The resource is super simple – and once printed, it can be used over and over again in classrooms in every subject.

It’s one of the few times I laminate a resource, this one is worth laminating. We have a set in every classroom and they’re used regularly. All you need is a controversial statement and the cards posted up around the classroom. Once you have given the statement, the children move to the sign that represents their opinion. Then the magic happens.

I select some from each of the agree or disagree groups and ask for their reason for being where they are on the continuum. Once they’ve given their reason, everyone else is asked if they’d like to move places. If anyone moves, praise them to changing their mind in response to new evidence, and praise the person who gave the reason.

Then ask someone in the unsure group why they’re there. It’s often because that lack enough information to make a decision. Ask others on the continuum to give the necessary information then allow people to move again.

Finally, ask the strong agree and strongly disagree groups to give their reason. This usually induces a few more people to move. Always praise the reason and the person changing their mind.

The only prep needed, once the cards are laminated, is creating an interesting talking point. Here are some that I’ve used in recent training sessions. They can come from any subject. To simplify the task, remove the strongly cards, or have a simpler talking point. I’ve seen this used effectively from reception to year 6.

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Angela Schofield

Programme Development Lead