5 a Day

  GCSEIdeas   2 Minutes

To live a good life we have to eat five fruits or vegetables a day. In truth, this isn’t enough. In Japan it is said that 10 a day is needed to live a long and healthy life, and it is doing Japan well considering life expectancy is approximately 83 years of age!

Sadly, 10 a Day is a little too much for this idea that I originally saw on @MrThorntonTeach. 

I stumbled across this in my NQT year, when I was up late one night as my now fiancee snored away. I was looking for an activity to settle down a Year 9 group who were very bright, but who should not have been in a lesson with each other. There were 18 boys and 9 girls. I needed something that challenged them, went over knowledge, was accessible to all but also was a little fun to try and get some of the tougher cookies on my side.


This worked perfectly. The idea is simple. On an A5 sheet, I would lay out the 5 A DAY on the desks and on the board would be the template with the blanks. They had 3 minutes upon entering to answer the questions. They could bullet point, or write in full explain sentences. Whichever one they felt most comfortable with or challenged them the most.

Essentially it ensured that the SEN pupil in my class with slow processing and writing speeds would manage to answer all the questions in some way, but that Sandeep at the back could write his long essay style answers… his work always knocked my socks off.

If they got all 5 correct, they would get a merit. The merit system worked really well at the my old school, as they should have been able to cash in merits at the end of term for treats and gifts or privileges.

It went down a storm. It was competitive, working on the previous lesson, and I would encourage students to improve from their last score to hit that coveted merit.

The boys were moving away from each other, refusing to let others copy and the first 3 minutes were a calm start to the lesson. Soon students were consistently scoring 5 out of 5 in the recap quizzes. And they didn’t really realise it was a quiz!

We would quickly go through the answers in targeted Q and A while I would move along the lesson to show on the board a collection of answers or the answers and the students would peer assess. I would then challenge the students to try and use some of that previous knowledge in the current lesson (as all of history is somehow linked together).

I still use this now, and have instead changed merit to the schools house point policy. But I have modified it slightly and for those exam groups they get a 10 A Day… the Japanese Way.

I am going to modify it further to more applied knowledge- at the moment I am finding from my GCSE group that they know it, but they don’t always know what to do with it. Instead I am going to give a collection of facts then challenge students to create an exam question. Hopefully it will work.

To be honest this is pretty much just an old fashioned quiz at the start of the lesson to recap knowledge. Never be afraid to go for something old school- it does work.

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