The Rule In The Room

Should you encourage children to wait outside in your lesson?

Yes. If you are playing the Rule in the Room game then it’s essential.

I came across this idea in Isabella Wallace and Leah Kirkman’s excellent book Pimp Your Lesson and it’s worth having a go if you haven’t tried it before.

This is a lesson in behaviour and psychology as much as anything. It works like this: you ask someone to leave the classroom and wait outside. The rest of the class are then told a rule that governs their behaviour and responses to questions the pupil outside asks when they re-enter.

The pupil then comes back into the classroom and starts asking everyone questions related to their lives, experiences, likes/dislikes, etc. The class respond but have to stick to the rule in the room.

Wallace and Kirkman gives various cross-curricular examples and I’ve adapted these below with my own:

  • English: the class must use a simile in their response.
  • Maths: the class must include a square number in their response.
  • Science: the class must respond with a word that can be associated with Forces.
  • History: the class must respond using the name of a Greek God/Goddess
  • Geography: the class must respond using either the words tsunami, earthquake or  volcano.
  • RE: the class must incorporate one of the 5Ks within their response.

The questions someone asks can run and run but it is their job to pick up the rule in as few ‘moves’ as possible. The more questions that are asked the more likely it is that the rule will present itself as being ‘obvious’.

Children can take it in turns to do this as a class game for fun or this can be used for introducing a new concept or skill.





Leave a Reply

%d bloggers like this: