Silent conversation – Fake text messages

If you have ever tried to conduct a ‘Silent conversation’ activity in lessons, you may have found them a useful way for students to communicate their ideas, ask questions about a starter image, discuss an issue and peer assess each others work. Although a very useful activity, I have come across a couple of challenges:

  1. How do students record the information so that they each have a copy in their books to review at a later date and to show you what they have done and understood?
  2. How do you motivate those who find writing unappealing?

How about using iPads (if available), or school computers to conduct the same task but creating a stream of text messages which can be printed out and stuck into books?

There are numerous websites that allow you to do this, two such examples are (Click on image):

fake text


ios 7 fake


You can use it for a calm and quiet start to a  lesson to interrogate an image, after a piece of extended writing to question each other about what they have done or as a summary task where students can ask each other questions about the work they have done that lesson.


The plenary producer

If you have not seen this resource yet, then I recommend that you download it asap!

The plenary producer is a collection of 130 plenaries all in one place! Easy to navigate, the plenaries can be used in almost any subject and contain ideas for developing them as well as examples of their use. It will aid lesson planning and offer you and the students lots of variety.

It can be a little daunting looking through them all in one go. I would suggest picking one every now and again and trying it out. Maybe you could team up with a colleague or two and test them between you and pick the ones that work the best for your students.

I’m going to have a go at ‘Just a minute’ on Monday!

You will need to sign up to the TES website though to download the Powerpoint. This is easy to do and should only take a minute.