No Pens Day Wednesday encourages schools, teachers and pupils to put down their pens/pencils and run a day of speaking and listening activities along with using edtech like the Promethean ActivPanel. Yes, you read right – a whole day of teaching and no-one picks up a pen/pencil! Do you think you and your class could do it?
No Pens Day Wednesday has been established by The Communication Trust. The Communication Trust is a coalition of 50 not-for-profit organisations working together to raise awareness and support speech, language and communication needs.
The ‘official’ No Pens Day takes place on Wednesday 3rd October 2018, during Dyslexia Awareness Week. To find out more about Dyslexia Awareness Week, click here. However, your school can decide to run the day whenever suits you best. We have created this article so the resources are here for you 24/7.
In 2017, No Pens Day reached a total of over 7,000 schools. This day has been ongoing since 2011. The Communications Trust found that “80% of respondents taking part in No Pens Day Wednesday 2017 raised their awareness of speech, language and communication needs”.
The Communication Trust have ready-made lesson plans, activities, assembly ideas, pupil evaluation tools, teacher guidance, information for engaging parents and ideas for taking the focus on speaking and listening further. There are resources for primary and secondary. All you need to do is register and you get everything for free and the resources are available all year. You’ll find lesson plans, activity ideas, homework, information for parents, information for staff, assembly ideas and much much more available across early years settings, primary, secondary and special schools.
For last year’s No Pens Day Wednesday, The Communication Trust produced an Activity Pack which you can download here. The pack tells you how to get involved and how to start planning your No Pens Day with some great ideas for your class.
Here are just a few ideas for No Pens Day:
- Computing – make videos, use the internet to research key topics, coding, programs on the computer e.g. paint.
- Use Skype in the Classroom. Skype in the Classroom offers live educational experiences for teachers and pupils from over 235 countries, including virtual field trips, talks with guest speakers, and collaborative lessons and projects with other classrooms around the world.
- Use music – make up your own songs, bring instruments in – make your own class band.
- Bring your own device day – let your pupils bring their own devices in for the day. Use iPads/cameras/smartphones to take photos of your school, classes and pupils. These can be used on your school website/schools social media/to show parents what you get up to. Use iPads to make your own movies.
- Drama day – create your own play, bring puppets and props in and use your imagination.
- Go and explore the school grounds. Use the playground to have fun outside, extra P.E lessons, make a den, go leaf hunting, look for conkers, go on a nature trail.
- School trip – arrange a school trip out for the day relating to a topic you are studying.
- Watch an educational movie.
- Tell stories – sit in a circle and get each child to say one sentence and see where the story goes, it could get very interesting/funny.
- Use your front of class technology like the Promethean ActivPanel – there are plenty of apps that can be downloaded for free.