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Module C - That's the way to do it!

Module C - That's the way to do it!

(Links to mission one)
Below are optional activities for running this module. However, it's important to run activities and methods that best suit your ESYLs, ensuring you fulfil the aim and objectives of the modules.


One of the most enjoyable parts of being an ESYL is having the opportunity to teach new skills to young people. Before they begin their training, ESYLs will already have ideas about what makes a good teacher. Teachers who talk at their pupils instead of engaging with them are often seen as boring and uninspiring. Teachers who take the time to involve their pupils actively in the work are much more interesting, and are much more effective at getting their message across as a result.


This module aims to give you a general understanding of how to successfully demonstrate and teach a variety of skills. It will help make that process fun, and ensure that section members enjoy the experience.


By the end of this module, you'll:

  • understand and be able to talk about how young people learn effectively
  • demonstrate an ability to pass on skills to younger people
  • understand and talk about different learning styles
  • have confidence in using different training techniques


You'll need:

  • an object made of Lego or a drawing
  • the same materials used to create the object or drawing
  • origami water balloon instructions (available online)
  • flipchart
  • pens
  • Post-it notes
  • section resources
  • game ideas
  • plain paper
  • access to water, a kettle, mugs, tea bags, sugar, and milk strawberry laces, a tube of smarties, or sign language alphabet instructions (the materials needed will depend on which activity you choose, see below)

Start the session by introducing the module and explaining what the aims and objectives are.

Then, have a go at the following activities.

(suitable for groups of at least three, approx. 20 minutes)

  1. Split the group into teams of three. In each team, you’ll be assigning different roles. One person in the team should play the role of the ‘observer’. They will be given an object such as a drawing, or a model built from Lego. Another person should play the role of the ‘builder’ or ‘artist’. They have to recreate what the observer is looking at, and shouldn’t be able to see the object at all. The third and final person should play the role of the ‘runner’, who can alternate between the two.
  2. The observer can only give verbal descriptions of their object to the runner. They should not be able to see the object.
  3. The runner must repeat the description to the builder or artist. Again, the runner should not be able to see what they begin to build or draw. The builder cannot ask questions for clarification.
  4. When the runner has finished relaying information and the builder has finished recreating the object, the observer should reveal the object they were describing. The builder or artist should then reveal their recreation.
  5. Regroup to discuss the results of the game. What was difficult about the task? Was it challenging to give a verbal description of a physical object or drawing? What about passing that description on to another person? How about recreating something with only verbal instructions to go on?

(suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 30 minutes)

  1. Give the ESYLs instructions to try and make an origami water balloon. You can find these online.
  2. Begin by reading the instructions aloud. How many ESYLs can complete the task based on your verbal instructions alone? Throughout, you should refuse to answer any questions, and continue giving instructions even if everyone is progressing at different speeds.
  3. Repeat the task. This time, give everyone written instructions instead.
  4. Finally, repeat the task a third time. This time, lead with a demonstration.
  5. Discuss which style the group preferred. What was different about each attempt at the task? Did the way instructions were delivered affect the outcome? Were some methods easier to understand that others?
  6. Make sure ESYLs consider the preparation involved in running activities. How can activities be adapted and enhanced to suit different learning styles? How can they make sure tasks are easy to understand?

(suitable for groups with at least two members, approx. 15 minutes)

  1. In groups or pairs, one of the ESYLs should write down their own instructions for making a cup of tea, exactly as they like to drink it. They should then pass the instructions on to their partner, who should attempt to make the cup of tea, following the exact instructions given.
  2. Once they have made the cup of tea just so, they should add their own further instructions to the existing ones given, and pass all of this information on to the next ESYL. The process is similar to the game of Chinese whispers.
  3. The next ESYL in line should then follow these two sets of instructions simultaneously. What do they notice about the process? What is difficult about it? Do any of the instructions contradict one another?
  4. The activity should highlight the importance of being clear with instructions. It should also demonstrate that different people interpret things in different ways, and encourage ESYLs to think about how practice and preparation can affect the outcome of an activity.

(suitable for groups of all sizes, approx. 25 minutes)

  1. Give each ESYL a strawberry lace, and show them how to tie a knot with it.
  2. Next, ask the ESYLs to fasten their own knots, instead of just observing you. They should all do this at the same time, creating the knot together. Finally, they should attempt to fasten the knot on their own.
  3. This activity teaches the method of ‘I do, we do, and you do’. Once you have tried all methods, regroup and discuss the points below.
  • all methods described have both advantages and disadvantages
  • talking something through gets a message across to lots of people at once, but often misses out on detail
  • using a diagram or paper copy ensures that everyone gets the same message
  • demonstrating a skill or technique has visual impact, but you can only use this technique in small groups
  • demonstrating with material has additional visual impact
  • in terms of learning, demonstrating something by doing has more effect than merely seeing or listening to something
  • in general, younger members respond better to doing something simple with coloured bits and pieces
  • as members get older, written and printed material can be useful
  • talking to groups has its limitations with any age group, but can be essential in describing the rules of games (as long as they are simple)
  • small groups lend themselves to demonstrations and tend to respond well to a hands-on approach to learning
  • larger groups require visual aids that everyone can see, such as slides, OHPs or PowerPoint presentations, along with a simple and effective verbal message
  • leadership is easier to do effectively in a small group, especially if everyone is involved in doing things themselves and taking an active role
  • the larger the group, the more difficult teaching becomes, as boredom and disinterest become issues
  • using directed questions could be useful, but remember not to pick on any one member all the time
  • if boredom and disinterest are becoming a problem, maybe you need to rethink the method you're using to get your message across (How can you bounce back? Is there a different way you could approach things?)

Top tip: teaching sign language instead of knots can be another good way to cover this method. Alternatively, you could use Smarties instead of strawberry laces, by demonstrating a pattern to the ESYLs using the different colours of the different sweets. ESYLs could attempt to create the pattern at the same time as you, and then attempt to do it themselves from memory. The message remains the same.

Summarise the module by revisiting the objectives. Ask the ESYLs whether they feel they have covered all of the objectives satisfactorily. Before they go, carry out a review or an evaluation of the session.