Tips for Teachers: 27. Effective Plenaries

Mar 19, 2024 | Blogs

Tips for Teachers: 27. Effective Plenaries

Mar 19, 2024 | Blogs

“Effective Plenaries in a lesson are those that help the teacher to make sure all students understand what they have learned. They can be used as an opportunity for reflection, or simply as a way of summarising or reinforcing key points from the day’s lessons. ( 

When you include plenaries in your lessons there are 3 important things Phil Beadle (2013) informs us we should keep in mind:

1. Plenaries need to be planned,

2. Give sufficient time for them,

3. Get the pupils to do the work. 

Features of effective plenaries: 

  • Planned and executed so a teacher can assess understanding of the whole class. 
  • Used throughout the lesson as a form of assessment. 
  • Enough time for pupils to participate and demonstrate their understanding and learning. 
  • Highlights pupil misconceptions to ensure they are addressed promptly, before becoming embedded. 
  • Kept simple so everyone knows what they are doing and how to access the plenary. 
  • Summarises learning and gets everyone involved. 
  • Links to prior and future learning. 
  • Accessible for all learners to be able to demonstrate their understanding. 
  • Happens at the most effective time in a lesson. 
  • Used as an opportunity to celebrate success and provide feedback. 
  • Allows a teacher to evaluate learning to adapt teaching in the moment or subsequent lessons. 
  • Provide opportunities for pupils to reflect on their own learning and understanding. 
  • Consolidate skills and knowledge. 
  • Identifies next steps for individuals and groups of pupils. 

Ideas for plenaries: 

  • Write / draw 5 things you have learned today 
  • Exit tickets 
  • Think-pair-share 
  • Show me white boards 
  • Mind map / brainstorm / brain dump 
  • Venn diagram 
  • True or false 
  • Hinge questions 
  • Tell me / show me 
  • Summarise 
  • Label a diagram 
  • Timelines 
  • Bingo 
  • Guess the question 
  • Odd one out 

This blog was written by Bretta Townend-Jowitt, Education Consultant and Trainer. 

Have you read our other blogs in this series?

Click here to read them.

Getting help – get in touch

If you have any questions or would like to speak to us, we’d love to hear from you – click to book a free online session.

Learn More About Our Product

Schoolaspect is designed to make your life easier. With our intuitive interface, you can save time and effort. Find out more about how our software can help you get the job done faster, better, and smarter!