Challenge Capsules

9 Posted by - May 16, 2013 - Calculations, Geography, History, Humanities, Literacy, Maths, Number System, Other Literacy, Other Maths, Phonics, Reading, Science, Shape, Space & Measure, Topics, Writing

We’ve all been there… a great lesson has been planned, a challenging task has been set, yet 10 minutes before the end of the activity, children are exceeding expectations and asking what to do next…Ahhhhhh!

Say hello to… ‘Challenge Capsules’

Simply fill a tub full of various challenges and let the children dig in.

Organising your challenge capsules

I personally would have subject tubs rather than a mixed bag of challenges.
Make them colour coded so that you have challenges suitable for different ability levels. “Jamie, go and grab a yellow challenge” – that way you know Jamie is going to be challenged but not out of his depth.

The idea is to make the challenges, activities which they can complete independently, with minimal fuss – so there is no disruption to the other children who are still working on the original task set in the lesson.

Where do you get the capsules from?

Honest answer… not a clue! I did some rummaging on the likes of EBay etc and the closet match I could find were mini paint pots or baby food tubs but to be honest, at an average of £3 for 10, it could become quite an expense.

What sort of challenges are inside?

The aim is to place simple, independent challenges inside, which sounds simple but I know how time consuming this can be – especially when you have to come up with dozens of different ideas.

Over the past 12 months I have been busy creating lots of challenge cards for various areas of the curriculum. Our Maths challenge cards have by far been our most popular activity for a while now. Separated into year groups, these could easily be shrunk down in size, to place inside the capsules. Take a look at all the challenge cards we have available so far.

Challenge Cards  

Getting the kids involved

Another way to create a bank of challenges could be to ask the children to create a challenge for the tub, as part of their learning. Focusing on the lesson you are teaching, this could be a plenary activity for a week or so to gather a good number of challenges. The children will also love them all the more because they are created by their peers.

So why not give it a go!


  • Schafer August 6, 2013 - 8:34 am Reply
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