Concept cartoons – how does Oracy support Maths?

We have covered many topics within Oracy and how we can teach skills of speaking and listening to our children. Let’s take one of the Oracy activities – concept cartoons – and see how this can support your teaching of maths.

Using concept cartoons to start a lesson

I tend to use the concept cartoons at the start of a maths lesson. This really unpicks the misconceptions that have come about as a result of previous lessons in a unit of work.

For example, when teaching addition children sometimes make the place value error of reversing the digits. Using concept cartoons enables the children to figure out what went wrong for themselves.

Oracy can really support Maths – encourage children to use a concept cartoon and sentence stems to discuss the misconception.

This is far more powerful than the teacher standing at the front of the class and telling the children where they went wrong. Encouraging discussion about misconceptions means that children will discover what went wrong for themselves. They will unpick their own learning which means their brains make new connections and pathways to connect the learning.

What about the end of a lesson?

You may well decide to use a concept cartoon to further develop a concept you have been teaching in the lesson to end your lesson.

Using concept cartoons at the end of your lesson can really cement the understanding for many children.

Using concept cartoons at the end of your lesson can for some children make all the difference. If you know there is likely to be a misconception that will crop up you can give the children some time to explore the idea in talk partners or trios. The beauty of this is the children have already had the lesson to try out the concept. This discussion then ties up their experience and may well be the difference between leaving the lesson almost there and fully there!

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