Talking Points: Discussion Activities in the Primary Classroom encourages and supports classroom discussion on a range of topics, enabling children to develop the important life-skill of effective group communication. Children who can explain their own ideas and take account of the points of view and reasons of others are in the process of becoming truly educated. This book offers a straightforward way of teaching children discussion skills within the framework of a creative curriculum.

The book provides an introduction on how to help children learn the skills of group discussion, offering six essential Talk Lessons to use in the classroom, alongside suggestions on how teachers can plan their lessons with a talk focus, set learning outcomes and create their own Talking Points to suit topics they are teaching. The main body of the book contains the Talking Points resources which are an excellent, tried and tested way of stimulating and supporting extended talk about a topic. The Talking Points in this book offer model for teachers to create further Talking Points for their own classes. The Talking Points included here offer discussion in several curriculum areas including:-

  • Science
  • Literacy
  • Philosophy and creativity for children
  • History
  • Mathematics
  • Art and Music

This invaluable book offers engaging, stimulating and thought provoking ideas for children to pit their wits against, promoting skills in discussion, analysis, reasoning and interaction. It is highly beneficial reading for teachers working in Key Stage 2, head teachers and those responsible for staff development, as well as students on teacher training courses and graduate training programmes.

Talking Points Introduction Page 3


Talking Points for Science Page 16

Small creatures


The air and breathing

In the garden

Problems for the Earth




Light and Shadow


Our Place in Space

Solids, Liquids and Gases

Finding out about a range of materials

Materials and the senses



Talking Points for History Page 53

The Georgians

The Vikings

The Incas

Lots to Talk About Page 60

Ways of learning




Places we like








Works of Art Talking Points: Weeping Woman by Pablo Picasso

Works of Art Talking Points: The Bedroom at Arles by Vincent Van Gogh

Works of Art Talking Points: The Singing Butler by Jack Vettriano

Works of Art Talking Points: Farbstudie Quadrate by Wassily Kandinski

Talking Points: All the Children of the World


5. Talking Points for Poems and Stories Page 80

In the Station of the Metro by Ezra Pound

Flanking Sheep in Mosedale by David Scott

High Flight (An airman’s ecstasy) by John Gillespie Magee

Bruce Ismay’s Soliloquy by Derek Mahon

The Door by Richard Edwards

The Invisible Beast by Jack Prelutsky

The quarrel by Eleanor Farjeon

Helping’s Easy by I. Yates

Waking at Night by J. Kenward

Spring Pools by Robert Frost

Loveliest of Trees, the Cherry Now by A. E. Housman

Trout Leaping in the River Arun

Where a Juggler was Drowned by Charles Dalman

Tall nettles by Edward Thomas

The Vixen by John Clare

Open all the cages by Richard Edwards

Snow by Louis McNeice

Why Brownlee Left

by Paul Muldoon

Gorilla by Martin Honeysett

The Pied Piper by Robert Browning

The Highwayman by Alfred Noyes

Peter Pan by J. M. Barrie

The Once and Future King by T. H. White


6. Talking Points: Lists Page 105

List 1. Things that are a waste of time

List 2. Things that are always enjoyable

List 3. Things that we would like to change

List 4. Things that we would like to keep the same

List 5. Things that should be round

List 6. Things to think of when lying awake in the middle of the night

List 7. Things that are going to go wrong in the future

List 8. Things about being an adult that are better than being a child

List 10. Things that we aim to do


7. Talking Points for Mathematics Page 115

2D & 3D shapes

About the number 3

About the number 5

Prime Numbers




Further Reading Page 123