Learning Challenge Lessons – Primary

20 Lessons to Guide Young Learners Through the Learning Pit

By Jill Nottingham and James Nottingham (2018)

“This book shows teachers how to take young learners through the Learning Pit in an imaginative, thought-provoking and easy-to-apply way. The strategies within the book, together with all the fabulous resources, make life so much easier for the busy teacher.
Pippa Leslie, Schools Direct Programme Lead, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, UK

Highlights of the book include:
  • Twenty lesson ideas with resource cards, group activities, and teacher guidance to show you how to take your students through the Learning Pit®
  • Downloadable full-colour activity cards to accompany each lesson
  • Diagrams to help illustrate relationships between concepts so that your students better understand their meanings and application
  • Techniques to guide your students through the Learning Pit so that they consider the contradictions and uncertainties associated with important areas of the curriculum
  • Advice about when to support, when to challenge, and when to engage in cognitive conflict so that all your students move from surface to deep learning
  • Questioning techniques to engage and extend your students’ thinking
Buy from Booktopia
Downloads Reviews

“Yet another superb Learning Pit® publication. Detailed, yet accessible; practical yet thought-provoking – this book lays out comprehensive lesson ideas, built around searching questions that show teachers how to take students through the Learning Pit. I wholeheartedly recommend the book.”

Shirley Clarke, Formative Assessment Expert, Ashdown Education, East Sussex

What makes this book different?

The Learning Challenge Lesson books give enough examples and recommendations to fill a whole year’s worth of Learning Pit® lessons. Written by Jill Nottingham and the Challenging Learning team, each book shows you how to use ranking; concept lines, targets, graphs, and corners; mysteries; opinion lines and corners; and living graphs to improve classroom talk and enhance student creativity and imagination. When used as structures for learning, the ideas within these books will improve teacher clarity and deepen student understanding and metacognition.

Book Features

  • Twenty lesson ideas with resource cards, group activities, and teacher guidance to show educators how to take their students through the ‘Learning Pit’
  • Photocopiable masters that act as frames to support the activities
  • Guidance at the bottom of each photocopiable sheet for how to scale each item to fit the resource cards
  • Downloadable full-colour activity cards to accompany each lesson
  • Diagrams to help illustrate relationships between concepts for students

Intended Audience

Suitable for teachers, leaders and support staff working with students between the ages of 5-11. For those working with 3-7-year-old children, you can find equivalent activity ideas in ‘Challenging Early Learning’ by James Nottingham and Jill Nottingham (2017).

"The Learning Pit has become one of the most powerful and popular heuristics of learning over the past 10-20 years, and this new book will become the go-to resource for its fullest application in primary schools over the next two decades. Beautifully supportive of classroom practice, it is also happily respectful of the many theoretical connections so that teachers can be confident of creating worthwhile as well as delightful lessons."
Barry J. Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, England
"The Nottinghams provide real-life instructional lessons that deepen students' thinking by taking them in and out of the Learning Pit. The lesson ideas can be used with very little preparation; the resource cards and activities are really attractive to students; and the guidance for teachers really helps to improve pedagogy.
Genie Baca, Principal, Eastridge Elementaty, Amarillo TX
"This wonderful book shows the reader how to transform learning from knowing ‘what’ to think to knowing ‘how’ to think. The lessons offer practical strategies that educators of all levels and disciplines can use to educate the mind to think critically and the heart to act independently."
Mariko Yorimoto, Vice Principal, Kaimiloa Elementary, St. Ewa Beach HI
"This wonderful resource book offers teaching staff the best possible guidance for taking young learners into the Learning Pit. In my experience, working with this concept, children love the opportunity to think and talk about their own learning when it is challenged so thoughtfully and deliberately.”
Simon Feasey, Headteacher, Bader Primary School, Stockton-on-Tees, England

“”The Learning Pit has become one of the most powerful and popular heuristics of learning over the past 10-20 years, and this new book will become the go-to resource for its fullest application in primary schools over the next two decades. Beautifully supportive of classroom practice, it is also happily respectful of the many theoretical connections so that teachers can be confident of creating worthwhile as well as delightful lessons.”

Barry J. Hymer, Professor of Psychology in Education, University of Cumbria, Lancaster, England

“The Nottinghams provide real-life instructional lessons that deepen students’ thinking by taking them in and out of the Learning Pit. The lesson ideas can be used with very little preparation; the resource cards and activities are really attractive to students; and the guidance for teachers really helps to improve pedagogy.”

Genie Baca, Principal, Eastridge Elementaty, Amarillo TX

“This wonderful book shows the reader how to transform learning from knowing ‘what’ to think to knowing ‘how’ to think. The lessons offer practical strategies that educators of all levels and disciplines can use to educate the mind to think critically and the heart to act independently.”

Mariko Yorimoto, Vice Principal, Kaimiloa Elementary, St. Ewa Beach HI

“This wonderful resource book offers teaching staff the best possible guidance for taking young learners into the Learning Pit. In my experience, working with this concept, children love the opportunity to think and talk about their own learning when it is challenged so thoughtfully and deliberately.”

Simon Feasey, Headteacher, Bader Primary School, Stockton-on-Tees, England

Related Links

An Introduction to the Learning Pit®

A Learning Challenge Lesson in Action, Leeds, UK

Consultancy Associated with Learning Pit Lessons

Activities & Lesson Ideas for 3-7-year-olds

Related Links