The Little Book of Inspirational Teaching Activities

Bringing NLP into the classroom

By: David Hodgson


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Products specifications
Attribute name Attribute value
Size: 174mm x 124mm
Pages : 224
ISBN : 9781845901363
Format: Hardback
Published: March 2009

Contains a collection of activities developed and used with teenagers all over the country that are short, easy to follow and engaging. The activities are split into 4 sections corresponding to the suits of playing cards:

  • believe in yourself
  • know yourself
  • have a plan
  • go for it

Each section has 13 activities and includes NLP techniques, learning theories and multiple intelligences. Each activity comes with detailed instructions, additional information, possible follow on activities plus hints and examples of the ways the material has been used effectively.

They can be used as one off activities to spice up a session or can be put together to form one hour lessons or even whole day events. There are suggested combinations of activities to suit different topics such as PSHE, successful revision/learning and SEAL.

Picture for author David Hodgson

David Hodgson

David Hodgson is a training consultant and author who works with teachers and students across the UK and abroad. He has written a number of books to help teachers and students thrive in the classroom and beyond.

Bel Mooney recommends The Buzz in the Daily Mail.

Click here to listen to David on the TES podcast, speaking about how schools and colleges can provide high-quality careers advice.


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  5. Newcomers to the teaching profession may well find this text invaluable to help with creating more engaging sessions.

  6. I love this book. I love the size of it (just the right size to sneak into a handbag or briefcase), I love the feel of it (strange thing to say about a book, but as soon as you have it in your hands, youll know exactly what I mean). But most of all, I love the content.
    It is indeed a book of inspirational teaching activities"inspirational being the operative word. The activities are divided up like a pack of cards" the activities in thediamond section are all focussed on Believe in Yourself, thehearts" Know Your Strengths,clubs, Have a Plan, Spades, Go For It. Theres even some fun activities in theJoker section, and a useful end section that covers NLP basics, and how they can be applied in the classroom.
    The activities in the book are explained in simple terms, and each is prefaced with a little anecdote to illustrate why the activity is useful and what you will learn.
    Whenever I work in schools or with groups of hard-to-engage learners, (or even with eager, motivated, real workshop-attending fee-paying, adults) I always slip this book into my bag. Why? Because I know that if I dry up, if I run out of steam, if I cant think of what to do for the last half hour, or if there are issues that require attention, I can dip into my Little Blue Book. And believe me, the answer is always there.
    Whether you know nothing about NLP, or you are a seasoned expert, this book will not disappoint. It is funny, it is informative, it is packed with useful activities (some of them you could even try out at kiddies parties!), and everyone who works with groups of people of any age should have this book tucked away somewhere, for those moments when you need to inject a little more fun/activity/inspiration/humour/positivity/team spirit into your work.
  7. I am not trained in NLP, although have been around it by running events for Topher Morrison Inc and by attending a seminar by Tony Robbins. I find that NLP is suited much more the masculine essence of explaining things logically and tangibly through the use of language. I have seen variable results in peoples lives and despite the marketing, I do not believe it is the cure all and end all of systems in terms of being able to understand the human psyche.
    Having said that, the value of NLP in education is something that I can definitely appreciate because teachers who are trained in NLP will be able toread their student in a far more practical way than educators of the past and thereby connect to them as people thereby creating a feeling of caring between student and teacher. More than half the problems in communication stem from expecting others to communicate in the style we feel most comfortable in. NLP is very good for assisting people to appreciate other modalities.
    The exercises that appear in this book are innovative as well as using some well tried and tested ones with a different approach. The thing I like about the philosophy of the book is that it is focusing more on emotional intelligence than just facts and figures to pass an exam. It is encouraging teachers to spend some time in each lesson to build emotional intelligence in four prime areas of ourselves, namely self esteem (belief in the self); knowing strengths and weaknesses (ability to be part of a team by focusing on strengths and improving weaknesses or allowing someone with strengths that are your weaknesses to do the job); Learning to plan for success and having the ability to take a leap of faith without trying to control the outcome.
    I really enjoyed paging through the book looking at the learning point, finding one that really resonated with me and then reading the exercise and finding myself smiling at how simple it is to engage the self in learning when one understands the WHY. With many subject based teaching, there is no why to learning, whereas this book helps the educator explain to the students why one is doing the exercise and the overall result they are aiming for.
    I will definitely be recommending different exercises to my adult students who sign up for learning how to learn as part of their own learning and interaction with their study buddies and/or children.
  8. I have known David H for many years, meeting him regularly at Institute of Career Guidance conferences, taking part in his workshops or just listening to his enthusiasm and motivations for NLP and how to get people to believe in their own potential.

    Most of my own work involves motivating prisoners and ex-offenders to believe they have skills and abilities that will support them to reintegrate back into the community in a positive way, to find employment and also to learn. I believe these activities can help people who have negative experiences of education and who consider themselves unemployable. Many of the activities will enable them to realise that they have skills to offer employers and also the ability to learn new things. Enabling people to realise they have potential, which helps them to cope with whatever is thrown at them, is very powerful.

    Many prisoners and ex-offenders see themselves as a product of their environment. “I didnt want to be a product of my environment” I want my environment to be a product of me, will work very powerfully on them.

    What I have enjoyed most of all is the introductions and explanations to the four suits and each activity. The information makes you smile and gives you confidence to go and have a go with different activities. It is like a ready reckoner of activities that can be easily integrated into any lessons or training programmes.
  9. This is a suburb little book, packed full of interesting & engaging activities for teachers or anyone working in groups with young people. It comprises of four main sections orthemes: Believe in Yourself, Know Your Strengths, Have a Plan and Go for it! The activities can either be translated into an entire programme for confidence building, self- esteem and motivation, or they can be delivered on astand alone basis.

    Each activity is preceded by a short introductory paragraph, which sets the activity in context and provides useful background information. The instructions for the activities are easy to follow and outline key learning points and associated resources. (Although many of the activities dont actually require any pre-prepared resources)

    All the activities are designed to get pupils thinking creatively" allowing them to tap into their inner resources but have fun at the same time.

    David also provides a thought-provoking introduction, which he callsRules of Inspiration. This reminds us of the fundamental principles of effective teaching & learning and challenges us to make our sessions engaging, interesting and above all, enjoyable.

    The final chapter provides a short but coherent overview of some of the main NLP pre-suppositions and how they can be applied in practice. There is also a very interesting and useful Bibliography provided.

    As with Davids previous book,The Buzz the author sets out a simple, easy to understand and practical application of NLP and shows how it can be used to maximise potential and motivate young people to achieve their goals.

    In my role as Senior Lecturer on the Postgraduate Diploma in Careers Guidance at Manchester Metropolitan University, I train future Career Guidance professionals. This year, we included many of Davids suggested exercises from the Little Book of Inspirational Teaching activities in the Group Work Training Module, so that new practitioners could invigorate their school work with more lively, student centred sessions. The activities have proven to be a great success" helping practitioners to engage effectively with young people in groups and getting the pupils tothink outside the box and participate fully in the learning experience.

    This is a great way of making NLP techniques and solution focused approaches accessible to practitioners / teachers and young people alike.
  10. Davids book is very useful indeed" an ideal guide for teachers who want to use NLP in the classroom but arent sure how to start. The format of short, sharp activities means that they can be easily incorporated into lessons or brought together into a sustained programme. Ideal for use in PSHE or as part of the new KS3 curriculum for Personal Learning and Thinking Skills, but with a range of applications across different subjects, particularly as starter activities. Whats more, they actually work" having tried some of his ideas in the past I have seen them make a real difference to underaspiring students.

    Davids style is very readable and engaging. I like the way the activities are organised using the conceit of a deck of cards. I look forward to putting some of it into practice!
  11. Working with young people who face a multitude of difficult personal issues and who have barriers to succeeding in their lives, requires the use of a range of innovative strategies by the professional workers who support them. It is essential therefore that resources developed to support such strategies are clear and simple to use and have a clarity of purpose that the worker fully understands and accepts conceptually.

    The Little Book of Inspirational Teaching Activities succeeds in providing easy and effective activities that can be used in a variety of settings and with a wide range of young people. The introduction succinctly affirms the purpose of the book in an accessible style and gains rapid acceptance of the rationale and concepts behind the practical activities. It is this immediate"buy in, to the need to use the techniques to unlock the potential of young people in the introduction, that is the"ace card, of this resource.

    The use of playing cards as a vehicle for the key themes of the activities is clear and memorable and provides a practical structure for the wealth of activities contained within each section of the book.

    I have taken the opportunity to encourage a number of colleagues that are working directly with young people to use a range of the activities contained in the book in their day to day work. Feedback has been consistently positive with workers and young people alike enjoying the experience. Often the time available to work with individual and groups of young people is limited by the need to work with increasingly high volumes, particularly in areas of high social deprivation. The activities contained in the book are designed to provide quick, enjoyable and stimulating inputs that facilitate their practical use even in a challenging environment. Longer sessions can be developed by combining activities in such a way as to meet individual and group needs. The permutations are seemingly inexhaustible. As with all such resources , colleagues appear to find favourite activities that they can build into the normal repertoire of techniques they use in their daily working practice.

    I can recommend this book to anyone working with young people that wants an effective and easy to use manual of enjoyable and stimulating activities at their disposal.

    David Hobbs, CEO of the Connexions services in Manchester, Salford, Tameside and Rochdale

    • As an Inset Co ordinator I could fill a years worth of training for teachers using these techniques alone and the best thing is they transcend all curriculum areas.

    • From the minute I picked it up I couldn't put it down. Every section is so easy to understand and visualise how to use with young people. Particularly good use of humour, it was actually fun to read.

    • In the teaching world it is so difficult to grab extra time to do anything new and this is the beauty of the book, you don't need extra time, you can eaily incorporate the activities in to everyday delivery as they only take as long as a typical registration period.

    • After reading this book anyone would have to agree the world of teaching and training is a better place for having David Hodgson in it. The work he produces is not only inspirational to professionals but it actually does what it says on the cover, it works with young people.

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