Read about how 10–12-year-old children learn and develop.


Characteristics Implications Need
Longer attention span Greater range of activities possible in class

Opportunities to engage in tasks that require focus and commitment

Knowledge of the world growing More topics can be addressed Stimulation
e.g. information from internet or cross-curricular
Taking learning more seriously Can be given responsibility Chances to be independent
Still children Have need for security and pleasure

Teacher sensitive to their needs and moods

More cooperative with peers Can do more group work Variety of grouping in class, i.e. work on own, in pairs, in groups, as a class
Intellectual, motor and social skills developing Can be challenged more

Activities that challenge them

Developing own learning strategies Children won’t all react in the same way to the same task/topic Chance to personalise their learning experience


By now it is clear that students have very different approaches to learning and have distinct preferences and interests. A project on, for example, animals can ensure all are satisfied.

  • Students can choose to work independently or with a partner(s).
  • Get students to choose an animal, or the creative ones can create a new one!
  • Students choose whether to create a wall display, a book or a presentation on their animal.
  • Their work can include illustrations, their own or ones they find.
  • Their project can be a factual description about the animal including information found in books, the internet etc or it can be a story about the animal. It could also be a poster calling for conservation of a particular species.
  • Give a time limit – say two or three lessons for them to prepare their work and then it can either be displayed, shared or presented.
  • This is especially good in a mixed-ability class. Students who are not so keen on writing can create something more visual and very enthusiastic students have more scope for their imagination and language skills.

Games and topics

See related sections on onestopenglish linked below.