101 Ideas for starting with TASC!
A collection of ideas for starting with TASC, covering all the multiple abilities and categorised into subject areas where appropriate
TASC is a framework that encourages children to solve problems independently and creatively
Most of the ideas in this booklet require only basic school materials and clean junk.
Most of the activities described can be refined, simplified or adapted to suit all ages and abilities.
All the ideas have cross-curricular applications but they have been grouped under broad headings.
It's a good idea to set time aside for TASC, perhaps a half day or a day, especially when you are trying a TASC approach for the first time.
Look for every day opportunities to involve children in thinking and problem-solving: school trips, concerts, discos, fund-raising events and formal occasions are all rich opportunities for developing creative problem-solving.
You can download this page as a PDF file.
Create a new kind of nursery rhyme
Choose your favourite story or nursery rhyme. Create something (a poster, booklet, poem, rap, dance...) based on the chosen story or rhyme that you could present in a school concert.
Tell someone about your pet - a real or an imaginary one
Think of your favourite pet. It could be a real pet, or an imaginary one. Talk about it. Write and draw something that tells others about it.
What do you think happens next?
Listen to the opening part of a story. Produce a presentation that shows what you think happens next in the story. You must base your presentation on evidence from the text.
Create a welcome pack for your school
Think about how you felt when you started school. Consider how to make new children feel welcome. Create a welcome book/ pack for children entering the school.
Prepare a 2 minute talk
Prepare a two-minute talk about a topic that interests you. This could be a hobby or pastime, or just something you know a lot about. Select and make visual aids. Write yourself some notes. Practise your talk.
Invent a game
Choose a topic that interets you --- an aspect of History or Geography, a hobby, a television programme, etc. Invent a word game/sentence game/quiz about your chosen subject and try it out on your friends.
Be an inventor to help your school!
Invent a product that will help the school. Draw it, name it, describe it. Create an advert (either a poster or a storyboard for a television advert). Consider the language you will use to persuade your audience about your product.
What happens next? What does this character feel?
Look at a picture. Say what is happening. Describe how the characters in the picture might feel. Describe what might have happened next. Write about it: this could be a story, playscript, newspaper report, etc.
Make a book for younger children
Choose your theme, create characters, plan the story. Make your story into a book. Read your book to an audience of younger children and see what they think of it. Perhaps even make an audio book for younger children to read along to.
Create a puppet show
Use glove or finger puppets (make the puppets if you need to). Decide on a story, invent voices for the characters, practise your play and make changes if necessary. Present the show to an audience and see what they think.
Design and make a memory book
Talk about your memories of school. Decide how best to present your memories in book form. Create a memory book for when you leave school.
Design and make a 'pop-up' book
Design and make a 'pop-up' big book for younger children. Look at published books and collect the best ideas. Write your story and make your book. Trial it with a younger class.
Make a sensory garden
Investigate plants that have a scent, and construct a small model garden using a shoebox, textured paper or fabric and small pots or plasticine.
Design a minibeast
Research and observe a selection of minibeasts. Make a minibeast (fantasy or factual) out of the materials available to you. Create a suitable habitat for your minibeast, saying why it’s a good place for your minibeast to live. Make an exhibition display showing your minibeast in its habitat, with information cards as necessary.
Design a healthy sandwich
Decide on your ingredients and say why it is healthy. Choose the type of bread to use and explain your choice. Make different versions of your sandwich and conduct a taste test. (Alternatively, make a ‘giant’ sandwich!).
Create an exercise regime for Postman Pat
Postman Pat needs to keep fit. Do a mindmap about staying fit. Try out some exercises. Think about what Postman Pat needs to do. Try the regime you have designed. Improve it if necessary. Find a way of sharing it.
Prepare an interesting fruit salad
Try some different fruit. Decide what will go well together. Present your salad in an attractive way. Persuade someone else that it is delicious!
Look at rainfall records. Decide how to measure the rainfall. Keep a record of daily rainfall over a month. Compare the results with previous years. If you like, compare this with other months or other countries.
How can you find out which is the best car?
Test some toy cars. Which is best? Why? Invent a fair way to test your ideas. Build the most effective ramp that will allow a car to travel the furthest distance.
Design a waterproof hat
Design a hat to keep (eg. Mr Grinling, The Lighthouse Keeper) dry. Investigate the best materials for waterproofing. Design a fair test to find out which would be the best material for a hat.
Have a look at some torches. Find out how a torch works. What makes a ‘good’ torch? Design an experiment to discover which torch is best. Present your findings to the group.
Which is the best paper plane?
Try out some paper planes. Which shapes fly well? Use paper-clips for weights to see if this helps. What makes a plane ‘good’? Make the best paper plane you can (you decide what ‘best’ means) using only A4 paper and paperclips.
How could you prevent icecream melting?
Which is the best way to keep ice-cream from melting? Test insulating materials. Remember, it’s no good if the ice-cream soaks into the material!
Design the ideal habitat
Investigate habitats. Look for similarities and differences between habitats, and identify plants and animals you find. Make a model of a chosen habitat, with information cards, and put it on display.
Find out what plants need to grow well
What do you know about plants and the conditions they need for healthy growth? Design a fair test. Carry out the test. Report your results in an appropriate format.
Find out about taste
Think of questions you would like to answer about taste. Invent ways of answering these. Conduct food trials. Look at your tongue. Complete your research and report your findings.
Find out what conditions woodlice prefer
Carefully capture some woodlice. Create some choice chambers. See where they go. Draw conclusions and explain your findings.
Creat a display about a season
Say what you know about Spring, Summer, Autumn or Winter. Decide who your display is for and what you want in your display.
How does a pulley work?
Find out about pulleys and pulley systems. Explain how pulleys make it easier to lift heavy things. Design a pulley system to lift a heavy weight.
Create a maths trail
What kind of trail? Decide where (in school grounds/ outside school)? Look for patterns, write some questions, try them out on each other, rethink, agree, trial with another class. Evaluate.
Survey all Maths Displays
Do a survey of maths displays in all the classrooms. Are there common elements? (100 square/ number line?) Is there progression from class to class? What do pupils find most useful/ least useful? What do pupils have on their desks to help them with Maths? What do they want? Design and make an A4 laminated Maths Card which contains useful mathematical information (or a series of cards for use throughout the school).
Examine some test results
Look at some test results (tables tests?) Put them in order. Mean, median and mode. Convert to percentage. Compare boys with girls (any difference?) Compare with another set of results. Any patterns?
Conduct a questionnaire
Decide on a subject you want to find out about. Decide how you will gather information, write some questions, test them out, refine and select the best, write the questionnaire, distribute. When results come in, analyse them. How many people responded (percentage?) Did girls and boys agree? What were the most popular ideas or views? Was the questionnaire reliable?
Invent a maths game
Agree the topic (eg. ‘fractions’). Choose the type of game you want to design. What is the object of the game? Agree the rules. Make the game. Try it out/ refine the rules. Test it on other people. Do they understand it? Does it work? Evaluate.
How many ways can we line up at the door?
What does ‘how many ways mean’...order? What if we stand in a circle? What if boys aren’t allowed next to boys?
Make a half-scale model
Make a half-scale model of a member of your group using newspaper and sellotape. Think about the measurements you will need to make, choose a ‘model’, work together.
Design and make ---
Design and make a toy or artefact based on a 3d solid eg. tetrahedron, cube or octahedron. Manufacture your product and 'sell’ it to others.
Have a Polygon Hunt
How many different triangles can you make on a 3x3 grid? What are the rules? What does ‘different’ mean? Are reflections allowed? Rotations? Similar triangles? How many quadrilaterals? Pentagons? Hexagons? Heptagons? Octagons? Extension: talk about types of triangle/ areas/ congruence/ length of sides and perimeters.
Do a survey
Choose a topic (eye colour/ hair colour/ pocket money/ favourite food, etc). Decide on a data collecting method. Write a data capture sheet (if appropriate). Decide on a sample, collect the information, analyse, draw conclusions.
Plan a school trip
Decide where to go, check train timetables, (book a coach), write a programme, work out costs, write a letter to pupils and parents, collect money.
Organise a disco
Work out costs, book the hall, advertise, survey the music required/ available, organise the Tuck Shop, buy the tuck, decide prices, make tickets, etc.
Develop the schools grounds
Develop an area of the school grounds (eg. Wildlife area, Garden area, Quiet area). Which area? How big? What’s going in it? How much will it cost? How long will it take? Draw a scale plan. Write a jobs list.
Reorganise the classroom
Consider how the room is to be used. Measure, draw to scale, make scale tables etc, move around on plan.
Choose resources etc. Give your reasons, present to the class.
Become a property developer
Design a scheme for the redevelopment of a local site. Where? What will we include? Survey? Archaeology? Make a model based on a large-scale map. Scale model buildings, etc.
Become a chef
Do some cooking. What are you going to cook? When? What do we need? How much will the ingredients cost? Go shopping! Measure/ weigh etc. (double or halve quantities for more or less). Cook. Eat your Maths. And...run a restaurant. Choose a menu. Advertise. Train staff. Work out costs and prices. Take bookings.
Work out a puzzle
Swaps. Boys and girls are seated alternately in a row. How many moves does it take to swap adjacent children so that the boys are together and the girls are together?
Create a display on an interesting topic
Create a display with information cards about any topic that interests you. Decide on your theme (will it interest other people?) What design ideas could you include in your display to capture attention?
Improve playground markings
Measure the playground. Investigate markings. Design some. What do people want? (do a survey). Produce a scheme for re-marking the playground. Scale drawing. Does it all fit? Cost it (paint/ some-one to paint it). Get it done.
Design a trendy T-shirt
Think of ideas, choose a theme, create a design, make the shirt. Perhaps you could sell your T-shirt to support a good cause.
Do some tie-dyeing
Find out about the tie-dying process. Decide what you want to make. Design a pattern, choose colours, experiment, make your product. Consider improvements.
Design and make a fridge magnet
Make a collection of commercial fridge magnets and choose your favourite designs. Say why you like them. Think of a theme, choose colours and sketch some designs. Make your fridge magnet.
Design a mask
Make a mask that illustrates a mood, idea, emotion, attitude or character (eg. an animal). Choose the best colours, shapes and materials.
Create a collage
Make a collage that includes interesting textures. Use pasta, seeds, modroc, fabric, string etc. What will your collage be about?
Design a display
Design a display about a given subject. Decide how to make the display as eye-catching as possible. Choose colours that work well together. Produce clear, bold labels. Mount your display.
Create something physical
Create a physical game/ dance/ action song with instructions that rhyme. Decide on a theme/ purpose for your piece. Explore ideas. Write some rhyming instructions. Rehearse and refine. Get ready for a performance.
Design a Sports Day
Design a brilliant Sports Day (the whole school could do this). Invent a game for Sports Day that fits the criteria set (eg. no more than 5 minutes long, using equipment the school has available). Choose the best ideas from each class. Chosen groups present their ideas to Dragon’s Den (Head and PE Co-ord). Hold your Sports Day.
Create a dance
Create a dance that describes an aspect of history or RE, for example, an ancient Egyptian ceremony.
Invent a new mini sport using the equipment provided. Discuss rules and scoring. Try your game out and refine it. Teach it to another group and ask them for their feedback.
Invent a team game
Invent a team playground game that doesn’t use any equipment. Decide on the object of the game. Make sure it is safe for children to play. Agree the rules. Try the game out and refine it. Introduce it to your friends at playtime and start a new craze!
Invent a skipping game
Invent a skipping rhyme for one, two or more skippers. Try it out. Practise it, then teach it to a friend. Find out what others think about it. How could you improve your skipping rhyme?
Create an exercise routine to music
What kind of music? What kind of rhythm? Which parts of the body need exercise? Perform your exercise dance. Teach it to other children.
Create an exercise routine for an athlete
What kind of athlete? Analyse the kinds of movements. What exercises are needed? Are they single exercises or multiple ones for a special movement?
Create an interesting movement sequence for a gymnast
Analyse your strong movements? How can you combine these into a sequence? How many new movements can you create? How will you begin and end? Can you find some music to create the right mood? Can you teach your sequence to someone else?
Tell a story through movement
Make up a story with a partner and create the movements to tell it to someone else. Can you put the story to music? Do you need costumes? Ask other pupils to interpret your story. Do they interpret in the same way?
Interpret a story
Work with a partner. Choose a story you both like. Decide how you can tell the story through movement. Perform your movement story for other children.
Create a 'Hiragasy' performance
Look on the internet for ‘Hiragasy’ performances. Write a music, dance and poetry performance (called a 'Hiragasy' in Madagascar) about Endangered Animals, or any important subject. The performance must include simple group dance, music played on drums, a message (it must be about something). Make your group some simple costumes. Practise and perform your Hiragasy.
Create storm music
Write a group piece of music that describes a storm. Think about how a storm grows from silence, becomes violent and dies down again. Try and show this in your musical piece. Choose the best instruments for the sounds you want.
Make music for a planet
Choose a planet and research it. Choose some sounds that represent your planet. Choose key characteristics to represent in your music. Be ready to explain your thinking to others.
Create music for a story
Create some music that can be used to tell a story you like. Discuss the mood of the story and the personality of the main characters. Choose sounds and rhythms that match the mood of the story.
Create music to express feelings
Write a musical piece that conveys an emotion. What do you know about emotions? Choose the mood of your piece. Try out instruments and sounds. Plan your piece, then practice and perform.
Create music for a cartoon
Compose a short piece of music on keyboard that can be background music to a TV cartoon. Choose the cartoon you want to use. What type of music would be appropriate? Explore ideas, then write your piece.
Create a personal rap
Write a rap that describes you. Talk about your strongest characteristics and exaggerate them. Practise your rap and then perform it to a group.
Create a musical play
Write a musical or an opera. Choose a theme. Decide on a story. Write a script. Prepare appropriate music (including songs, if required). Audition for the parts, rehearse and present to an audience.
Make up the solution
Produce a presentation that shows children how to make up with their friends after an argument. What is friendship? What makes a good friend? How do you make up with your friends? How will you present your ideas?
Organise a school council
Organise and run an effective school council/ collection of litter/ a healthy eating tuck-shop/ an exciting playground.
Carry out a service to the community
Organise an event for senior citizens or for parents and young children. Decide on a theme. Why is the theme important?
Make your Lunchtimes more interesting
Make improvements to Lunchtimes. Conduct some research (watch what happens at lunchtimes). Discuss problems. Brainstorm ideas for making things better. Present your ideas (to the School Council? The Head?) Try some changes and see what happens.
Cheer up a real or imaginary friend
'Teddy' is feeling sad. Reorganise the classroom to help cheer Teddy up when he comes back. What cheers you up? What could you do to cheer Teddy up? (draw him a picture/ make a model/ make some party food/ tell him a story/ write him a card, etc.)
Plan the school Harvest Festival Service
What is Harvest all about? What do we want to do or say in our service? Prepare materials, organise groups, practise and refine.
Invent a friendship game
Invent a game that teaches something about friendship. What makes a good friend? How do we stay friends with people? What goes wrong? Choose a type of game. Make up some rules. Try your game.
Design a great school day
What would you like to do? Survey opinions. Work out timings. Can we fit it all in? What/ who do we need? Organise/ invite. Get permission (from ?). Have the day. Was it as good as expected?
Run a side show at the Christmas Fair
Design and make a game, make posters, buy resources and prizes, run the game, count the money, calculate the profit.
Celebrate Peter's Coronation in Narnia
Consider the features of a celebration. Design a special event for Peter's Coronation. Carry out your plan and enjoy the Coronation!
Could you look after a baby?
Find out what you need if you have to look after a baby. Look at catalogues, work out costs, choose equipment, explain choices, look at costs of eg. nappies (nappy tests?), baby food (make your own?)
Design a robot with as many moving parts as possible
Collect and recycle lean junk to make your robot. Think about which parts could move. How will you make the joints? Make your robot out of the materials available. Then, tell a story about it, or create a play.
Build a bridge
Create a bridge to take a certain weight or to cross a particular gap. Use the materials made available to you (straws, or newspaper or clean junk).
Make a chair for one of the Three Bears
Decide which bear you wish to make a seat for. What would they like? Look at different chair designs. Sketch some ideas and make your chair.
Design a whale carrier
What do you know about whales? Design a whale carrier. Build a model of your design out of the materials available to you. Refine it and present it to the group.
You are stranded on a desert island!
Build a scale model shelter out of newspaper and sellotape. The model must be for a shelter 2m high and 6m in circumference.
Three Billy Goats Gruff
Invent a way for the Three Billy Goats' Gruff to get back across the river without having to meet the troll.
Send up a rocket
Make a rocket that travels as far as possible. How will it be powered? What will you make your rocket from?
Design and make a litter bin that encourages tidiness.
Capture a dragon
Create a way to capture a dragon without harming it.
Create a moving mouth
Make a model head with a moving mouth using pneumatics. This could be a Viking head (if you are studying the Vikings!)
Bring History alive
Find out about the Tudors. Look at Tudor artefacts and talk about Tudor life. Create a presentation to share what you have learnt.
Design an Easter egg box
Explore designs, find the best shape (decide criteria), model and test.
A conker contest
Organise and run a (conker, short tennis) competition. Collect names, decide on pattern of matches (knockout/ round robin?), make score board, agree and write rules, think about costs, referee the competition, buy prizes, hold a ceremony.
A Viking boat
Find out about the Vikings. Design and make a Viking boat and create some information cards that tell others what you know. Make a museum display case.
A mediaeval banquet
Prepare and celebrate a mediaeval banquet. Make up the costumes for it. Make the food. Design the invitations and prepare the entertainment.
Create an environment
Design an ideal environment for a particular purpose eg. for a great holiday, a play park, a place to relax. Present your ideas to the group in the most effective way you can.
Be an archaeologist
Do some archaeology. Plan a trench, measure up, put it in the right place, dig a hole. Sketch the trench to scale. Identify artefacts, measure and sketch them. Value artefacts.
Plan for, and run, your own Ancient Greek Olympic Games. Find out about the Ancient Greeks and the events included in The Games. Make costumes, safe equipment (javelins?), prizes etc. Plan the award ceremony. Practise the events. Hold your Games.
Learn about ancient Egyptians
Decide on an aspect of Ancient Egypt that interests you, then explore it further (eg. make Egyptian games, make a canopic pot, re-enact tomb ceremonies).
Plan a guide for school visitors
Design a way for visitors to find their way around school. Decide what visitors need to know. Make a map or plan, choose routes, write directions. Try out your ideas with a visitor. Refine and improve as necessary.
- Organising a teddy bears’ picnic, a party, a café, a role-play corner, a quiet area, a new garden.
- Turning the classroom into a jungle, or a rainforest, or an ocean, or... What materials are available? What will you need to move? What will you need to make?
- Exploring if it is possible to live on Mars? Find out as much as you can about Mars. What conditions are required for life? As a group, discuss the question and prepare to present your thinking.
- Setting up a business (eg. to make badges). Build a team. Design a logo. Agree a product design. Buy resources and equipment. Go into production. Measure and make. Sell your badges (to the wholesaler...price according to quality). Buy more resources, make and sell more badges, etc.