I recently used this strategy in a Geography lesson, it is designed to foster independent learning in students and to encourage less dependence on the teacher, developing students who can think for themselves!!

How it works

At the beginning of the lesson, all students were given 50 AED. You can find the templates for the pretend money here.Dirhams Funny Money

The objective is that students must try and earn as much money as they can, complete the task and not lose money along the way. They should aim to not get charged any ‘Think Tax’. The more they think for themselves or assist peers with their learning, the more they earn.

Similar to the ‘see three before me’ idea, students will find that its more ‘cost effective’ to consult their brain, book, buddy, before they ask their teacher, as to ask me a question about their learning costs 25 AED! To ask their friend a questions is 5 AED, I also had several learning stations around the classroom that they could go to for information at a cost of 5 AED per visit.

Students can also earn money by answering other student’s questions or expanding on points they have made. I gave the table that made the most money, chocolate coins as a prize 

Think Tax


For this lesson I asked students to create a mind map that would act as a plan for a piece of writing to answer the question, ‘Is China’s one child policy fair?’
We had studied this in the previous lesson so this strategy was also useful in showing me how much had been learnt and what progress students had made.
This can of course be adapted for any subject/ age group.
Give it a go!- Who are your best independent learners?

Think Tax

(This strategy is an adapted version of @ASTsupportAALI post on his excellent blog, so many thanks to him for the inspiration!)