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The Sociology Society

This is a lesson plan designed to help introduce students to some basic sociological concepts (roles and values, for example). It can also be used to introduce ideas about social structure and social action.  

Lateral Thinking

While this isn't exactly a lesson plan, it's an online set of lateral thinking puzzles (with answers) that I've used as a kind of first sociology class introduction. It's an interesting little ice-breaker for a new class and it helps to get the point across that "sociological thinking" - a way of looking at and trying to understand social behaviour - is something the students will need to learn.

"Society Is Like..."

This group and class-based activity uses simple analogies (plus some optional optical illusions…) to introduce students to a variety of sociological perspectives.

Core Concepts

Nine classroom-based activities designed to illustrate ideas about culture, identity and socialisation.

If you want to play the Socialisation Game you will need this game board.

An End Has A Start

A simple, counter-intuitive, teaching technique that can be used to enliven run-of-the-mill lessons (or serve as a quick’n’dirty lesson template when the inspiration for all-singing, all-dancing lessons has temporarily left the room) by reversing the teaching process: instead of starting-at-the-start and gradually revealing more and more information to students, you begin-at-the-end and encourage them to “build backwards” to create an understanding of The Bigger Picture of, in this example, Functionalism.


A comparative exercise designed to help students understand the reasons for increases in the divorce rate in Britain over this century. The technique involved is easily adapted to a wide range of social phenomena (marriage, illegitimacy, crime and so forth).    

Domestic Labour
This fragment contains a range of reasonably up-to-date (2000-2005) data relating to domestic labour. It can be used for information purposes or as the basis for a teacher-designed exercise (comprehension, data-analysis, comparative analysis and so forth).

Social Change
A discussion question based around the idea of gendered language.


Research Search
This is a simple (but infinitely adaptable) lesson template that can be used to help students develop research, information and group-working skills. This particular template is based on researching arguments for and against different types of school (grammar, secondary modern, comprehensive and private).

Differential Achievement Grid

A multi-purpose grid - it can be used in the classroom, as homework or for revision - the basic idea is to encourage students to identify explanations for differential educational achievement and relate them to material / cultural factors, issues of class, gender, ethnicity and so forth.  

Why Are You Still Here?
An individual / class exercise that requires students to reflect on the reasons for their staying in / leaving education. These reasons can then be related to theories of differential educational achievement.

Class and Achievement
Analysis exercise based on drawing information from a range of statistical tables relating to class and achievement (from Key Stage 2 onward).

Gender and Achievement
Analysis exercise based on drawing information from a range of statistical tables relating to gender and achievement (from Key Stage 2 onward).  

Ethnicity and Achievement
Analysis exercise based on drawing information from a range of statistical tables relating to ethnicity and achievement (from Key Stage 2 onward).

Role of Education

Exercise designed to help students evaluate labelling processes within the education system by examining "classroom values".  

Mass Media

Ownership and Control
An expanded version of the exercise that appears in "AS Sociology For AQA"; this includes a couple more extracts to consider when looking at the various ways media owners try to ensure employees reflect their views.

Selection and Representation
This is a slightly different version of the exercise that appears in the AS book, mainly because it includes a couple of adverts that, for various reasons, their copyright owners would not give permission for inclusion in a printed work.


Simulacra and Hyperreality

This lesson outline combines notes and practical exercises you can use to explain the related concepts of simulacra and hyperreality.


Theories of Religion
This fragment includes a short introductory exercise on "defining religion" (in terms of what it is / does), two exercises on Functionalist theory (the functions of religion and Functionalist methodology) and two exercises on Postmodernism based around the concept of metanarrative.

The Role of Religion

 Discussion exercise linking fundamentalist religious groups and movements to political parties and ideologies.  


Discussion exercise that analyses the role of the Church of England in terms of its spiritual and material roles.    

Crime and Deviance

Radical Criminology
A simple group-based exercise to help students understand the basic principles of Taylor, Walton and Young's theory of deviance.

Social Distribution of Crime

A whole-class lesson plan that explores reasons for differences in criminal behaviour based around categories of class, age, gender, ethnicity and region. The focus is on the development of interpretation, application and evaluation skills. You can also download examples of  completed Social Distribution Tables for Age; Ethnicity; Gender and Region.

Defining Deviance
Visual exercise where students are given a set of situations in which they have to make the case for the situation being both deviant and non-deviant - the idea being to demonstrate that concepts of deviance are relative to the social context within which they're interpreted.


A simple exercise designed to get students thinking about personal and social characteristics associated with a label.

Self-Report Questionnaire

Opportunities for students to link crime, deviance and research methods in a practical way are often limited by the constraints of time and space - but one simple approach that can be used effectively in the classroom is a self-report crime questionnaire. This is a relatively recent one I’ve put together based on questions contained in the UK Crime and Justice Survey. Although not a lesson plan, as such, it does suggest some possible classroom uses.

Social Inequality  

Social Stereotypes
This particular lesson plan is based around an exploration of social class stereotypes. It can, however, be easily adapted for use with a wide range of stereotypical assumptions based around gender, age, ethnicity and the like.

Applying Class Theories

In this lesson students are encouraged to develop their understanding of various perspectives on social class by applying theories of class to various basic class categories.  

Life Chances
xamples of different life chances based around class, age, gender and ethnicity.

The Hidden Rules of Social Classes

Reintroduce a cultural dimension to social class by applying these "rules" to a range of areas (from culture and identity to social inequality). And if you really want to push the boat out, try throwing the "Language of Education" simulation into the mix...

Using Analogies: How Inequality Creates Inequalities

Lesson Outline looking at the relationship between poverty and social inequality that uses a "mountain climbing" analogy to sensitive students to how inequality creates further inequalities.


What's Your Methodology?
Not a lesson plan, as such, but a questionnaire designed to help students understand four different types of methodology (Positivism, Realism, Interactionism, Feminism) and their own particular perspective on the nature of the social world.

Prove It!

A group / whole class exercise designed to demonstrate how the post-modernist critique of "metanarratives" can be applied to the concept of science, as well as things like religion and various sociological "ism's" (Marxism, Feminism, etc.). It can also be used to illustrate how the post-modernist use of relativism can be the basis for theoretical criticism.

Prove It Too!
A companion file to Prove It!, this focuses on science and religion examples.

Society Is Like...
Analogies can often be a useful way of introducing students to the idea of sociological perspectives. This lesson plan can be used to familiarise students with various perspectives and forms the basis for further work in this area.

Family Death Rates: The Grandmother Problem

A simple and effective way to teach correlation, causation and the difference between the two, using the little-researched phenomenon of grandmothers dying suddenly just before a student relative takes an exam.


The Key Word Game

A simple, competitive, revision game that contributes to the development of student knowledge and encourages planning techniques for their exam.  

Revision Hangman

A simple "Hangman" group game designed to make revision interesting. It also highlights the knowledge and interpretation aspects of the syllabus.  

The Philosophy Game
This is a simple little game played with groups of 3 or 4 students. It's designed to help students generate information about a topic through argument and debate (within clearly-set parameters). It can be especially useful for revision throughout the course.  

Sociology Skill Domains

This is a practical exercise designed to help students understand the Skill Domains of interpretation, application and evaluation. Although designed as a whole-class exercise, it can be adapted for small-group / individual work or used as a homework exercise.  

30 Second Street
A team-based revision game in which students have to talk for 30 seconds, without challenge, on a randomly-selected topic, theory, concept or method.  

Revision Tales

This is a simple revision technique (based on key words) that involves constructing simple stories to help students remember key ideas in their exam.  

Developing Skill Domains
This lesson plan aims to help students develop interpretation and evaluation skills through the medium of a group discussion on aspects of crime and deviance.

The Identity Game
A simple card-matching revision exercise based on aspects of culture and identity (class, gender, nationality and ethnicity). A useful end-of-lesson / end-of-Module exercise.

Lesson Plans


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