For Sports Week, I put the children into Olympic country teams and each were challenged to put together an bid to persuade the head of the Olympic Committee (our PE leader) that they should be the next Olympic hosts. To organise this, every child did every activity (except the opening ceremony, which was planned as a team - see below), then at the end of the week, they had to choose who would present which element. Every team member had to present one of their own contributions, so making this decision was a great team-builder on its own. Another key skills we worked on was persuasion - they had to really sell their ideas. (All resources downloadable the bottom of the post)
First up was Geography, using Google Maps and Google Earth to decide where to locate the Olympic village. Children had to consider space, amenities, transport links and terrain. They researched 3 cities then created their own Google Map of the best location, with relevant locations noted on, and wrote a persuasive pitch. Alternatively, they could draw a map.
Next up was the obligatory logo design. We looked at past Olympic logos and decided that they represent 3 things: the Olympics, often including a sports figure; the year, both written on and clear in the style of the artwork; and the country, often through the chosen colours or style. The children then designed their own and explained how theirs represented these three aspects.
After that, we watched some of the highlights from Olympic opening ceremonies here:
As a team, the children planned their own opening ceremony. I gave them a very basic planning sheet and said they could use this however they wanted - they didn't have to put a particular thing in a particular space on the sheet, it was for them to choose. They first split the opening ceremony into what they felt were appropriate categories - one for each person on the team. Some examples were fireworks, music, entrance of each team, dances, entrance of monarch / state leader.
Finally, each child designed their own game to add to the Olympics. We looked at the rules for Quidditch and watched an interview with J.K. Rowling about how she created it (the video link is now dead - random!).
As promised - here are the editable downloads. Enjoy!
Half term is here!!!! Meaning I finally have time to update this!
I really was pleased with how well this topic went. It is usually only found in KS1 but this was definitely a challenging KS2 topic.
We started with amateur reviews from Trip Advisor. First, we looked at some. It was harder than you'd imagine to find some that were suitable, so I have attached mine below the pic to save you a job if you decide to do this! We pulled out the features and thought about their content. As you can see, some children couldn't resist correcting the mistakes in them too!
After finding the features, we then went on to panning our own. We've been working on writing in notes when planning, which is coming on. Oh, and they LOVED creating their profile! I tweaked the planning sheet a bit after using it and have attached the improved one below.
You can guess what's coming next...we wrote them! However, we did this with a twist. I realised a while ago that my chatty children tend to...shall we say...take after their teacher! In short, they are wafflers! So, to combat this, I had them write their reviews on the computers. As you can imagine this helped in no way, as expected. However, I then showed them how to find their word count and (after working out for myself!) how to use the 'Review' tools on Word. Now, this is a little confusing, as it has nothing to do with writing a review! The name refers to 'reviewing' your work.
Here's a quick run-down of how to use these tools. I have written a short paragraph of nonsense with which to demonstrate! Take a look.
So, after learning how to do this, I challenged the children to cut their review down to 120 words. This was a great challenge and we learnt the words concise and succinct very quickly!
As you can see, we added comments too. You'll find these in the same 'Review' section of Word.
After this work on amateur, informal reviews, we moved on to professional ones. We used a Venn diagram to compare them - like the Maths link?
Then, we looked at formal language and wrote some 'professional' reviews of our own.
Happy New Year! Well, after an eventful Christmas and New Year, it's been full steam ahead this term. Our new topic is all about Holidays. Yes, I know that this is a common Foundation Stage and KS1 topic, but I've amped it up to KS2! There is so much learning to be done!! The children are loving this topic already. Anyway, I should start at the beginning...
To hook them into the topic, I allowed each team of 4 to come up with a 'tour group', who could be travelling together. We had pensioners, 2 couples, a single mum with 3 children, a family with 2 adults and 2 children, a swimming team on a social holiday and a group of university students. They thought of likes, dislikes, considerations (such as disabilities or allergies) and group dynamics. I then took them and redistributed them to different groups, along with a suitable budget and 2 holiday destination options.
Opening their envelopes was the funniest experience! The 'swimming team' squealed with excitement, the 'pensioners' groaned and laughed and the single mother declared that 'they'd better have a kids club because she's stuck on her own with them all year - this is her break', meanwhile a 'teenage daughter' was sulking about not being able to charge her iPhone in a tent! Talk about getting into character!!
In Maths, we decided to try to figure out how Trip Advisor rank attractions after realising that the top attraction often had a lower rating than those further down. I took screen shots of some of the top attractions in our local area (Manchester), and we had a look at the bars and numbers to check what each represented. After a quick recap of finding percentages using a calculator, the children explored possibilities. Some tried finding the percentage of 'excellent' reviews, some wondered if it was based on the percentage at 'average' or above (thus moving themselves on to a 2-step problem, having to total the categories they were including).
Okay, I know that this is nothing new, but we had a lot of fun measuring distances with maps, scales and pieces of string! We then extended this a bit to calculating how long a journey would take at a given speed. The maps we used were just simple Google maps of Greater Manchester, allowing us to find the distances between our school and local attractions. Later in the week, we converted these from metric to imperial, because let's be honest - who measures distances in kilometres?!
Check back next week for details about the walking tour we are designing for our parents and the fantastic speaking and listening that has come out of it! Sorry for the short post but, as you can see, we've been very busy! More to come soon, promise!
Well, it's been a while since I blogged.
Anyway, before Christmas officially takes over(I'm a bit of a Christmas-a-holic!), I thought I'd share a little more of my Extreme Weather topic.
One of the first things we did was to ask questions. The children worked in their teams to decide which were the most interesting and then each displayed theirs on a card. I chose a few and photocopied them to make a nice title page for their topic books:
I also displayed some of them on our topic wall, as debris flying out of the tornado. Speaking of which, I got impatient with myself because I kept dragging my heals with my display. As a result, I grabbed a piece of white playground chalk and scribbled a tornado on the wall and it actually looks great! I then went a bit mad with some cotton wool to make a hurricane! There are now icicles in that top-left corner, too. I'm actually pretty pleased with the results. Some of my best work is done on a whim!
I also had a fantastic supply teacher covering my class while I was off nursing my injury, so I thought I'd share some of her lovely ideas! In Maths, she gave them some real weather data about different locations from the BBC weather website (love that it wasn't a worksheet, but real data!). She then worked with them on finding the averages. They then used that to create a climate graph showing temperature and rainfall. A big thank you to Miss L! It's a great feeling to come back to find that, not only has the children's behaviour made me proud, but they have continued to learn.
Hi! I'm Mrs P: passionate primary school teacher!