Week beginning 12th October 2020
This week (and next week) we will be learning about the book Here We Are by Oliver Jeffers. We will be using the book to think about planet Earth and how we fit into it. Much of the learning we will be doing in school is focused on talking skills and working collaboratively. The blended learning this week reflects this and the projects for each day are intended to be worked on by parents and children together. Children from other year groups will enjoy and be able to contribute to these projects too.
Learning objective: To think about their own place in the world.
Introduce the title of the book Here We Are, and the front cover of the text to the children. Talk together about the words Here We Are and use these to talk about being together with their friends in school and their family at home.
§ Begin by giving the children the time to look at the illustration on the front cover of the text and ask them what they can see. Do they know the name of this planet? Do they know who or what lives here and what happens on this planet?
§ Use Google Earth (https://earth.google.com/web/ ) to share a view of the Earth from space with the children on a large screen or IWB. If the children haven’t already used the name Earth, use this as an opportunity to introduce this. Talk together about what they notice as they see the Earth presented before them in this way. Have they ever seen our planet like this before? What do they notice about it? What does it make them think about? Help your child record their ideas on paper (you can write them down for them).
§ Now use the search function on Google Earth to locate your school. Before the map zooms in completely, pause the zoom to look more closely at the land and sea and to see if the children are able to identify the country we are in, or the town. As the view hovers over the school, allow the children to discuss what they can see. What does the land around our school look like? Do they recognise any of the places around the school? Continue to zoom in to see the school in closer detail. Can they pick out key features such as the playground or the entrance?
§ Now look for other places in the world that are important to them, e.g. other towns, cities or countries where they have family or have visited.
Learning objective: Recognising our place in the wider universe – Sharing and communicating information for an audience
Watch the video of the book being read up to …so let’s get started with a quick tour. Ask the children to think about the planet that they live on. What is our planet like? What sorts of things can you see and do here on Earth? Model this by talking about your own reflections. You might talk about the physical environment, the different forms of life on Earth, or what people do here on Earth. Then give time and space for the children to go on and talk about things of relevance to them. Keep notes of the children’s ideas for them to draw on in their own writing.
§ Tell the children that they are going to develop a guide to Earth for someone who has never been here before. You can do this together with them and scribe some of their ideas for them. Ask the child/ren to talk about all the different things they would share with a visitor who has never been here before.
§ When they have collected all of their ideas, get the child/ren to think about which ideas might connect together and appropriate ways of grouping the information, for example, under headings like Things to See, Things to Do, People, Animals etc.
Now tell the child/ren that they are going to organise and expand on this information for their guide. Depending on the age and experience of the children you may wish to do this as a written guide in a leaflet or as a video guide where children can present their ideas orally.
§ As an enabling adult, model the process of how to do this, articulating how to think about the purpose and audience for this writing, knowledge of what to include for this form of writing and how to organise it and particular language to use to engage their reader.
§ Provide the children with the appropriate resources to plan their work, then when they have worked out what they want to say, to share their ideas and gain a response to these, discussing what works and what could make their guide better.
Learning objective: Learning about our planet, its environment and wildlife – writing a song
Re-watch the book so far, and on to There is also the sky. Though that can get pretty complicated. Come back to reflect on these pages with the child/ren. What have they learnt about our planet from reading these pages? What is special about its environment?
Listen to, look at and learn the lyrics to the song ‘What a Wonderful World’, first recorded by Louis Armstrong: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=CWzrABouyeE
I see trees of green, red roses too
I see them bloom for me and you
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
I see skies of blue and clouds of white
The bright blessed day, the dark sacred night
And I think to myself what a wonderful world
The colours of the rainbow, so pretty in the sky
Also on the faces of people going by
I see friends shaking hands, saying how do you do
They're only saying I love you
I see babies crying, I watch them grow
They'll learn so much more than I'll ever know
Work together to arrange the ideas into your own version of the song. You could compose this as a spoken word free verse, where you don’t have to worry about the rhyme scheme, or to support their confidence in using rhyme effectively for themselves, you could work with the child/ren as a practising writer to share with them how to make their words fit the syllabic beat and rhyme pattern of the original song. Talk through your choices as you work, choosing, using and adapting ideas to fit the rhyme scheme. e.g.
I see panthers black and polar bears white,
Bees in the day and owls at night,
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world.
I see volcanoes boom, mountains high,
Forests of green, seas and sky
And I think to myself, what a wonderful world
The raindrops slowly falling, the lightning flash so bright
The sunshine in the daytime, the soft moonlight at night,
I see people smiling, saying hello
Birds above the land and fish below
Learning objective: Engaging with the environment physically
It is important that this session is conducted in an outdoor learning space, such as a garden if you can. If you can not, encourage children to think about outdoor spaces they have visited and use regularly. Try to let children have space to engage with and explore the natural environment outdoors if possible (please follow covid guidelines for your current situation). If you have any of the following items you may want to encourage you child to use them:
o crepe paper to make stick streamers and watch the wind;
o lard and seed to make bird feeders;
o wildflower seeds to scatter;
o large magnifying glasses;
o pooters to collect minibeasts safely;
o tarps, rope and sticks to make dens;
o wool and string to craft shapes from sticks (and scissors for adults to take care of);
o stories and books focussed on the outdoor environment, such as We’re Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen and Helen Oxenbury (Walker), Owl Babies by Martin Waddell and Patrick Benson (Walker), The Perfect Shelter by Clare Helen Welsh and Åsa Gilland (Little Tiger), Shh! We Have a Plan by Chris Haughton, Where the Wild Things Are by Maurice Sendak (Red Fox);
o notebooks, paper and drawing and writing equipment to record responses to their activities;
Guide you child to come up with a poem about nature. Give the children time to draft their poems, encourage them to work roughly and make changes as they work as needed. When they have something they are happy with, encourage them to read this aloud to someone else, to hear the rhythms and patterns they have achieved in their writing. Allow them to make changes to improve the poem guided by peer or adult response.
Learning Objective: Learning how to care for ourselves and for others: Informational Writing
Re-read the book so far, to reorient the children with the storyline and on to: The most important things for people to remember are to eat, drink and stay warm.
Talk together about how we keep ourselves safe and healthy. What would happen if we didn’t eat or drink? Why are these things important? Think about the snacks and meals that are provided in school. When are these planned for? Why is it important to eat regularly while you are here?
§ It’s also important to highlight the importance of looking after the needs of others. You could explore how important it is that everyone in the world has access to food, water and housing.
Use this as an opportunity to review existing and new routines with the children. Children of this age will have varying degrees of experience with the health measures put in place since the coronavirus outbreak, so it is important that we use this as an opportunity to talk about any fears the children have, and to explain to them that these measures are in place to keep us all safe, not to scare us.
§ You could support them in making or reading posters, signs, captions and instructions to remind them of and engage them in independently following key routines, e.g. easily accessible tissues with reminders to use these when sneezing, signs reminding children to wash their hands.
Children can design and make their own poster about how to care for ourselves and others.