Week beginning 19th October 2020
This week we will be continuing our 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: A focus on people and community
Re-read the text so far (play the video) up to …but don’t be fooled, we are all people. Give time for the children to look carefully at this spread.
Encourage each child to make a drawing to represent themselves. Support them to think about what they will be wearing, or what they will be doing or holding that will tell us something about them. Come back to images in Oliver Jeffers’ spread to exemplify this. Look at how Oliver Jeffers has placed each character by adding a shadow beneath them to ground them in the scene, you could encourage them to do the same. Children can label their pictures with things that are important to them. Children can then make their own spread of drawings of people that are special or important to them. It might be friends, relatives, people in the school setting, local community or people they look up to.
Now, watch the following clip and story from CBeebies: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2egWySNmh0 Talk about the clip and the story together. How can you be a good friend to people?
Learning Objective: Looking after other living things
Re-read the book so far and on to: They can’t speak, though that’s no reason not to be nice to them. Allow the children time and space to look closely at all the animals they can see in the illustrations. Which can they name and recognise easily? Which do they not know the names of? Which animals are their favourites? Why?
Explore the pages on the WWF website about animals that are currently endangered: https://www.wwf.org.uk/learn/wildlife Discuss the meaning of this word with the children and then click on different animals on this page to find out why they are under threat.
§ Encourage the children to pick an animal from the page and summarise why this animal is endangered in the form of an informational poster or leaflet. Depending on the children’s age and experience, you could encourage them to pick different animals by printing out copies of the pages or you may choose to work as a class to summarise information about one chosen animal.
Learning Objective: Broadening our understanding of the world: Asking and answering questions
Re-read the book so far, and on to: Be patient, you’ll learn how to use words soon enough.
Recap with the children all the things that they think they have learnt about the world from exploring this book. Keep a record of the children’s reflections. What do these show you about their understanding of the text?
§ Think about the picture of the head filled with questions that you can see. What images can they see inside the head? What questions might this person have about those things?
§ Support the children in constructing and phrasing questions, modelling where necessary, using images from the illustration, e.g. Why do babies drink milk from bottles? Where does the water in the tap come from? How can boats float on water? Is a whale the biggest animal on the planet? Share a range of words that can be used to start questions in your demonstrations, then invite the children to think of other questions connected to other objects in the illustration.
§ Take a large semi-circle, cut from sugar paper and draw on it eyes and a mouth, as in the illustration. Then take appropriate drawing materials and model for the children how to draw things that represent things that you are thinking about, are curious about or have questions about in the world. Vocalise your thoughts and questions with them as you both draw. Invite the children to think about the things in their mind – thoughts, ideas and questions and to share these orally and on the paper.
§ Try finding answers to some of the questions. Where can you look? How can you find things out?
Learning Objective: Learning how to navigate the world
Re-read the text so far and on to: It will be gone before you know it. Talk to the children about what they see in the text. Look back at the spread that shows the difference between night and day and talk to the children about what they see. Explore all the different activities that take place in the daytime illustration and allow children to talk about the activities they enjoy doing in the day.
§ Now, compare this with the stillness of the night-time image. Ask the children to describe the differences between the top and bottom parts of this spread, looking at the colours, the settings, the movement and action. Now, ask them why they think it is important to rest and sleep. They might notice the baby being awake with the hammer. How do you think the parents might feel if the baby wakes them up? How do they feel themselves if they don’t get a good night’s sleep? Talk about times when it feels like things are moving quickly and when things are going slowly.
§ Share the poem, When I Swing by Matt Goodfellow with the children, available on Matt’s website: https://www.mattgoodfellowpoet.com/books and also available in Off By Heart ed. Roger Stevens (A & C Black). Read the poem aloud to the children then encourage them to look at the poem on the page. Does it convey a sense of things moving quickly or moving slowly? What is it that makes the children feel this way?
§ Compare this with the poem Look at the Train! by Kathy Henderson: https://clpe.org.uk/poetryline/poems/look-train Does this poem give you a sense of moving quickly or slowly? What is it about the poem that makes the children think this?
§ Allow children to practise performing these in a way that conveys the speed of the movement.
§ Invite them to write their own poems that share an aspect of life that moves quickly or slowly. Draw on the rhythms of the poems you have explored together and the way they are arranged on the page to convey the speed at which the activity is happening. Model how to translate an idea into writing yourself, such as a poem about doing yoga, that conveys the slow stretching nature of the activity or a poem about playing football that conveys the fast pace of the game.
Learning Objective: Finding our place in the world as active and caring citizens – Writing notes for the world
The end of the book is a wonderful invitation to talk about the importance of kindness. Learning how to socialise and care for the needs of others, as well as our own, is a key aspect of Personal, Social and Emotional development in the Early Years. This will also extend to developing children’s awareness or their larger role as world citizens, and contemplate their own contribution to the world.
§ Read the entire book from the beginning to the end. Think about the last part of the book, looking at all the different people the baby has in their life to help them find out the answers to other questions they might have. Look at the line of people in front of the parent and the baby on the spread that reads, …you can always ask someone else. Who do the children think these people might be?
§ Come back and re-read the pages: It looks big, Earth up to Make sure you look after it, as it’s all we’ve got. Think about the word kind with the children, write it up at the top of a large sheet of paper or on a flipchart. What does this word mean to the children? Encourage them to think of instances in or out of the setting where someone has been kind to them. What did this person do that was kind? How did it make them feel when someone was kind to them? Model this by sharing your own example of when someone has been kind to you, sharing with the children how to recognise and articulate an act of kindness and describing how this made you feel.
§ Go on to discuss all the larger acts of kindness that have happened in the country during lockdown. Talk about the everyday heroes, key workers like doctors, nurses, public transport workers, delivery drivers and teachers who have worked hard during the lockdown to make sure that people are looked after. Many children will have parents that are key workers and who have been working at this time, and they will have continued coming to school during this time to allow them to work. Allow children to share their own experiences and talk about the work they and their parents have been doing.
§ Now re-read the spread starting Though we have come a long way… to Just remember to leave notes for everyone else. Encourage the children to think about this concept. What is a note? Why do we write notes to people? Have you ever seen a note written before? Does anyone in your house write notes for each other? What do they say? Think about the different reasons that we might write notes to each other
§ Write notes to remind people how to be kind and look after our world. Put them up around the house for people to see.