Saturday 15 December 2018

Project 64: Buildings and architecture.

Buildings and architecture was picked for this week's project to try to get the children to notice the buildings and history around them a bit more.

We introduced the concept of architecture and an architect with a short video from BBC Teach, before going on to look at the idea of listed buildings and some of those in the local area using information from Historic England.

We took the children on a walk around Peterborough to look at a range of houses from different historic periods, some of the features, and the different terminology (using Rice's Language of Buildings).
Some notable buildings in Peterborough
Both of the children were then tasked with designing their own buildings, both drawing the outside and plans of the inside. A 'plan' is quite an abstract concept for a 4 and 6 year old, so we worked through a plan of a floor in our own house first so they could get a feel for the idea.
Solomon's house and plans
Monica's house and plans

Next weeks' project: Christmas and New Year

Sunday 9 December 2018

Project 63: Fairy tales and folklore

This week's project was a closer look at some fairy tales and folklore, exploring some of the elements of the fairy tale genre and how the stories have been told and re-told over the years. As such this week involved many more films than we'd usually watch (albeit usually accompanied by a version of the book).

As well as watching the films Shrek, Cinderella, and the Snow Queen, we also watched CBeebies presents The Snow Queen, and Engelbert Humperdinck's Hansel and Gretel:

Although we had expected to just introduce the Hansel and Gretel opera, thinking they'd quickly get bored of it, they actually loved it and happily watched the full two hours.

We got them to do more creative activities around the story of Little Red Riding Hood. They created their own collage of Little Red Riding Hood in the woods:
Little Red Riding Hood Collage
And after comparing three versions of Little Red Riding Hood, they had to write their own version.

Different versions of Little Red Riding Hood
The Alison Jay version is a horrible over-sanitised version of the story - with no one eaten and the wolf sent for re-education at the end - unsurprisingly Solomon and Monica went for the more traditional gobbling-up approach. In fact Solomon's had more than usual!
Solly’s Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time there lived a girl called Little Red Riding Hood who ran off into the woods to visit her grandmother. As she was walking along she saw something hiding in the trees, so she went to see what it was. But as she was walking towards it, it turned out to be a wolf that jumped out at her and gobbled her up. Then a woodcutter came and chopped the wolf up and out jumped Little Red Riding Hood, who continued walking to her grandmother’s house. 
When she got there Grandmother turned out to be a wolf who gobbled Little Red Riding Hood up, but then her father came and pulled the wolf’s head off. Out jumped Little Red Riding Hood who walked home with her father. 
On the way home another wolf jumped out and ate them both up.
The end. 
Monica’s Little Red Riding Hood
Once upon a time there lived a little girl who was called Little Red Riding Hood, and she went into the forest to visit her grandmother. She picked some flowers for her grandmother, and then a wolf jumped out and gobbled her up. But a woodcutter came and chopped up the wolf, and Little Red Riding Hood realised that it was her father and she hugged him. And then she carried on walking to her grandmother’s and she was overjoyed to see her grandmother. Then she went home and hugged her mother as well.
The end. 
Next week's project: Buildings and architecture.

Tuesday 4 December 2018

Project 62: Money!

'Money' has been a long-standing item on the project to-do list, and as there was the opportunity for a couple of trips to London this week it seemed like a good time to do it.

We started the week by exploring coins, their attributes, and how they are made, making use of the good classroom resources from the Royal Mint museum. 

We had two museum trips this week: the Bank of England Museum, and the British Museum Money Gallery

The Bank of England museum was surprisingly engaging for young children when you consider the subject matter.
'At the helm' at the Bank of England Museum 
They particularly liked 'At the helm', a game where you sail a boat and try and keep inflation steady at 2%. Despite spending about 3 hrs in the museum they would have happily stayed longer! The Bank of England also has an app for exploring the security features of a banknote we used when we got home. 

The British Museum Money Gallery gives you more of an overview of the history of coins, from some of the earliest coins to modern credit cards and phones.
Money at the British Museum
They enjoyed looking at the money boxes, and the opportunity to explore some of the objects and ask questions at the 'hands on' desk.

We got the children to design their own commemorative 50p coins and nominate a scientist for the new £50 note (with help from the Usborne Junior Illustrated Science Dictionary). They decided to nominate Robert Hooke. 
Cinderella and Fortnite commemorative coins. 
Next week: Fairy tales and folklore