Tuesday 30 June 2020

Project 141: Nature in Summertime

As it felt as though we had spent far too much time stuck in the house, and Britain was due a mini-heatwave, we decided to have a nature based project this week to get us out and about a bit more.

We pressed some flowers - and then laminated the results:
Monica (left) and Solomon's (right) pressed flowers
We created stick fairies, using materials found during a picnic by the lake:

And we did some wildlife spotting and learned about bees using some online resources. .

We also watched a couple of films set in the English countryside: Swallows and Amazons (1974), and Coot Club.

The children enjoyed both the films, and it even prompted Solomon to suggest the Coot Club sequel as the next project.

Next week's project: Arthur Ransome and the The Big Six

Monday 22 June 2020

Project 140: Presentations

After sitting through a number of presentations in recent weeks, the children decided they would like to do their own presentation this week.

We watched a large number of videos on 'How to give a presentation' and the children took copious notes. They then had to decide what subject to give a ten minute presentation on, and then spend the rest of the week putting together their presentation, and practicing the talk.

Solomon picked Fortnite:

Monica picked Pets:
Both the children really enjoyed putting the presentations together, and gave great presentations! We look forward to getting them to put together more presentations in the future.

Next project: Nature in Summertime

Tuesday 16 June 2020

Project 139: A History of Music

As it's been a year since we last did a music project, and the ukulele classes have been on hold due to the coronavirus, we decided it was time to do another music focused project.

Obviously the history of music is a rather big subject, so we started by revisiting the previous classical music project (Project 90: Classical Music), and then went through the development of twentieth century popular music with the help of Turn It Up! A pitch-perfect history of music that rocked the world

This week's reading
Unsurprisingly, most of the week was spent listening to a wide variety of music, although we did have time for some other activities as well.

We explored Stravinsky's Firebird using CBBC resources, and the children created their own Firebird inspired pictures.
Of course you can't have a music project without playing some music, so after introducing them to the blues we got them to write their own 12 bar blues songs. We created a template based on an online example (unfortunately we've lost the link!) and combined it with three ukulele chords they know.

Solomon's Vegetable Blues:
"I've got the Blues,The I have to eat my vegetables BluesEating courgette makes me sickSo a Domino's pizza would do the trick I've got the Blues, The I have to eat my vegetables Blues."

Monica's Going to Bed Blues
"I've got the Blues, The going to bed BluesI would rather stay up lateand go out for a skateI've got the BluesThe going to bed Blues"
Singing the Blues
They both really enjoyed singing their own blues songs, and insisted on singing them to their various grandparents over the phone/Skype.

Finally they explored some of the different elements that go into making up a song with another BBC resource.

Next Project: Presentations

Monday 8 June 2020

Project 138: Ponies and Unicorns

This week's project was Monica's pick as it was her birthday, and she picked 'ponies and unicorns' in typical young girl fashion!

They created their own stories about a unicorn and designed their own unicorn and gave it some superpowers using some Twinkl worksheets. 

We also read a book about horses and ponies together, and the children had to read War Horse and write their own book review (using a template from Twinkl). 

This week's reading
They all enjoyed making some unicorn models using Fimo oven bake clay (despite having to do it twice after the oven was put on too high a temperature the first time round!).
Fimo Unicorns
The also made their own unicorn horns to wear for the birthday tea. 

Unicorn horns
Finally we finished the week by watching Spirit: Stallion of the Cimarron.

Next project: History of Music

Monday 1 June 2020

Project 137: Lewis Carroll's Alice Books

The Alice books have been on our list of potential projects for a while as there are so many different avenues for exploration. 

To get an overview of the two stories we read the Usborne versions as a family, before Solomon and Monica did a Poetry Society worksheet on imaginary words and an Alice differentiated reading worksheet from Twinkl.
This week's Alice books
The children were expected to read Alice's Adventures in Wonderland and Through the Looking Glass themselves, before being subjected to two presentations we put together after reading The Annotated Alice. One on text and context, and one on the maths of the Alice books. 

The children have played chess (the backdrop to Through the Looking Glass) before, but have little experience of cards (which appear in ...Wonderland), so we introduced them to a couple of simple card games: Old Maid, and Beggar-my-neighbour. We also got them to make their own card characters:
Monica (left) and Sol's card characters
One of the most memorable scenes from the Alice books is the Hatter's Tea Party, so the children helped make our own afternoon tea:
Mad Hatter's Tea Party
Finally we watched the old Disney animated version of the story. 

Next week's project: Ponies and Unicorns