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This is where you will find photographs and videos of our Spring Adventures
We are learning how to use tools to eventually work independently to create 'wonderful works of wood art' This is no easy task and requires sound listening skills, an understanding of and desire to follow simple instructions and control and coordination of our actions. All of these things come together to allow us to use tools successfully and safely. Watch this space ...
There has been a definite change in the air of late (although the weather is still changeable) and we have begun to notice all sorts of things. Off we went on a walk to see what we could see! There is evidence that leaves are beginning to emerge on the tree branches, we noticed a bird high up in one of the trees on its nest, heard some excited birdsong in the bushes and discovered that flowers have 'growed' (Alisson) ... 'emerged' (Ms H) ... 'appeared' (Alara) ... and 'bloomed'(Esmai). The children are so used to our routine now that they began offering words to describe what we had seen instinctively. Well done! A spot of 'al fresco' painting in the wood followed to capture what we had noticed as well as some super labelled 'diagrams' of daffodils too.
Recalling the festivals that we had discussed during autumn and winter, we turned our attention to a spring festival, the Christian festival of Easter. Immediately arose a call of "chocolate eggs" ... "the Easter Bunny" and, yes many people do think of these things when they hear the word Easter but we know that it is so much more than this. For Christians it is about remembering when Jesus died. Just like we shared the story of the Nativity at Christmas and know it to be seen as the story of Jesus' birth by many most recently we have talked in simple terms about how Easter is seen as the time of Jesus' death. The children were excited to hear from Toby ("not our Toby" said the children " a different Toby!"), just like we heard from Jessica (Diwali) and Abbie (Lunar New Year), via CBeebies about how he and his family prepared for and celebrated Easter. The children were able to compare and contrast the different preparations and celebrations.
With our exploration of The World continuing we found ourselves on the continent of Africa. We enjoyed studying photos and video footage of a number of the creatures we might find in Africa, in its jungles and forests, across its deserts and savannah grasslands. Along the way we discovered that a giraffe has exactly the same amount of bones within its neck just like us and that scientists think that its black tongue protects it from the sun as it reaches to the highest spiky branches on the acacia tree ... that hyenas live in clans ... that meerkats and cheetahs 'put on their mascara' (they have black markings around their eyes) to help them see better in the glare of the sun! We paid particular attention to the African elephant, creating some super elephant pictures along with collecting some interesting facts about them ... they can't jump and are led by a matriarch, a female amongst many other interesting things. In Africa people are inspired by patterns that occur in nature to create fabric patterns ... we 'had a go' to do just that as well as looked at pictures of African sunsets, exploring how we could recreate some of our own. On a adventure with Andy (see video below) we met an interesting beetle again ... a darkling beetle (we met one on our class trip to Woolley Firs) who had a very interesting way of drinking in the desert! Staying on the beetle theme we met a dung beetle who simply loves poo, collecting it to provide a warm and cosy home to lay its eggs in, becoming a nutritious food source for the larvae once hatched. Having watched a video clip Wendel our Word Monster challenged us to write an interesting sentence about what we had observed.
During all our world adventures we have been collecting words in true Owls style. The children love to 'collect' a word and 'lock it in their super computers' (brains) It makes us very proud when they are then able to recall a word and use and apply it in other contexts. We do not shy away from 'big and complex' words ... we embrace them! Take a look at our 'glossary' of words that we have collected throughout our adventures (these are a snippet of all the words we have explored along the way).
Our adventures are currently on hold ... but who knows ... we may just continue in the future!
Our next stop on our 'World Tour' finds us in China ... in time to celebrate Lunar New Year (Chinese New Year). Just like Jessica (CBeebies) shared how her family prepares for and celebrates Diwali, so Abbie (CBeebies) talks to us about the preparations and celebrations that take place in her home for Lunar New Year. We were able to identify the similarities and differences between each festival, recognising that both families prepared yummy food, shared gifts and received new clothes ... 'same but different'!
We shared the story of how the Chinese Zodiac came to be ... this year it is the Year of the Tiger ... discovering that a group of animals were challenged to a race. Not all of them acted fairly we noted! Along the way we created lanterns ... 'had a go' at some Chinese writing ... made a wish to hang in our own 'Chinese Wishing Tree' (a tradition in some parts of China) ... created our own musical extravaganza with a spot of Chinese Lion dancing along with music making ... as well as learning all about some of the animals that are native to China ... like the binturong (known as the bearcat), the Asian elephant, the giant panda and of course the tiger ... there are lots of different types of tiger!!
What fun we have had! Sadly, no time to delay, it is time to move on to pastures new. 'Where in the World' will we go now?!
We have been using Caryl Hart's 'Meet the Oceans' book as inspiration for our exploration of Planet Earth. We started with visits to the Arctic and Southern Oceans, at opposite ends of the world but both incredibly cold. We discovered facts about some of the animals that live in these places. Emperor penguins only live in the Antarctic, Polar bears and penguins will never meet in the wild as they live at opposite ends of the world, narwhals have a long tusk which begins as a big tooth and Polar bears are not actually white!!
Deciding we needed to warm up we took a trip to Australia just in time for Australia Day where we talked about marsupials ... mammals who have a pouch which supports their babies to develop and grow ... as well as discovering that the smallest species of penguin, the Little Penguin, lives on the southern coast of Australia. We listened to didgeridoo music, making our own didgeridoos, and considered Aboriginal art, having a go to create our own. Mr Affleck loaned us real Australian artefacts to consider and popped by to share an Aboriginal Dreamtime story with us too.
Next we are off to China in time to celebrate Chinese New Year ....
We were not impressed when Ms Hayward suggested that we could make cakes using vegetables. Yuck! Yuck! Yuck! So, with the challenge accepted Ms Hayward set out to prove that cakes containing vegetables can be tasty! In school we make Chocolate Courgette Cake ... chopping and grating the courgette ... mixing the ingredients together ... observing how, as the ingredients were combined, they changed in texture and appearance. There was some fantastic evidence of team work and waiting for our turn as well as encouraging each other too. We also were able to taste test Home-Made Beetroot Muffins and Carrot Cake too. Almost all of us gave a thumbs up to them all ... the Beetroot Muffins were an acquired taste though and the Courgette Cake was by far the most popular!