This half term we are exploring different countries and communities around the world.
Rationale: Austin has disappeared! He has taken himself off on holiday (in his hot air balloon) to visit his family in Borneo. The children are inspired to find out about Borneo and receive photos and messages from Austin. Austin then announces that he now wants to explore the world! The children follow Austin on his adventure and discover a wealth of information about each country he visits: carefully selected by the interests and family history of the children. Together we notice the similarities and differences with flora, fauna, weather, houses, food and cultures of each country and celebrate our wonderful world.
Hook: A postcard was delivered to our classroom! We looked at the pictures on the front and noticed the orangutans. It said 'Greetings from Borneo' so we tried to guess what or where that was. Then we realised that there was writing on the back. It was a postcard from Austin! He has gone on holiday to Borneo to see his family.
Hook 2: Austin has phoned to say he wants to explore the world. But when he set off his hot air balloon broke. Using the children’s designs, Austin has made a vehicle and sets off to visit some new countries. He sends us photos of his adventure for us to explore.
We started to explore maps to see where different places are.
Austin sent us some photos that he has taken in Borneo as well as some facts about the island he is visiting. We liked the beaches and rainforest pictures but were not sure about the different food that the humans eat in Borneo. We wrote postcards back to Austin telling him about our half term holidays.
A letter arrived from Austin telling us he has been stargazing in Borneo. He also sent some of the photos he had taken and a book about space. We learnt all about the planets, stars and astronauts from his book. In our play, we have been exploring the moon small world and made our own rocket so we could blast off into space!
We also made rockets out of 2D shapes.
We have read lots of different information books and learnt the difference between fiction and non-fiction books. Some of the books we explored were very difficult but we loved finding out about space and different countries.
We worked collaboratively to make space pictures using chalk on black paper.
As well as some individual pictures. We were able to focus on the details of the planets, especially the blue seas and green land of Earth.
We found out which countries are special to our friends and why they are important to them. We plotted them on a map and labelled them with the country name and who the country is special to. Some friends had the same country that was special for different reasons.
Austin's new adventure
Austin wants to travel the world on another adventure but his hot air balloon is broken.
We designed and labelled new vehicles for Austin to travel in. Most of us decided it was best to include a way to fly in our design, for example a flying submarine and a flying car.
We used the construction materials to make our designs.
Austin has travelled to Turkey, Montenegro, Kenya and Tanzania. We have been plotting his route on a map. Austin has been sending letters full of information and pictures. We also read the stories Handa's Surprise and We All Went on Safari. We were inspired by the different animals in the African savannah to draw our own.
We have been pretending to go on holiday in our role play airport and made a plane.
Austin's adventure continues
This week Austin has travelled to Antarctica. We spoke about the different climate in Antarctica and what clothes we would need to wear if we visited.
We have been drawing our own versions of Austin's maps and colouring in the different countries.
Austin then started travelling North and, after a long ride in his flying car, arrived in Portugal. He sent us information about the country and their culture.
Antarctica and Portugal were added to our list of destinations at our airport. We have also been using maps when travelling.
Call to Portugal
Before he left Portugal, Austin arranged for us to speak to a Reception class who live in Lisbon. We wrote a long list of questions to ask them.
It was wonderful to talk to the children in Portugal. We found it funny that they asked if we lived upside down! We were able to ask them our questions and answer their questions for us. There were lots of things that were similar like going to school, doing Phonics, the resources we have in the classroom and having a special outdoor area for learning.
We also found out some differences:
They mostly drive to school while we walk.
They can hear trams when outside.
They mostly live in apartments.
It is hotter in Portugal than the UK.
We were shocked to find out that they do not have roast dinners or T-Set!
We wrote our favourite similarity or difference in our books.
Austin has now arrived in the UK. He wants to learn about different communities before he returns to St Mark's.
People Who Help Us
Austin asked us to find out about different people in the UK who help us. We wrote a long list of people who help us in the day and at night time.
Our local PCSOs visited us and showed us how they keep us safe. They also let us have a go in their car and try on some uniforms. They even turned the siren and lights on!
A Nurse visited to tell us about her job and how she looks after people. She showed us some of the equipment she uses.
A Midwife also came and told us about her job looking after mummies and their babies. We found out you can use a Stethoscope to hear the baby inside the mummy's tummy!
We wrote a book about the different people who help us.
Austin has come back to school! He enjoyed his adventure and told us all about it. He asked us to plan our own adventures. Using all the information Austin had sent us during the project, we decided what country to visit, how to travel and what we would like to see and do there.
We made posters about an adventure we had been on with a toy.