English: We are currently looking at the the Text Type- Explanations
An Explanation text is any text that explains actions, ideas or processes to the reader. It is probably the most difficult of all the text types to tackle, as you really have to be able to understand something very well to be able to explain it clearly.
We are 'warming up the tune of the text' using a variety of 'Talk for writing' - casual language games.
The Explanation game:
Why not ask your daughter/son to explain.
Why bananas are curly/ Why trees bark./ Why rainbows don't wobble in the wind.
(Encourage them to use the phrases 'as a result of this'... 'therefore'....)
The Investigation game (Our read aloud text for this term is Frank Cottrell Boyce's- Cosmic)
To help develop verbal Explanation skills, we put the parents of our main character of our main character Liam Digby into the 'HOT SEAT'!!. Liam has vanished off the face of the Earth- quite literally! (Don't worry parents he has only stowed away on a rocket bound for outer space without his parents permission)
The police (played by the children) asked Mr and Mrs Digby 'why' questions prompting Mr and Mrs Digby to 'explain' using the key language to answer what they believed had happened to their son. We then reversed roles.
The children are really enjoying our read aloud text and have made some superb predictions about what they think is going to happen. I can't wait to explore the award winning text further with them! Texts really come alive when you immerse the children into the events with 'dramatic techniques'. It enhances their writing and adds greater depth.
The children have also enjoyed writing a story from the viewpoint of an inanimate object- A satellite no less! Many of them pleaded with me to be allowed to choose their own object- 'Black Holes' seemed to be the order of the day! Perhaps this will be a homework very soon- watch this space. The BBC website 500 words provides us with an endless supply of brilliant short award winning stories by children of a similar age to themselves. Why not ask the children to play you- 'Life through a lens' or 'The forgotten celery'. Both stories written from the perspective of inanimate objects!
In Maths we are coming to the end of our 'statistics' unit. Today we created graphs showing the diameter of all the planets. Yesterday the children worked in teams to create line graphs based upon their heart rate! Next stop is Multiplication and division! Linking all subjects to our theme is something I always strive to achieve.
Many of the children are already incredibly knowledgeable about the planets and our solar system- it is therefore necessary to ensure that we are extending their knowledge and not simply covering old ground! The necessity to research the solar system in detail will be a crucial link when the children are writing detailed explanations to key questions. If you have the internet at home- there is a wonderful series on the BBC iplayer- The Planets - presented by Dr Brian Cox. Any kind of 'Earth and space' documentaries the children can watch at home will further their knowledge and understanding of this terrifically deep and interesting subject.
I really hope the children are enjoying this theme. As the term continues, I will update you with some of our curriculum successes. we already have some wonderful posters from this weeks homework adorning our walls.
Two key things to remember this term so far- The solar system and Explanation Texts,
I received an email informing me that our 'Greek' Monster poems had been received and read by the competition organisers and that they are really excited by our poetry- I would have to say that I am feeling very hopeful!
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