Spring 1-The Enchanted Woodland
This project develops children’s knowledge of British wildlife and woodland habitats. Children will observe and identify plants and animals, understand seasonal changes and appreciate the wonder of the woodland.
Our class text: Including The Gruffalo, Hansel and Gretel and Little Red Riding Hood.
Design and Technology
Learning Intention: To construct simple structures, models or other products using a range of materials.
The children worked in pairs to design a nest or den for a woodland animal. They went on a hunt to find lots of natural objects and begun building.
Sellotape, string and elastic bands were provided to support them with making their models stronger. They were encouraged to explain why they were using these resources. and how they were placing objects to create their desired effect.
"This stick is really tall so i will be able to lean the other sticks against it" (Louie)
"If i get lots of leaves and pile them on top of each other, I can make a really comfy nest for a bird" (Charlie)
"I'm going to put sellotape around it to make it stick together and then it will be stronger" (Cerys)
"We used string to tie the top of our den because it kept falling down. Its very strong now" (Owen)
By the end of the session, the children presented some amazing nests/dens using a range of materials and were able to explain how they had created it/what they had used.
Learning Intention: To ask simple scientific questions.
To start with the children recapped their knowledge of animals that live in a woodland area. They were encouraged to speak about their features, what they eat and which part of the woodland they live in. Once they were familiar with the animals, the children were encouraged to ask their friends simple questions to figure out the animal stuck to their back. By the end of the session, they understood that questions can be answered in different ways. Some children asked questions that prompted a yes or no answer and some asked questions that required more detailed answers.
Some of the questions include;
Where does it live?
Does it have wings?
What does it eat?
Does it have claws?
Does it have feathers, fur, spikes or smooth skin?
Learning Intention: To understand what an algorithm is.
The children were introduced to the new vocabulary 'algorithm'. Miss Clark explained that an algorithm is a clear set of instructions used to carry out a task. To understand the concept, the children were encouraged to think about how they get dressed in a morning. Some children explained that they put on pants first whilst others said that they put on their t-shirt first. Some of the children were able to identify that it doesn't always matter which order they get dressed in but sometimes it does.
"You cant put on your jumper before your t-shirt" (Ralph)
Working in pairs, they dressed a cartoon character. Every time they added a piece of clothing they were encouraged to write it down to create an algorithm.
The children then exchanged algorithms and followed each others instructions.
By the end of the session, the children were able to explain what the term 'algorithm' meant.
" An algorithm is instructions" (Jasmine)
"Sometimes they are in order and sometimes they're not" (Owen)
Linking to our topic, The Enchanted Woodland the children visited Bluebell Wood. They were encouraged to join in with woodland themed songs and use their bodies to resemble animals, trees and other living things. The children were very imaginative and were particularly enthusiastic during the stick song, moving their bodies in different ways to resemble a tree moving in the wind.
They children even came across a cute little pixie who was hiding in a quiet, dark place. They tiptoed round the wood and used their super senses to find where she was hiding.
Learning Intention: To observe objects, materials, living things and changes over time, sorting and grouping them based on their features.
As a class we used our knowledge and observations of animals to sort pictures into those that live in a woodland habitat and those that live in homes. The children were then encouraged to use a simple database to sort the animals in their books. By the end of the session, the children were able to discuss how they had sorted the animals. Some children even identified animals that can be found in the wild or in peoples homes.
"A rabbit can live in a house or it can live in the woodland." (Thomas)
"Some people have a mouse as a pet but they live in the woodlands too." (Zephyr)
The children observed bird life on the school grounds. They used bird watching information sheets, videos, leaflets and books to learn more about the different species. They were then encouraged to count how many birds they could see, making simple records (tally charts). We held a class discussion to talk about how many they saw and what they saw the birds doing.
" I saw birds flying to their nests" (Nathan)
"Some birds were looking for food on the ground" (Jasmine)
"Birds like to look for worms in the ground but its icy today and the ground is hard" (Louie)
Working together, the children chose a tree to befriend. They were encouraged to circle it with their arms, smell it, touch its bark and take a close look at its branches and leaves. They took rubbings of its bark, collected a few of its leaves and took a photograph of their tree to help with identification. They also used simple measuring equipment to measure their tree in cm and were given support to calculate this from cm into years.
"Our tree is 63 years old" (Pearl)
"The bark is bumpy and has lots of holes" (Elliot)
Once they had gathered the information needed, the children were introduced to the key vocabulary ‘evergreen’ and ‘deciduous using a range of sources e.g. books, videos and websites. The children were able to demonstrate their understanding by sorting a variety of tree pictures into evergreen and deciduous. Back in the classroom they made a booklet including lots of information about their tree.
"Deciduous means that it loses its leaves when its Autumn" (Jaxon)
"Evergreen means that it doesn't lose its leaves in Autumn or Winter" (Fletcher)
"Evergreen leaves have wax coats to protect them in the winter" (Owen)
We visited Walts Wood and enjoyed a walk outside, using our super senses to observe nature’s beauty and magic. In a small bag, the children collected fallen treasures they found along the way, describing and comparing their colour, shape and size. The children were encouraged to describe their surroundings and take digital photographs of interesting things, such as tree bark, leaves of different shapes and sizes, wildflowers or nuts and seeds. We found a tiny pair of wings, a sprinkle of fairy dust and a mysterious little spell book. We were all very excited at the thought of real fairies at our school.
"The leaves are rotting because they've been on the ground a long time" (Louie)
"The trees are empty but in spring they'll have lots of new leaves again" (Eddie)
"A fairy has left its home. We have to be quiet and it might come back to visit. Fairies don't like loud noises" (Marnie)