Lighthouse keepers

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By Nina Filipekfreelance education writer and supply teacher.

Focus on how lighthouses are used to issue fog warnings to passing ships and guide them from the rocks

girl dressed in large raincoat

Lighthouse role play

Explain to the children that lighthouses are special towers that are used to warn passing ships about danger.

Create a lighthouse in your role-play area, using The Lighthouse Keeper stories as your inspiration.

Arrange approximately eight chairs in a circle with seats facing inwards, leaving a space for the entrance. Wrap a long length of white wallpaper around the back of the chairs. Alternatively, use large sheets of cardboard painted white and fixed to individual chairs. Children can make the ‘light’ by standing back to back in the centre of the chairs, each pointing a torch up to the ceiling. Explain to the children that they should not shine the torch in anybody’s eyes or look directly at the light themselves.

Display photographs and posters of lighthouses, stormy seas, ships and boats in the lighthouse role-play area.

If you do not have a lot of space in your setting, make a lighthouse for the wall by rolling up lengths of thick, white wallpaper and stapling them in place. Cut out a door and make rocks from brown tissue paper. Stick on squares of foil for the light.

Suggested resources

Role-play area: small chairs to make the walls of the lighthouse; roll of thick, white wallpaper or cardboard; brown tissue paper; stapler; torches; photographs and posters of lighthouses, stormy seas, ships and boats; selection of The Lighthouse Keeper stories by Ronda and David Armitage (Scholastic).

1 Mini models

Make a miniature lighthouse using craft materials

Creative Development

Exploring Media and Materials

Development matters: explore colour and begin to differentiate between colours (30-50 months); work creatively on a large or small scale (40-60+ months).

Early learning goal: explore colour, texture, shape, form and space in two or three dimensions.

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