Creative topic: transport — take flight
22 September 2008Add to My Folder
Discover a high-flying transport topic that will help children’s learning reach for the skies
Children at St Andrew’s use a globe to pinpoint countries they know
How can you incorporate two weeks of geography, one week each of art, ICT, technology and international focus, plus build in numeracy, literacy and history? With airports – that’s how. Year 4 teacher, Richard Smith, from St Andrew’s CE Primary School in Islington, London, achieved exactly that using the International Primary Curriculum’s thematic unit on Connections that focuses on airports. Here, Richard describes some of the activities that helped his class’ learning take off…
‘Before investigating airports with my class, I introduced the ‘Connections’ game. This simple game helped to establish how much the children already knew about countries and cultures around the world, and showed them how they had some connection to each of these places. To play the game, you stand up and name two countries that you have personal connections to and why. For example, ‘I ate Italian food for dinner last night and I went on holiday to Greece.’ Then, someone who has a connection with Italy stands up and holds your ‘Italy’ hand, stating their own connection to Italy. They then say a connection that they have to another country. Another person who has a connection to Greece does the same with your other hand, and gradually you build a circle of international connections involving all the children.
The class very quickly picked up the idea of the game and soon realised that they had links to lots of countries that they’d never realised before. It did get quite challenging near the end trying to find common links, but we did it and managed to create a complete circle including everyone. It was such a simple game, but the children really enjoyed it – as did I!
Following on from the ‘Connections’ game, the class thought showered the different countries that we had each found a connection to. Having played the game first, the children found it easier to think about additional ways that they were connected to those countries around the world. They came up with dozens of connections; from languages, clothes, places they’d visited and favourite foods. It was a good exercise in international mindedness as the children couldn’t believe how many connections they had with other countries.
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