Wednesday, 24 February 2016

English and Literacy with Ice Eggs

We shall be posting a series of blogs of some of the lesson plans and activity ideas from our LOC Handbook. LOC stands for Learning Outside the Classroom. It contains over 100 lesson plans spanning 9 subjects areas. Click here to learn more.

The tail end of winter is providing overnight frosts this week with temperatures falling to well below freezing. It's a great opportunity to use the cold weather to create ice activities with your children. In this post, and one to follow, we shall be offering lesson plans and activities to use ice in a creative and interesting way. We hope that you find them useful and enjoyable.
Activity Title:
Age Group:
Ice Eggs
English and Literacy
KS 2
Overview of the Activity
For pupils to use their imaginations to lead a creative writing activity.
Main Activity
Prep another member of staff in advance to come into your classroom 5 – 10 minutes after your lesson has begun to explain that they have seen something “quite odd” in the school grounds and wonder if the pupils know anything about it.
Take the pupils to ‘the nest’ (armed with paper and pencils) and ask them to walk quietly over to them. Ask the pupils to describe the objects. What shape are they, what are they made of, what else is that kind of shape? This should lead pupils to the idea that they are eggs – especially of positioned within a makeshift nest.
You can ask further questions such as where the eggs may have come from, where the parents are and what they think might hatch from them?
Let the pupils feel the eggs and describe what they are feeling. Have them look around the outdoor area to see where the ‘creature’ might set up home once it has hatched.
Either remaining outside or back in the classroom have the pupils create sentences leading to short stories about where the eggs came from, what the ‘creatures’ will look like and where they will live in the school. Have them identify which of their words are nouns, adjectives and verbs.
Gather the group together to share thoughts about the lesson and the ice egg stories. Have some read aloud.
Discuss the best words used and their meaning.
Display photographs of the eggs on a display to act as a reminder of what was found.
Equipment Required
Water (and food colouring for making coloured eggs), balloons, clipboards, pencils, paper.
Learning Objectives
·         To use nouns, verbs and adjectives in descriptive text to add interest.
·         To broaden pupils’ vocabulary through creative writing.
·         To understand the meaning/concepts of new words.
·         To learn about naturally occurring things in nature.
Set Up
Spend time before the activity creating your ice eggs by filling balloons with water and ensuring that they are roughly egg shaped. Leave them for at least a day to ensure that they are completely frozen. You can do this outside overnight in winter if possible. Place the eggs in a location in the grounds where the class can gather but they will not be found prematurely.
Spend time recapping on previous lessons about nouns, verbs and adjectives. Pupils should be able to clearly explain the features of each and where they should be used in a sentence.
Ensure that they are dressed appropriately for working outside.

Extension Activities
Invite an expert visitor to talk about one of the items found e.g. a conservationist, biologist or even a palaeontologist.
Use books and IT to find out more about the objects.
Pupils could use cameras to record their ideas to enable them to be shared with other groups.
You could make up a linking story produced by the whole group.
The process could be applied to any number of objects (either imaginary or real) in the outdoors.

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