It’s day 15, and we are surviving the autumn term. We had a social group meet today because it’s important for the kids to be around other small people. Then, we resumed our History topic with a great Twinkl PlanIt lesson on Surviving the Stone Age.
I absolutely love Twinkl PlanIt because the lessons are fully planned and differentiated. It takes some of the pressure off homeschooling parents because it’s one less thing to do yourself. (When it comes to British home education, everything is down to the parents – from financial cost to implementation.) The differentiation is also fantastic for composite classes. (Today, I was using UKS2 material to cover both upper and lower KS2.)
For this lesson, we watched the presentation and I read the “I’m A Child, Get Me Out Of Here” scenario. I’d already prepped the problem solving cards, so the kids worked together to decide the order in which they’d do the survival tasks e.g. find shelter, make weapons, hunt animals. (They labelled the cards with their chosen numerical order.) We discussed why each of these tasks were important for Stone Age people, and why they’d chosen this particular sequence. Resuming the presentation, we also talked about why the Stone Age is so named, what tools they had, how they hunted and why it was so important to hunt. (They were grossed out by the consumption of bone marrow. To be honest, I agreed.)
After watching a video of a modern tool advert, twice, the kids were quite up for designing their own adverts for the world’s first bow-and-arrow! They each had a differentiated planning sheet, and a Stone Age themed blank page for drawing and labelling their bows. (We had a lot of fun with this activity; I loved the product names they chose, and the details they gave their bow designs.) They took turns presenting their adverts to the class, and I stuck their drawings into their project books.
I went through the lesson success criteria with them, as a sort of pop quiz, and they confidently answered all the points (phrased as questions). Finally, they watched the suggested “A Day in the Life of a 10-Year-Old in the Stone Age” clip, and invented some new Stone Age character names. We achieved so much with this lesson, and it was practically all scripted for me. I can’t recommend Twinkl PlanIt enough!
We rounded off the day with our usual Friday spelling test. (I’m going to do yet another grateful shoutout for 1st Grade is WienerFUL’s free spelling test sheets. The pictures are wonderful for quiet colouring in, while waiting on the next spelling word to be called. It allows me to run concurrent tests, without anyone getting too bored.)
The Fry Words are proving popular, and spelling confidence is greatly improving. It may not be directly equivalent to England’s National Curriculum spelling lists but it far better to see them correctly spelling the Fry Words and confidently engaging in their spelling practice than to see them complain and struggle with arbitrary NC targets.