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Day 26 - Doors (creative ideas for home schooling)

For anyone new to this blog, the idea is simple - each day my boys (Joshua - 9 and Archie - 8) choose a stimulus that drives the learning. We hope that you enjoy the blog and can take some inspiration from what we love doing - making learning as engaging as possible!

Doors

So today, we immersed ourselves in the world of doors. This is a favourite stimulus of mine for writing as the opportunities are endless. At first glance, a door is just a material that is opened and closed so that people can get in and out of a room, a vehicle or a space. But in the hands of a writer, a door represents a world of possibility, a world where things are not only hidden but often closed off and restricted.

English

  • Poetry - list poems

  • Drawing on the senses

  • Description through imagery


Having recently written a home-schooling pack for Year 6 (and beyond), I wanted to share the topic with the boys. We are all living through challenging times, seemingly locked in or away from the world. Magical doors let us open up and face the world...or new worlds...or the world of our imagination. I have explored one of the poetry ideas from the pack with the boys below, but you can find and download the entire unit here:


https://www.talk4writing.co.uk/wp-content/uploads/2020/04/Y6-Unit.pdf


We began by making a list of things that could be on the other side of a locked door. I encouraged the boys to think of things they would love to see, hear, smell, touch and feel. Archie also asked if we could wonder, so we added this in.


With our lists created, I then modelled how to shape the poem. This could be really simple, using the repeated opener: I opened the magical door and saw... or it could draw on the other senses. The ideas can also be extended and elaborated upon.


e.g. I opened the magical door and saw a sea of candy floss clouds. (simple)


I opened the magical door and saw a sea of candy floss clouds,

floating across a sea of tranquility. (extended)


I explained to the boys that I had wanted to write this poem since I created the unit of work. Having seen children use this activity to explain the situation that we find ourself in, I too wanted to explore my own emotions. So my poem captures the way I am feeling right now. This may be something you too want to explore. The boys decided to go for something more light-hearted and playful.


I must also thank the poet Kate Clanchy, whose poem Patagonia has crept into my thinking. Read this wonderful poem here:

https://readalittlepoetry.wordpress.com/2007/08/31/patagonia-by-kate-clanchy/



The Magical Door


I opened the magical door and saw...

a labyrinth of confusion,

snaking itself around vulnerable lives,

longing to return to normality.


I opened the magical door and heard...

overwhelming relief,

hushed whispers

and muffled, nervous laughter.


I opened the magical door and smelt...

fear lingering,

tainting happy thoughts,

fuelling the furnace of apprehension.


I opened the magical door and touched...

an unfamiliar world,

identical in appearance

but masked and hidden.


I opened the magical door and felt...

curiosity brewing,

questions plaguing my mind,

fierce and unanswered.


I opened the magical door and wondered...

perhaps Patagonia,

the Neverland to our fragile existence:

a potential paradise.


© Jamie Thomas 2020



The Magical Door

I opened the magical door and wondered...

Where was I? All around me were great tip sharks,

munching and crunching on dangerous dinosaurs.


I opened the magical door and saw...

a world of monkeys, cheekily throwing banana peels

right at a licky lion.


I opened the magical door and heard...

whispers screeching slowly

in the depths of the haunted house.


I opened the magical door and touched...

a mountain of olives,

disgusting and gross.


I opened the magical door and touched...

the secret sun,

softly.


by Archie

The Magical Door I opened the magical door and saw...

clouds of cotton wool, blowing away.


I opened the magical door and saw...

fiery dragons fighting fiercely for food.

I opened the magical door and saw...

creepy aliens, plotting a spell to kill.


I opened the magical door and saw...

an incredible iceberg in the icy water.


I opened the magical door and heard...

a sinister voice echoing from a haunted house.


I opened the magical door and saw...

a broken jungle, crying.


I opened the magical door and saw...

a spiky, spiny maze, waiting for their prey.


I opened the magical door and saw...

an ocean in glass.


I opened the magical door and saw...

a pod of penguins, cold and freezing.

I opened the magical door and saw...

a polar bear, calling for his mama.

by Joshua

Maths

  • Times tables


I wanted to devise and activity that helped the boys engage with their times tables. This can be a real challenge, especially when some of the online games (such as TT Rockstars) are out of favour. The boys love a treasure hunt and they love anything with an element of challenge or mystery. Here is what we did:

Step 1

Write down 10 times tables that you need to practise.












Step 2: Write the questions in 8 panels - you may need to create this for the children.


Step 3: Write the answers on 8 door panels and decorate the doors.


Step 4: Making sure that the pattern works, i.e. you can follow the path through successfully, stick the doors on top of the answers. The idea is that you open a door, reveal a question and then open the door with the answer. If you have planned this correctly, you should be able to navigate your way round all the doors successfully (I did get this wrong on first attempt so check it works first!)

We are so thankful to those of you who have inundated us with stimulus requests. We have made a list and will do our best to explore as many as we can. Tomorrow, we shall be using the following stimulus:


Owls


My thanks to Pie Corbett, Julia Strong and Talk for Writing for inspiring many of the ideas explored in this blog.

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