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!
There is something really exciting about these monstrous beasts. These folklore creatures have scared young children for years, patrolling the Himalayan mountains and attacking innocent explorers. Today's learning was all about bring these fictional beasts to life. We hope you enjoy!
Facts and opinions
Grammar Warm Up
We began by warming up the grammar we would need to be able to write in this style - the more formal style of information writing. This is one of the things that makes non-fiction challenging - the formality of English. The other issues is knowledge, which is why we begin Talk for Writing by writing in a fictitious context - i.e. we can make it up!
We began by making up sentences about yetis, using the following key language:
Adding on: Additionally,... Also,... Furthermore,... Moreover,...
Adverbs to engage: Amazingly,... Intriguingly,... Surprisingly,... Interestingly,... Weirdly,...
Generalisers: Most / Many / A few / All / The vast majority of / Usually,...
Change direction: However,... On the other hand,... Although,...
The important thing is to build confidence with spoken language before trying to write. If you cannot say it, how can you write it?
Next, we drew up a frame to latch our writing onto. The idea was to show the boys how they could add structure with the grammar skills we practised. Before we wrote, we talked through the ideas, using the initial frame:
Would you know ... if you saw one?
Nearly all of them …
It is well known that
Most of them …
Finally, the most amazing thing about… is that…
And here is the shared writing model:
Would you now a yeti if you saw one? The vast majority of yetis (also known as abominable snowmen) only come out at the dead of night. However, a few have been known to prowl through the day when driven by hunger. Furthermore, they will stop at nothing until this hunger is satisfied and their bellies are full. It is a well known fact that yetis have an insatiable appetite and will eat anything and everything they can get their hands on. A few yetis have been known to feast on herds of cattle, sometimes eating as many as 20 cows in one sitting.
Whilst many people believe that yetis are violent killers, some are of the opinion that they only take what they need to survive. Weirdly, no-one has seen a yeti during lockdown. Perhaps we shall never see them again.
© Jamie Thomas 2020
And here are the boys' efforts:
The Yeti by Archie
Could you tell a yeti if it was knocking on your door? Usually, yetis are known to be angry, naughty creatures. Most yetis are ferocious and fierce. However, some are calm and peaceful. Also, their fur protects them from the bitter cold. The fur is made out of polar bear skin.
Surprisingly, yetis do handstands to keep them relaxed. Also, when they sleep, they stick to the ceiling and, when they wake up, they fall into the snow.
Finally, the most amazing thing about yetis is their diet. They eat bruises, penguins, artic foxes, eyes and grown-ups. So never ever let a yeti in your house!
The Yeti by Joshua
Did you know that yeti faces are like gorilla faces? Most yetis are known to be very very stinky. However, as soon as they get in the water they smell like us.
Interestingly, a yeti's fur is like a polar bear's fur. The yeti has a black and white pattern to blend into the snow. However, a few yetis are grey.
Weirdly, a yeti's claws are as sharp as a ten axe blade.
Finally, the most amazing thing about yetis is their disgusting diet!
Maths / Art
weights and measures
converting units of measure
One of the joys of working with mythical and fantastical beasts is the opportunity to sketch and draw them.
Having drawn their yetis, we then created some fictitious data, such as their height, length of tooth, size of foot, etc. The idea was to make the connection between metric and imperial measures (cm vs ft) and to convert between cm/m and miles/km.
Here are the outcomes:
If you are enjoying this blog, please do share it and spread the word. Thank you to all of you who have got in touch and shared some of the outcomes from what you have tried - we love to hear from you.
Do tune in tomorrow for:
My thanks to Pie Corbett, Julia Strong and the Talk for Writing team for inspiring many of the ideas explored in this blog.