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Day 49 - Rainforests (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!

Rainforests

The Amazon rainforest is the world’s largest tropical rainforest, famed for its biodiversity, meaning there are lots of different species of plants and animals that live there. The Amazon contains one in ten known species on Earth, 1.4 billion acres of dense forests, half of the planet's remaining tropical forests and 4,100 miles of winding rivers. The writing opportunities around the Amazon rainforest are endless, but the boys felt passionately about describing this amazing place. We hope you enjoy.

English

  • Select powerful, precise and well-chosen nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs that really match.

  • Use personification to bring the setting to life.

  • Use metaphors and similes to create atmosphere.

  • Use alliteration to add to the effect.

  • Use expanded noun phrases to add intriguing detail.


Today's writing is focussed on bringing the Amazon rainforest to life through description. We started by drawing up our description toolkit, as presented in the book Creating Storytellers and Writers:

Y3/4 Description Toolkit

  • Select powerful, precise and well-chosen nouns, adjectives, verbs, adverbs that really match.

  • Use personification to bring the setting to life.

  • Use metaphors and similes to create atmosphere.

  • Use alliteration to add to the effect.

  • Use expanded noun phrases to add intriguing detail.


This book is is the Talk for Writing guide to how to teach children to love writing stories through telling stories and can be purchased here:


https://www.talkforwritingshop.com/product-page/copy-of-creating-storytellers-and-writers-with-38-online-video-clips


One of the greatest issues in trying to describe the Amazon rainforest is that none of us has ever been there. Is is almost impossible to describe something that you have no knowledge of. We therefore needed a rich immersion. The following youtube video is fantastic as it delves into the world of the rainforest, its beauty, importance and the way locals look to protect and conserve it. In addition, you can navigate the video through 360˚, which the boys loved!


https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5JvJCvdqvYs


Having watched the video, we then slowed it down, looking for the writing opportunities. As always, I modelled the writing for the boys, contextualising all the tools and grammar through the writing process. For me, this gives grammar purpose and therefore helps children to understand the impact it has. It is also essential they see me crafting my writing, considering word choice and sentence design. This shared writing is also a first draft, designed to show the boys how writing needs to be revisited for meaning and impact.


Here is the shared writing we came up with, followed by the boys' efforts.

The Amazon Rainforest


Reaching towards a canopy of clouds, telescopic trees sway in the gentle breeze. Far below, nature's canvas pictures perfection, momentarily untouched by man's greed. Gazing up, a quilt of vines and lush leaves hug the forest floor - a canopy of care.


Snaking through the dense vegetation, the chocolate river ripples. Its murky surface is as smooth as glass, hiding a world of wonder.


The rainforest erupts into life. A shrill cry of a toucan resonates through the undergrowth, a conductor awakening the sleeping orchestra – the ticks, clicks and rattles of a tiny world unseen. A cacophony of deafening alarm bells reverberate and thrum as the symphony begins.

The Amazon Rainforest


The branches of the trees dance like ballroom dancers, swaying silently in the wind. Far bellow, a world full of incredible animals are waiting to be discovered. Staring up, a magnificent forest of tall trees gaze down on me. Slowly, the Amazon river flows, meandering through the forest. An alarm call of a toucan bellows and the rainforest comes to life. Laughing lemurs leap from tree to tree to find food. The never ending noises bleating and booming.


by Archie

Rainforest Calling


Under the canopy, bamboo trees wave like tickley hands. The forest is full of sounds – birds singing, insects humming and toucans calling. A super sloth slowly climbs snake-like trees. Below, a chocolate river reflects like a filthy mirror. Along the river bank, an immense python slithers like a recoiling wave.


by Joshua

Art


As always, the boys passionate about exploring anything arty. The rainforest is just packed full of amazing drawing opportunities. As the first part of our rainforest project, the boys spent the afternoon observing and drawing some of the weird and wonderful animals this magnificent place has to offer.

Our thanks to Arts for Kids Hub for the inspiration and tuition.


https://www.youtube.com/user/ArtforKidsHub

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, where we exploring: Ice



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


This blog is copyright. All materials herein, texts and supporting resources are copyright to Jamie Thomas & Talk for Writing. They may be used to support children/staff/parents in home-learning ONLY and not for commercial gain or for training or sharing widely, in their original form or any variations. They must also not be shared online or on any social media platforms without prior permission.

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