The challenge is set to begin on Saturday 04/03/2017. We will be doing a lot of this without Papa Wolf, so we had to wait until the weekend to start, as we wanted him to be there at the beginning! However, that doesn’t mean we haven’t thought about our upcoming edventures, in fact, I think it’s fair to say we haven’t stopped thinking, talking, planning and researching for it! And telling EVERYONE and ANYONE who would listen!
This sort of excitement paves the way for some fantastic learning, and there was no way on Earth I was going to miss this opportunity, to help the children learn. Knowledge is POWER! Knowledge takes research, so where better to begin an edventure than with some research skills? After all, as my children’s facilitator, what I want more than anything, is for them to be able to solve their own problems! I began doing my own research, sharing our challenge on Facebook, and receiving some amazing feedback regarding places we could visit, across the British Isles, along with offers of cups of tea en -route! (People really are actually quite kind you know!!!)
As I wanted to help the Mermaid, General and Cupcake understand our place in the world, with the help of the ever amazing Twinkl , we set about some ‘work’ and research.
I was pretty sure all 3 knew what the continents of the world were, but was less convinced that little Cupcake knew where they all were, so that’s where we began, with the world! (A great / HUGE place to start).
Using Twinkl’s Seven Continents of The World worksheet as a starter, we talked about what they were all called (and debated whether to use Oceania or Australasia!!) Mermaid and General knew exactly where they were all located, but as expected, Cupcake needed a little support. By locating the British Isles, she worked out which was Europe, and with a nod to North America, she worked out which must be South America. She was confident about Antarctica but then came the final 3, Asia, Africa and Australasia / Oceania. Time to consult the atlas and find out where they went! She could have asked me, or the 2 older children, and we could have just told her, but where’s the learning in that? By supporting her using the atlas herself she gets to locate the continents independently, so is more likely to remember them, AND gets to learn to how to use the atlas, so next time she needs it, she can do it herself!
We moved on to looking at our own place in the world, talking about
the continent we lived on, the country we lived in, our county and our village, and again found a great little resource, (Where I Live Writing Frame), on the magnificent Twinkl, to help us record this information!
Day 2 (Tuesday) saw us locate the British Isles on a map of Europe, firstly in the atlas, then using the ever trusty Twinkl, and their blank Map of Europe , Mermaid, General and Cupcake coloured in each of the countries within the British Isles, and X marked the spot where they thought we lived!
(I was quite impressed with the skills they use (without a map) to pinpoint where we lived! They knew where Wales was and that we weren’t too far from there, so used that a starting point. They also pinpointed the Isle of Man, and knew we were further south than that so used that knowledge to locate us! Next time we go on a magical mystery tour they can direct me, as I tend to argue with Sat Nav!!)
Then came the real Twinkl magic!! (Can you see a recurring theme here, or why I love Twinkl so much? It is such a great time saver when home educating!!!) While looking for useful resources I spotted two that were great, but not perfect for what I needed! (Yep, I am demanding and yes I am a perfectionist!!!). One was a map of the United Kingdom, with each country’s flag, and one was a cut and build ‘jigsaw’ of the United Kingdom! Now you can see my problem! (It’s huge, right!! The world is actually going to end because it says the UK not the British Isles … I’M SURE IT IS!!!) Okay, maybe it’s not, BUT it wasn’t quite what I wanted. So in my ever frugal, if you don’t ask you don’t get, spirit, I dropped Twinkl a line, and asked if they could adapt the resources for me! AND GUESS WHAT?? Lo and behold , a day later they emailed me both resources, AND made them public for others to benefit from too!
(This isn’t the first time Twinkl have done this, and I have to say, I am pretty sure they have magic fairies, that wave sparkly wands, and have have multi-coloured glittery wings to help them work!) Honestly though, the service is worth 10 times its weight in gold – I have never had such amazing customer service, or attention to detail, and the support teams are amazing! Nothing is ever too much trouble!
These are the magic pieces they created for me, which then enabled the children to label (after playing!!) the countries of the British Isles!
Day 3, (Wednesday) saw Mermaid, General and Cupcake write about the British Isles, using what they already knew and what they had researched. They completed an England Fact sheet (courtesy of Twinkl, of course 🙂 ) and then we looked at our own county (lovely Lancashire) in a little more detail, and investigated what counties surrounded us, and would be easiest for us to visit! (And guess who was there with worksheets to help us record some info? Yep, you guessed it Twinkl!) The children coloured Lancashire on a Map of the UK with counties, and then wrote a little about Lancashire, using Twinkl’s Y3 Plan It – Around the Counties lesson pack.
And finally, Day 4 (Thursday) the children wrote about the actual challenge, what we hoped to do, and identified how many counties we had to cover! (48 in England, 32 in Scotland, 8 in Wales, 6 in Northern Ireland and 26 in Ireland). (And for some reason, they ALL love Maths so much they ALL decided to add the numbers together to work out the totals! Now that’s self-directed learning right there!) Mermaid, General and Cupcake then wrote about their favourite place to visit in Lancashire, and drew the Lancashire flag!
I can honestly say, we have learnt loads about the British Isles this week, and that’s before we even started the challenge!! As well as lots of ‘work’ (that you can see here!) we have talked a lot! Talked about what the children are most looking forward too, where they really want to visit, and how we are going to do it! It’s fair to say we are ALL VERY EXCITED!!! Roll on Saturday so we can begin!!!