I wanted to let you all know about my new BFF: Twinkl. I have become a huge fan over the last year for a number of reasons.
My school is reducing the number of textbooks that pupils use. YAH!!! I’m not a big fan of workbooks. I won’t go into that now as it would be a blog post in itself. The knock on effect of no textbooks is a greater need for hands on resources, good quality hands on resources.
I will walk you through my year with no textbook for S.E.S.E (Science, History, Geography). Well, those are prop heavy topics when you don’t have resources laid on with a textbook.
I will give you a detailed example of how I created a unit based around minibeasts , Naturama and Twinkl resources.
I purchased Naturama on the advice of a colleague. Wow, what a book!!! Naturama is divided into the 4 Seasons. I based my minibeast and nature studies around the content for each season. Basically, at the start of Autumn, Winter, Spring and Summer I whipped out Naturama. We read about the signs of the season and then went hunting for them.
Click here to see more about Naturama.
I found the most perfect resources from Twinkl to accompany and support this unit for the entire school year. I created a bulletin board that we could update as the season progressed. I hope that you like it!!!
I apologise for the poor quality of this photo. My classroom is so bright that it was really difficult to get a photo where nothing was glaring!!!
I began by printing my Minibeast Investigation Lab sign. Too cute to pass up!! Then I printed an laminated a copy of high quality photos of minibeasts. I also printed and laminated a Minibeast Hunt Checklist and a Minibeast Description Word Mat. I now had everything I need to explore minibeasts the whole year through!
We read, for example, Autumn in Naturama. I pulled out the photos of the minibeasts mentioned in the chapter. We explored them using the Minibeast Description Word Mat. We researched and learned about those that were unfamiliar. The following lesson we reviewed what we would be likely to find on our minibeast hunt, where we would find them etc. Then it was off for our Minbeast Hunt!!!
At the end of the Minibeast Hunt we pinned up the minibeasts that we had located and checked them off on our Minibeast Hunt Checklist. We pondred why we did not locate some of those mentioned in Naturama: our school environment didn’t have a pond etc.
Those resources remained on your notice board ready for revisiting at the beginning of the next season. The permanent display kept the topic alive in our minds. Kids would excitedly tell me about what they saw at home, in the park… eager to get another photo up on the display!!! Our rule was that it must be located in our school habitat. We often did multiple minibeast hunts per season to see if we could add more to our wall of fame!!!
With the passing season more photos and checklists would be placed on the display. The checklists allowed and indeed encouraged us to compare and contrast our season finds.
I hope that you find this blog post useful and that it encourages you to get out there and hunt for minibeasts. These resources would be great in any classroom or indeed any home. I love that I could print and use actual photos instead of the usual clipart ones that are available.
Miss Mernagh 🙂