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Gardening scheme spreads the word

A campaign to promote gardening in schools is expanding. The Royal Horticultural Society scheme aims to involve more than 13,000 schools by January. For details, go to

PSHE seminar comes to the capital

A one-day seminar on teaching PSHE and citizenship in primary schools is to be held at the British Library in London. The event, which includes a range of speakers and workshops, will take place on November 15. For more information go to


What the lesson is about

This uses a simple question and answer format to help pupils write their own poems. It is aimed at key stage 1 pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- use simple patterns to create poems.

Getting started

Ask the children to think about the different homes people live in, such as houses, flats and bungalows. Discuss the purpose of a home - a place to live, to keep the rain out, to provide warmth and safety. Ask the pupils to think about the differences and similarities between our homes and animal homes, such as a spider's web or a bird's nest. What other animal homes do the children know? Read the poem Who lives here? (available on the link below). Discuss how the poem is formed through questions and answers.

Taking it further

Tell the children that they will be using their own ideas for another version of the poem. Ask pupils to think of different animals and their homes. Working in pairs, ask them to come up with four animals and their homes, using describing words such as "dark, cool jungle" and "tall, green tree".

Ask the children to share their ideas and describing words. Model using one of the ideas as a line in a question-and-answer poem, such as, "Who lives here in the dark, cool jungle? 'I do', said the tiger. 'This is my home.'" In the following lesson, children will create their own question-and-answer poem.

Where to find it

The lesson, plus a writing frame for lower ability pupils and Smart notebook pages for class discussions, was originally uploaded by loulakins and can be found at


What the lesson is about

Pupils use weaving to make placemats, using skills that develop fine motor skills and co-ordination. It is suitable for children with autistic spectrum disorders and is aimed at key stage 1 pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- develop fine motor skills and hand-eye co-ordination;

- discuss properties of paper as a material;

- produce a practical piece of work.

Getting started

Introduce weaving and explain that this has been used since ancient times. Show pictures of a woven basket or cloth. Explain that the pupils will be weaving paper and introduce weaving vocabulary, such as warp, the threads running lengthwise; weft, the threads running across the warp threads, and web, the fabric produced by weaving.

Explain that they are going to weave their own placemat and ask pupils to choose the colour of the paper they want to use as their background and the colours they want to use for the threads. On the base, get the children to draw a 2cm margin and mark out lines 2cm apart running lengthwise between the margins. They should then cut along the marks without cutting through the margins.

Where to find it

This is an adaptation of a lesson originally uploaded by kpetroni and can be found at


What the lesson is about

This uses maps of communities drawn by children from other countries to encourage pupils to think about the major features of their environment and what is important to them. It is aimed at key stage 1 pupils.

Aims: pupil will

- explore perceptions of their own communities;

- compare their perceptions with communities in other countries.

Getting started

Ask pupils to think about where they live and to draw a map of their community, starting with their house and including the places that are important to them. They should include landmarks, roads in and out, resources such as shops, parks and cinemas, and drawbacks such as waste tips or building sites.

Get pupils into pairs and give half the groups the map drawn by a Cuban child and the other half the map drawn by Peruvian children (both available on the link below). How are their maps different? What are the similarities?

Where to find it

The lesson, plus supporting maps, was originally uploaded by Save the Children and can be found at

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