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Authors on show

Authors and illustrators, including Quentin Blake and Michael Rosen, are taking part in events around the country as part of this year's Children's Bookshow. For more details, go to

Housing kit

Housing charity Shelter has launched a series of lesson plans on homelessness and bad housing for key stage 1 pupils. The classroom kit builds on their resources for seven to 14-year-olds. See

Stories from history

The Historical Association has posted a new online guide on the use of stories in primary school history lessons. The resource is free to registered users of the association's website. For details, go to


What the lesson is about

This is a literacy lesson aimed at Year 1 pupils based on the book We're Going on a Bear Hunt by Michael Rosen.

Getting started

Begin by telling the children to practise writing the letter b. Ask them to think of words starting with b and then write them on the board. Introduce We're Going on a Bear Hunt to the class, discuss the title and cover and ask the pupils what they think it is about. Start reading the book to the class and encourage the children to join in. Discuss how the people in the story feel and why. Draw a picture of a bear on the whiteboard and ask the children to suggest words to describe it.

Taking it further

Divide the class into three groups and tell the first to draw a bear and write three sentences about it. The second group should draw a bear and write describing words around it. Get the third to paint a bear. The first two groups can then read their descriptions to the class.

Where to find it

This lesson is part of a term-long cross-curricular plan and can be found at


What the lesson is about

This is the first of a five-lesson series looking at landscapes as a starting point for two-dimensional work. Pupils use shape, form, colour, space, texture and pattern to develop and communicate their ideas, and consider the approaches of other artists. It is aimed at Year 5 pupils.

Aims: pupils will -

- collect visual and other information to help them develop their ideas about the environment;

- explore ideas for different purposes;

- compare ideas, methods and approaches from other's work.

Getting started

Discuss landscapes with pupils. What is a landscape? Pass around pictures of different types of landscapes. What are the main features? Show the class examples by Van Gogh and Matisse. What are their characteristic styles? What is different and what is similar? Encourage the pupils to explain which they like best and why.

Taking it further

The pupils should list the different landscape features and write down descriptions of Van Gogh and Matisse's work. They can then use the internet to find out more about the life and works of the artist they prefer. Finally, they should produce a still-life in the style of Van Gogh or Matisse using acrylic paint or pastels.

Where to find it

The five-lesson series was originally uploaded by missfry40 and can be found at


What the lesson is about

This is an introduction to marine archaeology, a different and intriguing way of looking at local history. It is suitable for key stage 2 and 3 pupils.

Getting started

Tell pupils that in this lesson they are going to look at how water was used in the past. Hand out copies of the maps available on the link below and explain that each one shows a hypothetical place with four possible settlement sites.

The pupils should imagine they are living 4,000 years ago and choose a suitable place to live. Split the class into groups and ask each one to consider what type of things they would need to make a good settlement. Discuss the answers as a class and then choose one of the sites, stressing that a river location can be key to a town's development.

Now you can reveal to the class that the maps show real sites, some of which became settlements in the past. Introduce examples of towns in your area that have developed through their proximity to a river.

Taking it further

Hand out the pictures of medieval towns available on the link below and ask pupils to circle all the different ways in which water is being used. Projecting the images on to a whiteboard, invite each group to circle their answers, highlighting the range of activities dependent on water. You can now embark on a discussion about the importance of a local river. How might it have been used in the past? Was it used for trade or industry? Is it important today?

Where to find it

This lesson was produced by Wessex Archaeology and was uploaded by Gingason. It can be found at

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