Dragon heart

25th June 2004 at 01:00
The Blue Dragon

DVDand resource book

Channel 4 Learning, pound;29

Tel: 08701 246444

www.channel4.comlearningshop

The Blue Dragon is an exciting new primary science resource from Channel 4 aimed at five to seven-year-olds that follows the engaging adventures of a group of animal friends on a quest to return a baby dragon to her mother.

Children are drawn into a delightful narrative that uses humour and intrigue to explore the world around us. Comprising of 13 13-minute episodes on DVD and a comprehensive 48-page resource book, The Blue Dragon challenges children's thinking, promotes discussion and encourages the development of scientific enquiry skills.

Each episode introduces a focused scientific concept (building to cover the whole key stage 1 curriculum) that poses questions and challenges for the audience to follow up after viewing. As such, the actual programmes are not suitable to deliver their scientific learning intentions on a stand-alone basis. The intention is that each programme provides a starting point, and that detailed and developed follow-up discussion and activities are required to truly bring the science, and indeed Blue Dragon, to life.

Herein, lies the strength of this resource. The quality and structure of the support materials are outstanding. The resource book concisely details all the relevant background science and vocabulary; outlines preparation considerations; provides questions for use whilst viewing and suggests copious follow-up opportunities. The follow-up opportunities themselves are structured in such a way that they can be delivered to a given format, or selections can be made as appropriate, and include some excellent cross-curricular links (the suggested role-play and literacy activities are particularly worthwhile).

In order to get the most from The Blue Dragon, it is necessary to fully immerse your children in the storyline and follow-up opportunities. This may require considered planning to ensure that a balance is struck between the pace at which the children interact with the narrative, in order to maintain interest, and the coverage of the science curriculum itself.

Overall, The Blue Dragon is a well conceived and superbly delivered primary science resource.

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