24th June 2011 at 01:00



Creative ways with creepy-crawlies

The study of minibeasts forms an important part of the science curriculum in the summer term. The large variety of creatures classed under this heading and their ready availability in local environments means that lessons on minibeasts need never be dull. Practical observations and investigations are essential, but it is important to provide background information, and to test pupils' understanding, with this type of resource.

A series of activities, uploaded by NGfL Cymru, includes worksheets and a PowerPoint. An interactive presentation features a rhyme about minibeasts and asks pupils to match each one to its habitat (MissE). A resource uploaded by jennysabb asks pupils to think of adjectives to use in sentences about minibeasts, and an interactive game asking children to identify minibeasts is aimed at those with special needs (bevevans22).

A pack of eight minibeast fans includes questions to ask the children (sheep_tea) and a collection of cards can be used for a minibeast lotto game (lbuzzybea).


Writing contest

A story-telling competition is giving schools the chance to win up to #163;1,000 in educational resources. Storyonics invites pupils to create a whole-class story, using supplied images, with the entries judged by Janet Foxley, winner of The Times Children's Fiction prize for her book Muncle Trogg. Participating schools must register before 22 July. For details, go to

Mix and make

Arts education specialist AccessArt is asking teachers to share inspirational tips in its Festival of Making. The event runs during July and offers teachers the chance to receive ideas relating to making anything, from workshops to website guides, in return for sharing a tip of their own.

Woolly science

The Science Museum is hosting a festival of knitting this weekend. Stitched Science features workshops, demonstrations and activities.


Instructional writing

Practice with imperatives and sequencing tasks

Pupils first learn instructions in list formats, such as personal reminders and simple planning notes, and soon move on to writing their own instructions for everyday activities and processes.

Instructional writing uses the second person, imperative mood (or "bossy verbs") and often employs time connectives such as "first" or "next". The correct order of instructions is vital, so sequencing activities are widely used.

Our contributors have uploaded detailed planning and sets of instructions for a huge number of subjects, from making a sandwich to putting up a tent.

Planning resources include a two-week unit, contributed by missnugent, looking at moving pictures and toys, with links to history, design and technology and science; and a three-day unit on introducing and reiterating instructions, uploaded by missal. The collection also includes an introduction to instructional writing (tallonr), a writing frame complete with success criteria and guidelines (BEG78), and a flow chart for instruction writing (kyleb99).

Examples of lessons on instructional writing include cleaning your teeth, planting a bulb, making pancakes and decorating a biscuit.


All shapes and sizes

Introducing concept of comparative language

Before children move on to measuring the length, height and weight of objects, they need to understand the concept of size. This is practised by ordering items and using appropriate vocabulary to describe accurately what they see.

This collection focuses on stimulating the language of size, including comparative language, as a preparation for estimating and measuring the size, length, height and weight of objects.

A series of interactive resources from TESiboard have been developed to engage pupils in practising descriptive and comparative language, with opportunities to model and reinforce the appropriate vocabulary. Among these are activities involving the Three Bears.

Another TESiboard activity asks children to put farm animals in size order, testing their understanding of relative size, while comparative language is also involved in an activity asking pupils to re-size animals in proportion to their homes.

A resource uploaded by TES user cariad2 asks children to arrange worms and caterpillars by length, while an activity contributed by Tennies challenges pupils to cut out and stick elephants in order of size.

Activities from NGfL Cymru cover "big and small" and "short and tall". In an activity uploaded by Siobhan85, autumn leaves can be printed and cut out, and then arranged into size order.

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