Resources - Primary - News

15th October 2010 at 01:00

Sprinkling of knowledge

The charity WaterAid has produced a pack to teach primary pupils about the importance of clean water. Spotlight on Water is free and also encourages pupils to think about the water cycle. See www.wateraid.orgspotlightonwater

Game for learning

Computer game developer Larian is looking for maths teachers to help create a series of educational games for six to 12-year-olds. Teachers will be provided with software. For details, email

Lesson plans mapped out

The Geographical Association has published a series of lesson plans to help primary pupils discover and map their local area.

Map It, Bike It, Walk It has been developed with sustainable development charity Sustrans and Sheffield City Council, and is available from the association's website,


What the lesson is about

This uses real-life problems to look at area and perimeter and is for key stage 2 pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- explain methods and reasoning;

- solve mathematical problems;

- recognise and explain patterns and relationships;

- calculate perimeters and areas of rectangles.

Getting started

Introduce the activity by asking pupils how many different-sized pig pens can be made using only 12 fencing panels. How do they think they can solve this problem?

Explain that we want to make a school garden to grow vegetables, but we need to put a fence around it to stop animals from coming in and eating them at night.

Tell the children we can only afford to buy 26 one-metre long panels.

Ask them to find the largest area we can fence off to make a rectangular vegetable patch.

With lower-ability pupils, use dominoes to represent the fence and get them to work out the different possible sizes.

Ask them to record what they find on squared paper and to note the enclosed area.

Can they find a relationship between the area and the lengths of the sides?

Taking it further

Tell pupils to present their results. Have they found the largest area that could be enclosed? Is there a quicker way of working out the area than counting all the squares inside the shape? What mathematical operation did they use to work it out? Will that method work for all squares and rectangles?

Where to find it

The original lesson was uploaded by heather henry and can be found at


What the lesson is about

This is the first in a two-part lesson looking at extreme weather events from the past and present, culminating in the second lesson in which pupils produce their own weather forecast for 2050. It is aimed at key stage 1 pupils.

Aims: pupils will

- identify changes to the climate by research using ICT;

- communicate in ways appropriate to the task and audience;

- use ICT to help in geographical investigations;

- explain why places are like they are.

Getting started

Ask the class to explain what the weather is. Explain that it is the day-to-day conditions of a place. Do the pupils know what climate is? Explain that it is the weather conditions at a particular place over a long period of time.

Tell the class that in Britain we have a temperate climate. Encourage pupils to think about how it affects us and what precautions people take to protect themselves from the weather. Ask pupils what would be the ideal climate to live in and why.

Taking it further

Get pupils to research changes in the weather. Are we responsible? What is climate change? How is it happening? Ask them to research the greenhouse effect. How are greenhouse gases made? What is going to happen in the future? Tell the class to work in small groups to research and create a leaflet for younger children about weather, climate change and the greenhouse effect.

Where to find it

Both lessons were originally uploaded by HamiltonTrust and can be found at


What the lesson is about

Pupils are tasked with designing and making a fruit salad, based on research into the requirements of their peers. It is aimed at key stage 1 pupils and covers five sessions.

Aims: pupils will

- learn about the sensory properties of fruit through exploration of colour, texture and taste;

- understand health and safety issues when handling food;

- discover how to improve the taste, texture and appearance of fruit through different methods of preparation;

- work in a team and write a specification.

Getting started

Introduce a variety of fruits to the class by asking questions such as: "What fruit is yellow and must be peeled before being eaten?"

Discuss the idea of a fruit salad and the importance of taste, texture, colour and seasonal availability. Divide the class into groups and tell pupils they need to decide what to put in their fruit salad. Give them a selection of fruit pieces to taste. Ask the children to practise using knives, forks and spoons to shape dough or plasticine to look like fruits.

Taking it further

Get the class to prepare samples of their three favourite fruits. What could they do to make them taste or look better? Tell the children that they now need to decide how to make their fruit salad. Ask each group to draw up a specification, including which fruits to use, the size and shape of pieces and whether any pips and stones should be removed. Then get them to make their fruit salads.

Ask pupils what they learnt about fruit. What did they find difficult? What would they do differently next time?

Where to find it

The project covers five sessions and was originally uploaded by NuffieldFoundation. It can be found at

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