WATCH: Seasons. BBC Video Plus pound;29.99. www.bbc.co.ukeducation
The Four Seasons poster set. PCET Publishing,27 Kirchen Road, London W13 0UD pound;9.05Tel: 020 8567 9206. www.pcet.co.uk
KEY STAGE 2. Learning about the seasons CD-Rom. Age 7-11 Science. British Nuclear Fuels Limited, Warrington, Cheshire. pound;6.95 + VAT To order: 0808 100 1444
Feeling SAD? Time to re-order the perennial theme of seasons, then. If you're bursting into spring, here are some familiar resources from the BBC and PCET to brighten up the classroom.
The Watch:living through the seasons pack builds on the original BBC Watch series of four programmes, still well worth watching seven years after their original release. The booklet follows a trend for pre-planned teaching programmes which owes a lot to the national literacy strategy. There are five units - The Hedgehog, The Apple Tree, The Blackbird, The Grass and The Seasons. Each identifies learning outcomes, content, core and extension activities, cross-referenced to NLS word, sentence and text-level requirements. Photocopiable activity sheets and a poem to share are included. The pack is completed by a comprehensive resource listing to help with class project planning and four A3 poetry posters.
The PCET pack of wallcharts, first published in 1997, provides a visual stimuls and reference point for children. The accompanying leaflet is densely packed with information on wildlife across each season.
The BNFL CD-Rom about the four seasons is good value, providing a crisp, highly visual delivery of information with plenty of interactive reinforcement.
It is easy to use for child or teacher, and the brief introductory video clip leads straight into a simple menu. From here on in, the user can compare seasons using a particular focus or browse through the yearly cycle in several ways.
For each season, there are sections on weather systems, plants and animals which highlight the distinguishing features and characteristics. Seasonal quotations and a smattering of poetry add a touch of reflection on the human response to powerful and beautiful natural phenomena. Useful features for younger users include options for reading the text on screen and straightforward definitions of terms used within the text. Teacher notes are included on the CD-Rom in Word format and pupil worksheets can be printed as required straight from the computer.
The CD-Rom covers many areas of the national curriculum, particularly science and geography at KS2, as well as the Scottish 5-14 curriculum for environmental studies. The uses of classification and data presentation are explained particularly well, helping to develop the young scientist's ordered thinking and mathematical understanding.
A valuable learning resource on an ever-popular theme.