Learning from previous years that we struggle with project work in the summer term the plan is to do a whole year project focusing on different aspects over the terms. With this being what would be Sam’s last year at primary age, it feels a now or never to embrace the Victorian age. There are so many resources available.
Term 1 – Victoria. Planning to look at Victoria’s life and her place in the royal family tree.
Term 2 – The British Empire/Victorian Christmas. Over view of Empire, a look in particular at India and end with a bit of Christmassy fun and if time a look at Dickens.
Term 3 – Victorian life
Term 4 – Victorian towns, crime and punishment (Jack the Ripper – he’s interested, perhaps Sherlock), and moving on to life in factories.
Term 5/6 – Industry and invention
Mostly we aim to cover these topics through reading (fact and fiction), documentaries, discussion and visits. Hoping to visit Kensington Palace, Osborne House, Dickens Museum, Museum of London, Geffrye Museum, Big Pit and Rhondda Heritage, Bristol, Ironbridge, Back to Back Houses in Birmingham, Whitchurch Silk Mill, Eastney Beam House and possibly York. I have a workshop booked for the HE group at a local museum and will probably book a day at another.
Besides that I am hoping to start introducing different ideas for presenting what he has learnt. We will be using some activities from a KS3 History book I hope. All a work in progress at the moment. The idea is to keep things interesting and different and make use of technology as much as possible.
Sam’s interests though always lie towards ancient civilizations. To indulge this I am provisionally planning to use lapbooks to study the ancient civilizations of India, China, Japan and Mesopotamia to complement our Geography project on Asia. I am not sure how we will go with lapbooks but am struggling to find decent books on the subjects and hoping that lapbooks will give us nice confined nuggets.
Last year’s project approach worked well so the plan is to continue in that style.
Projects pencilled in for this year include
Greeks again! But the boy loves Greeks and it’s the Olympics. May try to take us down a History of Sport diversion but we’ll see.
I have come to the conclusion that we can not fail to cover enough history, it is something that interests us both.
The issues we have are spending too much time on it at the expense of other subjects and getting bogged down too much in the same few topics.
Therefore the plan is to pick 3 ‘topics’ and study them project style for 1/2 a term at a time alternating with Geography to cover 6 projects a year. Well maybe not alternating as very much dependant on dates of exhibitions/events.
Despite my natural inclination, I have decided to drop the idea of covering history in chronological order. Although I think it is the most logical approach the evidence suggests in practice we get bogged down with increasingly detailed studies of Greece and Egypt. Plan is to move between different time periods bringing everything together with the help of various timelines. We’ll take exhibitions/events as our inspiration.
Initial plans have been made for projects on (started to detail them on my project blog);
Ancient Britain – Stone/Bronze/Iron Age – with this new on the KS2 curriculum this year there seems lots on at museums to see. Plus really fancy the Britain: One Million Years of the Human Story exhibition at the NHM.
The third project of the year is undecided at the moment, I have resources collected on Medieval Times/Castles and Ancient China but it will depend on whether any interesting trips/exhibitions come up next spring.
The aim is to keep everything fun and practical. Lots of visits, reading and crafts. We may stray in to lapbooks for some projects but not all, some will be entirely hands on.
We will try and have a read aloud fiction book and at least one good non-fiction to act as our backbone for each project. By reading these, narrating them back and working on hands on projects to bring elements of them to life, alongside documentaries and visits then hopefully we can cover subjects at a level to provide a base to build on in more depth later if required and contribute to a general overview of history.
Another subject we are covering in two ways
Story of the World
Story of the World introduces the history of the world in narrative form. It’s a nice idea but lacking substance. We’re using it as an introduction and a timeline to follow. We’re following up with the Usborne Encyclopaedia of World History and other assorted books as well as craft projects and visits.
It is the basic framework – we have spent over 3 months on one chapter – may take us some time definitely NOT a book a year here 😉
World War I
With the centenary of the start of the Great War this year seems a good opportunity to make use of the free resources and the plentiful documentaries. Plan is still sketchy, starting with a look at life in the Trenches, moving on to weapons, life at home and finally politics of why and the aftermath, but very much prepared to go with the flow. At the moment we’re stockpiling resources and planning visits.