Learning Outside the Classroom: Building Empathy for Characters
As part of a recount (diary entry) writing topic, Year 5 explore the completely wordless picture book 'Small Things' by Mel Tregonning. The children make their own inferences about the boy's mental health as he seems to be having a hard time in school.
To further build empathy for what the little boy might experience on a regular school day, Year 5 went on a walk around of different areas of our own school. This enabled each pupil to observe school situations as an outsider. They put forward vocabulary for how a pupil who has 'small things' affecting them in school may feel. Towards the end of 'Small Things', things seem to look up for the little boy; therefore, Year 5 also came up with positive vocabulary for how a pupil may feel in school once they feel supported with their 'small things'.
'World Book Day' Celebrations: The Power of Words!
To continue Year 5's exploration of the completely wordless picture book 'Small Things', pupils were challenged to use poetry to bring the main character's emotions to life.
Year 5 started by choosing a suitable emotion (based on their own inferences) and used this to imagine what that emotion might smell, sound, look and feel like etc. Through using such senses and a range of figurative language, Year 5 produced powerful emotion poems from the perspective of the main character.
In the lead up to our World Book Day Celebrations, every child in the school writes their own 100 word (Lower School) or 200 word (Upper School) story about a topic of their choice. The pupils choose their own style of narrative: sci-fi, adventure, mystery, fantasy: the list goes on... and compose their own narrative being mindful of how to tell a full story in a precise way. After polishing and a few tweaks, these stories are collated and published into a school book, which each child receives on World Book Day.
You can find our books in our school library as well as our local one too: Spellow Library. At Spellow Library, we are the featured authors on display and have performed our stories for the local community to celebrate our fantastic writing.
Exploring the Relevancy of Shakespeare's Work
William Shakespeare's 'Julius Caesar' has enriched Year 5's persuasive writing abilities through its vocabulary and themes. It enabled the motives of a key character to be analysed from two different perspectives. Was Brutus acting selflessly for the good of Rome or enviously for his own personal gains?
After exploring one of Shakespeare's plays, this encouraged Year 5 to consider whether studying Shakespeare is still relevant in schools today or not. A wide range of proposition and opposition points were devised, and personal opinions were ultimately cast aside as group debates took place.