Under the Sea!

Under the Sea was a lovely week of wacky and wonderful sea creatures. We were inspired by Yuval Zommer’s Big Book of Blue (Years 1-2 and Years 3-4) along with The Secret of Black Rock and the sea creatures in Myth Match (Years 3-4). 

These were the stages to our work: 

  1. We looked in detail at The Big Book of Blue. We learnt many things, including: Flying Fish fly for 45 seconds…Pufferfish are the second most deadly animal in the world (can you guess the first?)…Anglerfish have light bulbs having from their heads to lure victims into their traps!
  2. We played a game of mixed-up sea animals and, from these, got ideas for our Under the Sea puppets. 
  3. Out of shoe boxes and many other materials including paint we created sea worlds for our puppets. 
  4. We talked about and smelt our favourite smells and our least favourite smells, and imagined what it smelt like in the sea world. Some of the smells we came up with / brought in: a fish oil capsule; a benecol bottle with vinegar in it; lavender oil; flowery soap; chocolate milk; bubblegum; candy floss… 
  5. We wrote up the beginnings of our stories.
  6. We brainstormed ideas for what could happen Under the Sea… we came up with: tidal waves…darkness descending…evil vampire squids…arguments between sea creatures…sea creatures stealing each other’s jewels…
  7. We played a simile game about the problems of the sea creatures.
  8. In the Years 3-4 class we used the Sea World shower curtain as a backdrop to do some acting against with the puppets, imagining the problems that could happen in the sea worlds.
  9. We wrote up the middles of our stories.

Here are some of the lovely pictures of the different stages of work:

 

 

 

 

 

Touring Toys: Magical Toyshops

It’s been a fab week of ‘Touring Toys’ which I’ve now renamed ‘Touring Toys: Magical Toyshops’ due to the content of our stories as they evolved…

We started out by looking at some older toys from the 1985 Encyclopaedia of Toys! From this, and from a game of mixed-up toy consequences, along with discussions about our favourite / least favourite toys, we came up with some new toys and made puppets of them. We started filling in our puppet passports…

We then started thinking about where our toys would live and toyshops in general. We watched the trailer to Mr Magorian’s Wonder Emporium and brainstormed the many different sections that toyshops could have:

We started to plan our own toyshop. We divided up a huge piece of communal paper into different rooms in the toyshop and all students worked on all the rooms, taking turns to go in different areas. We listened to The Nutcracker and we painted, and as we painted we talked about the toyshop and what was happening in it. Here are some photos of the in-progress magical toyshops…

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We imagined what it would smell like in the toyshop, and played a game of smell tests…

We then wrote a description of the toyshop using sounds and smells, so that the reader could really imagine they were there. This would be the introduction to our stories. Here are a couple of examples:

Finally, we started to plan the problem / exciting middle part of our stories, thinking about how our puppets would be involved in them. 

The Years 1-2 class planned a burglar story with thieves coming in to steal the toys. The burglars went on a long journey in the toyshop and we acted out what they did in each room. We then drew the actions of the burglars onto the painted toyshop (such as stealing all the toys in the Scented Toys Room / posing in front of mirrors) in between writing sessions. Some of the stories ended up with the burglars escaping, some with them being captured.

The Years 3-4 class planned two different stories: one involving a pod crash over the Sea of Imagination (the sea which connects the different rooms of the toy world) involving a muscular lifeguard running off to the Fire Room, and another the ‘Sweet of Neverendia’ involving a quest through the Water Room and a trek through the desert bordering the Sweets Room. We drew the two storylines onto the painted toyshop in between writing sessions. 

Here are some samples of writing from the middle of the stories:

And here are the final group artworks:

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