An Aveley Primary Blog

As well as exploring the hot environment in Africa in our Literacy and Topic work, this half term 1S has started some Dance!
We have been thinking about how we can use our bodies to represent the different animals that can be found in Africa. From elephants to snakes, rhinos to giraffes, we have had to stretch and scrunch in all sorts of directions to act (and move to the beat!) as these animals.
1S has shown fantastic teamwork skills, working together to create some fantastic African routines. We have had to listen carefully to each other and think about movement and space to show our animals.
Take a look at us in action:

What animals do you think we are?!

In order to continue our exploration of the Arctic, we had to answer the question:

What animals live in the North Pole?

With our meerkat friends safely housed in the hot area of our book corner, a cold front suddenly (and rather unexpectedly!) swept in, creating a contrasting cold area. This came to house some more visiting animals who are adapted to a much colder, Arctic, environment than Sunny and his friends.

Lucky 1S!

Peter the Polar Bear (who has been showing us around his Arctic home, guiding our exploration of this new landscape) had come with some of his friends… MORE VISITORS!!

In order to start thinking abut what animals live in the North Pole, we went over to welcome the visitors, and discover what animals had come over with Peter..  

  

What a collection of animals! Can you name any of them before we introduce you?

Now that you’ve had a go at naming the animals, we’ll tell you who our visitors are:

  • Peter, the Polar Bear
  • Paddy and Penny the Penguins
  • Freddie the Arctic Fox
  • Sammy the Seal

While these were the only Arctic animals who made it all the way to join us in 1S, that was not the limit of our learning about Arcitc animals! We have also learnt about:

  • Holly the Hare
  • Pip the Puffin
  • Ollie the Snowy Owl
  • Sheila the Shark

Wow! Peter has a lot of different animal friends living with him in the Arctic!

We looked at lots of pictures of these animals, which helped us to spot some of their ADAPTATIONS that help keep them warm (so they don’t have to wear woolly hats and gloves like we do in the cold!). These range from their thick white fur and small ears (which we realised most of them have), to Sammy the Seal’s thick layer of fat.

Our learning about these animals didn’t stop there!! We then turned to look at different CATEGORIES that we can put animals into.

The first of these was determining whether they are:

  1. MAMMAL,
  2. FISH, or
  3. BIRD

Take a look at some of our Arctic animal posters, which will show you which categories some of the animals go into:
    

Not only did we categorise them in this way, but we also looked at DIET! Did you know you can categorise animals by what they eat?! These categories are:

  1. CARNIVORE (animals that only eat meat)
  2. HERBIVORE (animals that only eat plants)
  3. OMNIVORE (animals that eat meat AND plants)

As well as categorising Arctic AND African animals according to what they eat, we had some fun with VENN DIAGRAMS (maths in topic!).

Although we know that humans (like 1S) are technically OMNIVORES (because we can eat both meat and vegetables), we thought about what we like to eat. We then sorted ourselves into omnivores, carnivores and herbivores..

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Using our Venn Diagram to help you, have a go at sorting yourself with your friends!:

  • Do you like chicken nuggets and burgers (but not fruit and vegetables)? – You are a CARNIVORE!
  • Do you prefer fruit and vegetables? – You are a HERBIVORE!
  • Do you like burgers AND the salad filling? – You are an OMNIVORE!

Wow what a crazy Arctic adventure!

Taking a step back, we realised that, not only did we have a contrast of hot and cold environments on our topic display wall, but the two contrasting worlds had collided in our book corner!
 


This led us to think about some of the differences between the two environments..

A shock message from Miss Stephenson led us to think about this in even more detail, taking us right back to our original learning challenge question.

Miss Stephenson overheard Sunny (the meerkat) and his friends suggesting they moved to Peter’s home in the Arctic when they leave 1S, instead of heading back to the Kalahari.

WE NEEDED TO WARN THEM OF OUR DISCOVERY THAT MEERKATS CANNOT LIVE IN THE NORTH POLE!!

We used what we know about the two environments to make posters to persuade them that a visit to the North Pole would not be a good idea!!

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You’ll be glad to hear that we now know enough about the sunny Kalahari Desert and the frosty North Pole, that we were able to give many great reasons why MEERKATS CANNOT LIVE IN THE NORTH POLE!

Not only are Sunny and his friends now happy to head home to Africa, but we have managed to answer our learning challenge question (‘Why Can’t Meerkats Live in the North Pole?’)!

Well done, 1S – What an achievement!!

Having sung our way through ‘The Lion King”s ‘The Circle of Life’ in our exploration of African animals, our singing in topic has now taken a much more frosty turn…

Before you ask, our learning hasn’t stopped in favour of sitting back and watching ‘Frozen’ all week (although we have found time for a little sing of everyone’s favourite ‘Let It Go’ of course!)… Instead, voices in 1S could this week be heard singing ‘The North Pole – that’s Arctic… The South Pole – Antarctic…’ If you don’t think that sounds catchy, check out the song we’ve been singing to begin our learning here:

This catchy tune has has helped us to begin our exploration of the cold environment we have turned our attention to (contrasting the hot Kalahari Desert): the North Pole (or Arctic).

So, as the temperature outside rapidly dropped as we welcome Autumn (something we will be thinking about in next half term’s topic), we turned to look at this new environment to help us to answer our learning challenge question.

Here are some of the things we have done as scientists, geographers and artists to explore the North Pole:

  1. Where in the world are cold places are located?

You might remember our brief mention of the EQUATOR (that invisible line around the center of the earth) when looking at hot environments. Well, to start our Polar adventure, we returned to our globe and located the North Pole and Africa in relation to the equator.

In doing so we created our very own globes:

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Can you point out the equator, North Pole, and Africa on our work?

This map work helped us to realise that as you move further away from the equator (towards the Poles and away from Africa and the sunny Kalahari) the temperature drops..

2. What are cold colours?

In order to fully emerse ourselves into this new section of our topic work, it was important for us to have a clear picture in our heads of the environment we were learning about. We therefore looked at, and created, our very own Arctic landscapes.

We discovered that an Arcitc scene looks very different from the African Kalahari Desert and has a number of different features that make it unique. Here are a few:

  1. It FLOATS (on the ocean)! – This makes it different from the Antarctic (South Pole) which is on land.
  2. There are large chunks of ice in the sea called ICEBERGS.
  3. The plant life is sparse (there’s not much and its quite twiggy!).

Who would have thought you could have a floating environment!?

Anyway, having created our Arctic scenes, we put on our artist hats and turned to think about colours. As well as looking at the colours we could see, this involved thinking about and discussing what other colours create a cold mood (and make us feel cold when we look at them).

We then used our (fantastic!) collaging skills to create our own ‘COLD COLLAGED ICEBERGS‘. All 31 were fantastic. The collages helped us to create textured icebergs with a range of cold colours which made Miss Stephenson shiver!

Here are a few (but put on your warmest coat before the colours make you feel cold too!): 

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