An Aveley Primary Blog

This half term, our fiction focus is the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’. Exploring this text has given us lots of opportunities to develop our writing skills!
In order to extend our understanding of story structure and language, we have recalled the story by acting it out in groups. Not only did we discuss the different characters in the story and how we might show their thoughts and feelings, but we thought about the role of a narrator. Rehearsing some of the language that the narrator might use to narrate the story helped us to remember the importance of different features of stories, such as time connectivesconjunctions and adjectival strings.

  
    
  
    
    
  

As well as recalling the story, we have responded to the text, by writing letters and creating character descriptions.

  WANTED!

The Big Bad Wolf is on the loose in Aveley!!

One lunchtime, Miss Stephenson got a phone call from Bob the policeman. He needed some detailed Wanted posters to to put up around Aveley to tell people exactly what the wolf looks like, so that they could keep an eye out!

The perfect job for 1S! 

So we got to work on writing some detailed descriptions of the wolf in the hope that our posters could help in the search..

Not only did we use adjectival strings to create detailed descriptions of the wolf for our posters, but some of us took up chilli challenges and added similes to make our descriptions even more clear!

Take a look at some of our posters:

After such great work, policeman Bob would definitely have been able to find the wolf!!

(Although, of course, we know that the story of ‘The Three Little Pigs’ is FICTION! So, don’t panic: the wolf isn’t really on the loose!)

Having written some detailed postcards (following Sunny the meerkat’s visit to 1S!) to finish off our work on ‘Meerkat Mail’ (our FICTION focus), in literacy we have turned our attention  to look at some NON-FICTION types of writing.

This has begun with an exciting week of list writing. This has included writing a whole variety of lists; from shopping lists to bedtime routine lists, packing lists to ‘be prepared for learning’ lists.

We were getting so good at including list features that, on Friday, Miss Stephenson let us all bring in a toy from home so that we could write a detailed toy list of all of 1S’s toys.

To help us to write individual toy lists, we used our toys to create a life-size ‘class toy list‘.

In doing so, it was important to include key list features (such as a title and numbers to order our toys). Working together to create our list, we sounded out words as a class, carefully applying our phonics knowledge. To ensure we remembered our finger spaces, we even had ‘finger space monitors‘ come up and ensure that our words were well separated!

We began by writing the title:

  

Then we wrote our first number (1) ready for our first item…. Beau’s ‘FART GUN’!!

  
    

Then, for number 2 on our list… In flew SPIDER MAN!

  

Take a look at our list with the first 4 toys on:

 

Looking at our list, we thought about our steps to success. We decided we had done a title, numbers, an item on each new ‘line’, used finger spaces and our phonic knowledge to carefully segment words for spelling… Surely that must be it?!

Not quite… reading our list back to ourselves, we realised that it wasn’t very detailed. Although we could see the items, we discussed that we wouldn’t be able to stick them in our books alongside our words – so we needed to DESCRIBE them!

In order to do so we used our understanding of ADJECTIVAL STRINGS to describe our items and make our list as detailed as possible.

Take a look at us describing Beau’s fart gun! We came up with some fantastic adjectives to create our adjective string:

  
(In case you can’t see it, we came up with “smelly rude blue fart gun”)

Have a think about the other items you can see on our list so far. What words can you think of to describe them? (Remember an adjectival string needs two or more adjectives/describing words put IN FRONT of the noun/object).

Who would of thought we could work together so well to create a live list of our toys! Well done 1S – teamwork making our dream work again!

I’m sure you’re all excited to hear about the learning underpinning our interesting display table involving a globe alongside some colourful calendars of Africa… Don’t worry, we won’t make you wait any longer! Here is an insight into our learning challenge that has been driving our topic work…

Our learning challenge question is: ‘Why Can’t Meerkats Live in the North Pole?’



This might seem a rather odd – maybe even slightly random – thing for us to be asking, here at Aveley (where we don’t have any meerkats around us and are based many many miles away from the North Pole!!).

But don’t you worry, despite what it might initially seem, this question is extremely relevant to our learning!

This is because, our new fiction focus is Emily Gravett’s ‘Meerkat Mail’. This gripping story follows the journey of ‘Sunny’ the meerkat, who leaves his home in the Kalahari Desert to discover whether the grass is greener on the other side, by packing his suitcase and exploring a number of other places.

But (spoiler alert!) Sunny realises that there’s no place like home: His home in the Kalahari Desert is the place that suits him best..

This challenge question was therefore something that we are all extremely curious to explore, so that we can discover more about the hot environment that Sunny comes from – and why it is “perfect” for him – but also the contrasting environment of the North Pole and why Sunny might not be able to live there..


In our literacy work, as well as producing some fantastic writing based on the story (which we will share with you later!), we used actions to create a whole-class recall of the story (we didn’t have to look at the book to remind us what happens once!).. While Joanne made a very confident, adventurous Sunny, we all narrated the story together and took turns being different characters that Sunny comes across.

Here we are recalling the story:

  
    
    
    

We also did some hot-seating to help us explore character thoughts and feelings.. Here are some of us being Sunny:

  
    
 While our literacy has been closely following this fictional story, out topic has enabled us to explore some of the FACTS.

We know that Sunny lives in the “Kalahari Desert”, so we began by finding out where this is. Have a guess – where do you think the Kalahari Desert is located? Do you think it is a hot or cold environment?

We discovered that the Kalahari is in South Africa. We even now know that this is a CONTINENT (land which is made up of many different COUNTRIES).

Discovering that this is a HOT environment (even hotter than our summer holidays here!), we have explored this climate as geographers, scientists and artists, by looking at:

1. What clothes we wear in hot environments.

 

2. What animals can be found in hot environments (helped by several sing-alongs to “The Lion King”‘s ‘Circle of Life’!)

3. What colours create a “hot mood”.

We thought about textures and shapes while we made our own ‘hot Africas’ by colouring, painting and collaging:

                                    


 

4. The difference between an African hut and our own homes in England.

5. Where in the world hot places are located.
This has led us to think about what happens as we move away from the EQUATOR and the temperature starts to drop..

Now we know lots about where meerkats do live.. Time to start exploring the North Pole and why they can’t live there…