Ideas for working with activity cards

I asked Hanka what she thought, which poem we should take further, to help parents, teachers, tutors get the idea about connecting the exercises with education. Hanka answered at once: The Lion.

Breathing in, and breathing out, let’s begin…

First verse

         I have a mighty roar and mane, and I live on a grassy plain”…

Children, do you know what a lion’s grassy plain is called? The answer is likely: “No, we don’t.”

•    A tool I use is a fabric map of the world, the continents are made of felt.

•    You can find it here Map

•    If you can’t see yourself putting that together, why not just get an ordinary poster of the continents.

Then, the children put the coloured felt down on a cloth background, and I tell them what each continent is called. I make flags with the continent names, by attaching toothpicks to plastic bottle lids using a glue gun, and add a small piece of laminated paper with the name of the continent.

Moving on from geography we come to language, reading out the names together, and asking questions.

For example, Africa:

✔   What letter does the word Africa begin with?

✔   Let’s spell out Africa – A F R I C A.

✔   What letter does the word Africa end with?

✔   Can you write the letter A on a piece of paper?

✔   Circle each A in the word AFRICA.

✔   I make simple cards on hard paper and write the word A F R I C A with large enough letters, leaving out, say, the letter R to add to A F _ I C A.

Having looked at language, I link the topic to arithmetic:

✔   I have prepared some pebbles, balls, and wooden numbers.

✔   How many times would you clap in rhythm to say the word Af-ri-ca? Answer: three times.

✔   Children point to the number 3 and select the number of pebbles that corresponds to the number.

✔   I carry on like this, using miniatures of animals that live on the continent.

✔   How many times would you clap to go with the word li-on, for example. Answer: twice.

✔   Then compare the numbers with each other.

✔   Between the two numbers, we can put a > greater than, < less than or = equals sign.

✔   The signs are made of cardboard and can take the form of a crocodile.

✔   I put the crocodile with its jaws wide open toward the side with more pebbles, because it is very hungry and wants to eat all the pebbles.

✔   As a bit of fascinating extra information, mention that a crocodile will actually swallow some stones, to help him ‘grind up’ food in his stomach.

I prepare miniatures of animals, one typical of each continent. For Africa, it would be the lion, as expected. I carry on talking and describing: “On this continent, children, there is a savannah, where we can find a lion.” Explaining what a savannah is can be helped by pictures, or a description that it is a grassy, sparsely tree-covered landscape. The name sounds very technical, so a picture can help, and we can tailor the explanation or illustration as befits the child’s age.

Everything I am proposing is intended just for inspiration. The whole concept is about doing things your own way. .


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