I’ve been asked a few times recently how do you know how to plan a topic and where do I start? So I thought I’d share with you the topic I have planned to teach my children this term and how I went about planning this. Obviously this is just an example as there are many different ways to approach planning a topic of work… this is just one of them.
What should I do first?
I began by asking Jack and Harry what they were interested in and also by thinking about what our local area has to offer in terms of places to visit. I always begin my topics with a visit somewhere, to bring the topic alive. The boys decided they were interested in learning about animals and also they like to make things so I suggested we visit the local beach and learn about the seaside and link this to some work about Lighthouses. As we live by the seaside we have a lighthouse that we can visit and plenty of local beaches where we can go rockpooling.
If you can tie in your topic to a local place you can visit, it will really animate your child and bring the learning to life from the start.
So what next?
Once we had a theme in place we then considered how we can link other subjects into our learning. I have chosen a couple of really nice children’s books to link to the seaside – The Lighthouse Keeper’s Lunch (Ronda and David Armitage) and Kensuke’s Kingdom (Michael Morpurgo). We will use these to write stories and learn how to use vocabulary and grammar in our writing. We can learn the History of the seaside and of lighthouses and then we can also learn about map reading skills and some physical Geography by looking at key features of the coastline when at the beach. To link in some Art we will be sketching pictures of lighthouses and some items we might find at the beach such as shells. For DT we will be creating a mod-roc lighthouse that we will be painting and when complete we will learn how to create a circuit to add a light to the top of the lighthouse.
Have a look at my mind map below which will give you my thoughts written down.
Drilling down further…
Once I have a clear idea of the things I can do I will then create a week by week plan as a guide to follow when we will do each thing.
There are many good websites online with plenty of information about whatever topic you choose. If you base your topic around a local theme you may well be able to get resources from local places.