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Our very first "look it up and write a report by next Wednesday" bit of homework (Yr 1) - HELP needed, both resources and starting off on the right foot

22 replies

Anchovy · 22/02/2008 10:54

Ds is in Yr 1. They are doing something at school about "extreme habitats" - particularly the Desert and the Arctic - and how animals adapt to them (or something: as the Star Wars quotient of this is low, DS's explanation is a bit garbled). DS has to "find something out about it" and "write it out on a piece of lined paper". By next Wednesday

I'm thinking that we need to look something up, say "ooh, look DS, lizards live in the desert and they have scales because . What about polar bears - ooh look, they are white because they are camouflaged against the snow".

First question: are there any good websites for things like this? We've got a good children's encyclopaedia, which is where I intend to start, but I'd quite like to looks omething up on the interweb as well.

Second question: this is really all about "learning to learn", isn't it? I just think that this is the very first test of how parents will be helping the children with their homework. Now obviously I could look this all up on the internet at work - or, better, get my trainee to do it - and then write out a few paragraphs on armadilloes using my wrong hand. But that's not really what it is about, is it? I really want to start as we mean to go on (ie Ds do the majority of it, with a very small bit of parental prodding, so it will necessarily be a bit, erm, basic)

Any tips? For people willing to share tips, I will spill as to how many of the children turn up with power point projections and glossy, bound 20 page pamphlets...

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marina · 22/02/2008 10:58

Start with the CBBC website Anchovy - he can search that himself.

There is also a fab Texas zoo website we have bookmarked at home for animal homeworks, and I cannot remember which one it is

Fort Worth or San Antonio I think...

marina · 22/02/2008 10:59

And actually, the whole BBC website will be fine for this sort of work, the David Attenborough programmes will have their own pages, e.g. Life in the Freezer

Lazycow · 22/02/2008 11:01

Ah Anchovy I hope you get some good advice here. Ds is too yet (3years old) but I've often wondered with the sort of homework children get nowadays, just where there helping stops and the doing it for them starts.

I assume a lot of 5-6 year old would have quite a lot of difficulty doing this homework on their own so help is obviously required . Particualrly since quite a lot of children this age might not be able to read and write properly yet.

One of my directors does a lot of his son's 8 year old's homework and is often seen doing the work and then laminating brightly coloured children's work stuff on our office laminator {grin]. you obviously don't want to be going down that route!

smartiejake · 22/02/2008 11:02

Try this
Looks like something you might find useful.

It's for younger children (says key stage 1)

smartiejake · 22/02/2008 11:04

Sorry hadn't quite finished and hit the wrong button!

Lots of info about animals in a simple easy to read format.

Blandmum · 22/02/2008 11:09

Most defoo this a 'learning to learn' task.

If you google with him, avoid stuff with reams and reams of OOT information.

putting 'for kids' or 'for children' inot the goole search will help with this.

The teacher will be much happeir with a few hand writted lines, as we realise that screeds of cut and pasted stuff just shoews that the kids can cut and paste. generaly they don't read the stuff

On his work, cite the website he accessed. That way the teacher will know that he did reasech it online

EffiePerine · 22/02/2008 11:19

Just doing a report on lined paper sounds a bit dull - could you encourage him to do a scrapbook which he then uses for his report? He could draw some stuff, cut out pics from magazines etc.

EffiePerine · 22/02/2008 11:20

or a collage - a collage would be great for habitat stuff (diff colour/shaoe animals on same background)

EffiePerine · 22/02/2008 11:21

(just wait till DS is school age, the teachers will HATE me )

Anchovy · 22/02/2008 12:59

OOh, thanks you lovely ladies - have been in a meeting and come back and seen this.

The instructions said "with pictures", so I was going to either download some photos, or even better find something to be coloured in.

We've been watching "Life in Cold Blood" with him (wasn't the frog one triffic?!) so I'll go to that website. Thanks for the "Life in the Freezer" tip as well.

I'm definitely going to make sure that it is his work, not mine. I feel that I am standing on the very precipice of a slippery slope if I take over here...

If her write more than 2 paragraphs, its going to be buggeringly obvious it wasn't him doing it!

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OneHandedTypist · 22/02/2008 13:04

There is simply no way most of the children in dd's y1 class could do this hwork themselves; most of them would struggle 2 write more than 1-2 very short sentences, nevr mind paragrafs.

OneHandedTypist · 22/02/2008 13:06

...And most of them would need aN adult 2 read the web pages 2 them, too.

Anchovy · 22/02/2008 13:10

LOL OneHandedTypist - DS's "paragraphs" will be no more than 1-2 very short sentences!

Interestingly, we get a glossy mag from the school once per term. It has extracts of work from each year and some of the handwriting in Ds's class (girls) were astonishing for 5-6 year olds. Ds is more of the "dogged and blotchy" variety, although the teacher said that his was actually quite good for a boy!

It would blardy take forever for him to write a paragraph though, so I am using the term in a "loose" way!

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tissy · 22/02/2008 13:11

Dd (same year) had to write about a castle this half term.

We downloaded a picture of the castle opposite our house, and Dd wrote:

This is XXXX Castle. It was built in YYYY by the ZZZZ family. I can see it from my house.

This easily filled the piece of paper that she was given, and went down well with her teacher.

Unless your dd is unusually articulate, I don't think you need too much detail at that age, really!

tissy · 22/02/2008 13:11

sorry, your ds

Anchovy · 22/02/2008 13:12

Agreed, he couldn't read web pages either - might be able to do some stuff from his children's encyclopaedia.

That's why I think it is about "learning to learn" - about going and looking something up and having a chat about it with DH or I, rather than a "project".

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Anchovy · 22/02/2008 13:14

Tissy - that is exactly the sort of thing I was thinking of. ("A snake lives in the hot desert. It has dry skin").

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MrsWobble · 22/02/2008 13:16

you should be pleased he's got to write it on lined paper. my dds do quite a lot of their stuff on the computer to avoid getting comments on the handwriting and to use spellcheck I think. it's done wonders for dd1's IT skills if not her underlying knowledge. Dd2 was struggling to fill a page on something or other; dh and I made what we thought were useful suggestions but were dismissed in favour of dd1's advice to increase the font size - not sure that's really what the teacher had in mind for geography.

Bink · 22/02/2008 13:22

I think I'm waltzing in late. But anyway ...

My completely main tip would be FOCUS. Aim to find out something small & discrete - like, er, "Why Don't Penguins Feet Freeze?" (to thieve a recent bookshop memory) - it is much much easier getting a small person to do expository writing when the scope is narrow.

I would definitely think it OK to be the one coming up with the research topic - I would give a bit of thought to ds's preoccupations [which SW planet is his favourite? - cold one, deserty one, other extremes?] & give him a few ideas to choose from.

Illustrations - if you can somehow adapt what you find on the web - print off something he can trace, or colour in, or otherwise make his own, that will be more impressive than a whole lot of stuck-in straight-off downloads. Aha, just saw that you've thought of that already.

Will come back if I think of more ideas ...

legalalien · 22/02/2008 13:31

there are also some quite good links on the US PBS site eg PBS for future reference.

(still killing myself laughing at the comment on the other thread about posting a copy of the companies act, complete with stickies, to general counsel....)

Anchovy · 22/02/2008 13:35

Well, you know what its like Legalalien, some of them are so blardy lazy. Plus it would give me more time to do DS's homework...

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Bink · 22/02/2008 13:36

Just to add - as I did think of something - that if it seems at all hard dreaming up topics as soon as you go on those dancing singing kids' environmental websites the ideas will come jumping out at you.

Just sitting here, I was thinking, now if this were dd ... fluff quotient required, hmm Arctic foxes, seem to remember their fur has an unusual structure (hollow or something), excellent illustration value, microscope views even, yes that'll do.

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