Friday, February 01, 2008

Travelling the world

Apart from maths and a bit more work using "How to Write Stories", the usual bunch of topics we're working on has taken a back seat this week. Quite a bit of socialising at the beginning of the week and then Ben and Katie decided to try out the Dorling Kindersley CD Roms my mum kindly ordered from the Daily Mail last year (which we picked up from her at Christmas). From the bundle there seem to be three favourites; New Atlas of the Solar System, Play and Learn Science Experiments and (by far the most used this week) Become a World Explorer.

All are interactive and easy to use and great fun too. I especially like the science experiments with its virtual lab to help you do on-screen experiments for gravity, air, motion, electricity (to name just a few), answer questions to score points. Ben used the Solar System to help with his project and liked the Mars rover - riding over rocky grounds to discover things of interest. The World Explorer is great. It reminded me of a Jolly Postman CD Rom we borrowed from the library years ago which had a European map game that Katie loved. I can still remember the tunes and voices to this day. This game covers the whole world. Postcards and stickers to collect, location information and various games to find countries by moving around the map (using the points of the compass) and answering questions. They've only just scratched the surface with this one, there's plenty more for them to explore.

We've finally finished our Nickolai of the North book that we started reading just before Christmas. Katie was on and off this one all the way through but we all agreed it was a good read in the end. The descriptive writing really brought the book alive for me and it was interesting reading the author's research notes on the last few pages. Being a story based on lots of myths and legends pulled from various cultures made it rather fitting for our topic this term. Although a little scary in places, I'd recommend this book for keeping the Christmas theme alive for slightly older children.

As I was reading to them this afternoon, Katie and Ben were drawing Manga faces from Ben's Exo Force booklet. Katie is pretty artistic anyway and has had a go at drawing this style before so I knew her picture would be good, but I have to admit Ben's drawing was brilliant for a first attempt - lots of expression. Perhaps we have a buddy cartoon artist in our midst. I see the CBBC website tutorial for drawing Manga is no longer available, have found this but haven't really checked it out yet.
Katie's (top) and Ben's Manga faces.

A Flat Stanely arrived this morning from Skipton. We haven't hosted a Flat for quite a while (not since we moved anyhow) so it'll be nice taking him around with us and writing up his journal. We've been asked to forward him on to someone else after his stay with us so he gets to do a tour of the country. If anyone out there is interested in hosting Flat Stanley after us, please post a comment.

No snow here yet - still hoping. My neighbour has heard we're heading for a good 2 inches, but I can't see it happening! I've come to realise I don't mind most weather patterns except the wind. We've had a lot of gusty weather since our move, probably because it is so flat and open here, but I really get spooked by the noises and the possible damage it could cause. We were standing in the conservatory (lots of noises in there I can tell you, but it's still standing) watching the trunks of the tall pines and silver birches moving with every gust. Reminded me of the hurricane in the 90s - so much damage was done where I lived at the time, don't really want a repeat of that.


At 3:08 pm, Blogger Always Learning said...

Hi Elle,

One of mine, doesn't like to write, how would you rate the book (how to write stories) for encouraging story witing?

We have World Explorer mine really like it.

I changed my url from motherbear to this
It didn't take long fo someone to take over the old blog address, pretty weird!

By the way tell Katie her horse drawings are superb, I read somewhere that horses are hard to draw! Katies are lovely, and Ben's manga face is pretty good too.

CJ x

At 9:43 pm, Blogger Elaine, Ellies Treasures said...

I've passed on your lovely comments to Katie and Ben - thanks.

We've only just started using the story writing book. I'd say it is probably more for ages 10 and up (or even perhaps a little older), although I actually got it out of the library to encourage Ben to use his imagination more in his writing (he's not a keen writer, but he is only 8!). We started off well but then hit a page where he had to actually write a story, then it wasn't so good for him. Next section is about describing a character which I know he'll be much better at. So, I think it's a very good, informative book but probably more for those that already have a liking to story writing (like Katie and me). You never know, I may find by the end of the book he'll be itching to get writing - I'll let you know! BTW, I do find Katie and Ben both produce better stories if they are typed rather than written. Elle

At 7:45 pm, Blogger Always Learning said...

Thanks for replying Elle, I 'll perhaps put it on my 'maybe buy book list'

Thanks for the comment on my blog too, I shall be going to the show, but I'm going to try the last afternoon to see if they give more than the usual freebies away!

I'll write up about it again to see if it's any good this year, I've an rough idea of the area you live, and I'm not sure if it is truly worth the travelling distance, it's not something that can be attended by kids either...which is a shame.

I normally have set things I want to buy from publishers, so it's worth it for me.

CJ x


Post a Comment

<< Home