It’s been a busy term – looking at this blog and realising that it’s been over two months since I last updated it with work that we have been doing in class, so here goes!
Within Year 5 last term we have been studying the Tudors and as part of this work our corridor became a museum – with children adding to exhibits. To tie into this I decided to use the game Night at the Museum to provide an impetus to a range of writing that we were covering. I was also inspired by the work carried out by @nickynewbury who wrote about her work with her Year 5 class using the Night at the Museum game here .
We wanted to use the game to cover a range of writing including job applications, leaflets, adverts radio, revision of story setting and instructions. So this is what we did:
We started by talking about the ‘museum’ that we had created in our corridor and spoke about what was in in it how it was laid out and had a discussion about the roles of museums as well as what we liked about museums. We began by watching the first 3 minutes of the film Night at the Museum 1 – all of the children had already seen the film and we were focusing on words to describe the setting and how we felt as we looked around. The task for the children was to describe the setting for someone who had never seen it. There were some great descriptions as the children focused on being clear with their descriptions and vocabulary choices. We also spoke about Larry as the main character and what his role was in the film.
The following day we used Google Earth to fly to New York – the setting for Night at the Museum 1 before flying on to the Smithsonian Museum in Washington the setting for the Night at the Museum II and the setting for the Wii game. We then introduced the Wii game to the whole class and explained that today we would be playing as a class – so that we got used to the controls, listening t each other, co-operating and understanding how the game worked. As we ere playing – we had to note down what the controls did and suggestions for how to help each other in the game. This was the first time I had used the Wii as a class this year – having only previously used it in groups in maths and it was great to see the level of engagement and talk that went with the opening session.
We then introduced the carousel activities that would take place during the week – we thought that a carousel of activities would work best while using the game. The activities that we used were as follows:
Group A – playing the game – working through, finding and listening to the audio guides – making notes as they listened as well as solving problems that they encountered, they did this for 20-25 minutes and then returned to their books writing a recount of what had happened in the game as well as top tips for playing. During the plenary they also had to explain what had happened in the game so far, what they had found out and what the current tasks were so that the group playing the next day could continue. It also meant that they had to think about summarising key information which we found very useful.
Group B – had to think about the qualities of a night watchman, we brainstormed these as a class and watched the interview of Larry from the first film, and the task for this group was to write a letter of application for the job of night watchman within our own Tudor museum.
Group C – Worked on a leaflet for our own Tudor museum, they had a selection of leaflets from museums around London as well as local museums to refer too. As part of this task they also spent time in our museum thinking about what the highlights were and how best to appeal to their audience. The audience for the museum were our Year 4 pupils who spent an afternoon with our Year 5s being shown the work and the leaflets and asking for their feedback. We also displayed a selection of the leaflets for all our parents to use during parents evening.
Group D – were given a descriptive writing activity – to describe what happened on their first night as a night watch man – they had the choice of the museum that this was based in – this meant that the children could choose the genre of descriptive writing that they wanted to focus on. From our initial brainstorm they also had access to a vocabulary bank and used this task to link to their targets as well.
Group E – had to compose a short radio advert for our Tudor museum – again focusing on persuasive writing – we listened to a range of radio adverts first and wrote down key features. The children used a range of devices to record their adverts – iPad, easy-speak microphones and recordable speech bubbles which we then attached the entrance to our Tudor museum.
At the end of each lesson as part of the plenary the children shared their work, they also talked about what they found easy/difficult and also tips for those who had not yet completed the tasks.
As a teacher – I really enjoyed using the game in this way – it enable me to cover a range of writing and also enable the children to work collobartively, driving their own learning and learning from each other. As well as improving the quality of their writing it also improved their speaking and listening skills.
Night at the Tudor Museum on PhotoPeach