Summer 2 – Rainforests
It’s the final countdown for year 6! Our topic for this half-term will be ‘Rainforests’ and we will be using the book ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell as a stimulus for work around this topic. In geography, we will be finding out about the parts of the world where rainforests are found and looking in more detail at the rainforest landscape and its vast array of inhabitants.
Our book, ‘The Explorer’ by Katherine Rundell, is set in the 1950’s and tells the story of a group of children who find themselves stranded and alone deep in the Amazon Rainforest after their plane crashes. We began by working as investigative reporters, collecting information about the passengers on the missing plane in order to write and present our own news reports. We moved on to looking at the rainforest landscape and wrote descriptions about what the children would have experienced as they trekked through the rainforest trying to find help.
Our story is set in Brazil, which is home to approximately 60% of the Amazon Rainforest. We went online to research information about tourist hotspots in Brazil and wrote persuasive leaflets for tourists choosing their next holiday.
Summer 1 – The Marvellous Mayans!
We have lots of interesting things planned for Oak Class this half term with a topic on the ‘Ancient Mayans’ for our learning in History, DT and Art and a topic on ‘Light’ in Science.
In our Mayans topic, we will be learning about the ancient Mayan civilisation along with their traditions and beliefs, building Mayan temples, working in teams to create traditional Mayan dress, planting and growing traditional Mayan foods and sampling Mayan hot chocolate!
Oak Class will also be taking part in some organised outdoor pursuits run by Outdoor Education North West. On Thursday 22nd April they will take part in an afternoon of orienteering and then, on 20th May, we will be taking a trip to Fell Foot Park on Lake Windermere for a day of paddle boarding and orienteering.
Who were the ancient Mayans?
We began our work on the ancient Mayans by using websites to research the area of the world in which they lived and aspects of their daily life, such as jobs, food and traditional clothing. We collected a range of facts and then created our own ‘Introduction to the Mayans’ factsheets.
We learnt about the beliefs of the ancient Mayans and of the absolute power of the priest in each city. The Mayans believed that their many gods spoke directly to their city priest who then in turn instructed the people on all aspects of daily life, from when to harvest crops and who to get married to! They believed that obeying the word of the priest was obeying the wishes of the gods and that it would appease them and keep them happy.
Oak Class were tasked with creating a ceremonial costume for their ruling priest using only newspaper! They worked in teams to come up with a design. They had to ensure that their costume had as tall a headdress as possible to signify the importance of the person who would wear it. Take a look at their amazing work.
We learnt about the ancient Mayan cities that have survived in the rainforests of central America and what it is like for tourists visiting sites in Mexico and Honduras today. In DT, we worked in teams to create our own Mayan cities complete with pyramid temples, ball courts, maize crops and the surrounding rainforest.
Orienteering and paddle boarding
We thoroughly enjoyed an afternoon of orienteering with Outdoor Education North West and a follow up day with them on Lake Windermere learning how to paddle board. Whilst at Windermere, the class also explored Fell Foot Park and took part in a range of games and orienteering activities.