Teachers support for Topics
For help with the structure and delivery of Hamilton’s Topics, see our User Guide to Topics.
This topic is based on children's own experience. Looking at homes in their locality, exploring the influences of time, climate and environment. They compare housing around the world and in other times including the Iron Age. Science includes a creature homes study.
Each Topic is written for a particular Key Stage. If you use a Topic for a different Key Stage, you will need to consider how to adapt the outcomes, content, delivery methods, resources and differentiation, as well as the relevant National Curriculum objectives.
This Topic was written for the old National Curriculum of England. We have left it on the website so that teachers unconstrained by the new National Curriculum can continue to access this material. Teachers in England would have to adapt this Topic to the new curriculum or use some of the new Topics available on the website.
Please note, we will be removing Houses and Homes from the website in December 2017. If you think you might want to continue using this Topic after that date, please download and save it now.
Using the wonderful story of That Pesky Rat to kick-start some work on animal homes. They discuss what pet shop owners need to provide for the wellbeing of their animals. Children describe their favourite pet.
Using That Pesky Rat children concentrate on reading techniques and then look at Rat’s notice requesting an owner. Children write their own versions of this notice.
Following That Pesky Rat, children study rats’ physiology, habitat and other interesting facts. We discuss descriptive words related to rats and children learn how to label a picture neatly and clearly.
Starting by considering where rats live, underground, children look at different environments in which animals live – underground, on land, in the sky, in water. Children paint washes of these different environments.
Children think about their local environment. They look at features of the local area and make comparisons with other areas in Britain. Children describe their local environment using geographical terms.
Children go on a field trip in which they are searching for evidence of the local animals that live in the environment. Children look for and list animals in a local park/woodland/riverside etc.
The Animated Tale of Boris is used to introduce some facts about bats and the sorts of places they live. Children question the main character ‘Boris’ and write a storybook about his adventure.
Following the work on Bats started in Session 6, children look at where different bats live, why they choose to live there and how bat babies are cared for. Children list and illustrate different bat homes.
Following the work on Bats, children look at Bats Animated Facts and look at the different facts about Bats, including their special means of finding their way home. Children label the external body parts of a bat.
In this session, children complete their work by making a collage of a bat against a night sky. Children learn about effects achievable with tissue paper and how to use templates.
Starting a section of work on owls, we use Owl Babies and discuss owl homes and nests. Children do shared reading of this wonderful book and write speech bubbles for each of the owl babies.
Children continue the work on owls, looking at the barn owl (where it lives, its features and habits) and discusses why it needs these particular features. Children compare owls with humans, writing similarities and differences.
Starting with Owl Babies again, children discuss the different types of animals that might be found in the wood. This session encourages children to think about local habitats where these animals might be found. Children research websites.
Having researched what animals might be found in and around the locality and in the children’s gardens, the idea of living and non-living things is introduced and children draw a garden and add various animals in the relevant environments.
Children discuss how they may design and then make an owl and a nest from paper and card. They discuss how to strengthen paper by rolling it and what elements to consider when designing their nest and their owl.
Children read the poem Five Little Owls and investigate rhyming patterns. They then continue to make their owl and nest, as they planned and start to papier-mâché their owl.
In this session, in which children complete their work creating an owl and its nest, some decorative possibilities are demonstrated. Children make decisions and then decorate their owl and nest according to taste.
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