Get cracking with our Easter resources!

It may not feel like it but spring is nearly here, it’s the season of baby lambs, daffodils, chocolate, fluffy chicks, chocolate, longer days and new life. Did I mention chocolate? So, here are a few sugar-free egg-cellent ideas to use with your students this Easter. (sorry you will have to buy your own chocolate and put up with my egg-stremely bad puns!)

Busy things offer a range of Egg-ceptional digital content that you can use to explore the concept of Easter within your class. From designing your own digital Easter Egg (perfect for fine motor control in the EYFS) exploring the story of Easter in more depth or recreating your own Easter Sunday story.

To explore faith in greater depth you could use Espresso Faiths to look at how Easter is celebrated. Why not compare this with how different communities celebrate other spring festivals and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in these celebrations?

Just 2 Easy has a range of digital tools to support you in making your own Easter resources, here are some ideas to get you cracking!

Why not create your own Easter egg hunt (you could use real eggs or printed out eggs) and then collate the data into j2Pictogram.

Hold an Easter egg popularity test (maybe with a small taste test) with j2Vote and then collate the data into a graph using j2graph, (if you are wondering I am hoping for a Daily Milk Fruit and Nut Easter egg!)

You could also take a virtual Easter Egg Hunt using Turtle, here is a template you can use.

Use j2Paint to design your own Easter eggs, great for fine motor skills, you can use this template.

Research the concept of Easter celebration across the world and create a presentation with j2e5, why not add an interactive quiz? You can use this template as an example.

Widgit Have an egg-stremely good set of activities from the Symbols Inclusion Project, Within the pack are two symbol supported stories about the events of Easter designed for different levels. The large symbol cards can be used in small group work to help retell a simple story. The longer story is supported by the vocabulary list for children to re-write their own version of the story on the Easter writing and drawing paper.

As Easter is also a time of rebirth and growth, why not use some of our science resources to kick start some egg-ploration into the topic of growth? The ever-popular i-Board has a range of life cycle activities such as Hatching a chick or planting a seed.

Switched on science have various units such as “Young Gardeners” which cover the concept of plant and animal growth, Switched on Science is a flexible and creative investigation-based program with a clear focus on working scientifically. It is packed with best-practice CPD videos and supportive lessons to ensure every teacher can deliver the curriculum with confidence.

Virtual Experiments also has a range of growth-related science activities, these ever-popular online resources are ideal for demonstrating difficult scientific concepts with the added benefit of minimising the time, mess and fuss involved in many experiments and allowing to repeat, slow down, stop or vary the conditions of the experiment.

Don’t forget you have the power of Creativity at your fingertips with the whole range of Adobe Creative Cloud tools to empower students to think creatively and communicate expressively, so they can turn their classroom ideas into college and career opportunities if you haven’t already signed up to receive your licences simply go here and sign up.

To get inspired for Easter just go to the Adobe Education Exchange, created for educators by educators, the Adobe Education Exchange is a free learning platform offering instant access to professional development, teaching materials, and other tools designed to egg-nite creativity in the classroom.

Have a look at Juliette Bentley’s (Teacher) idea of using Spark to create Easter Reflective Action Cards.

They contain a reading, a prayer and a call to action. The intention is that they are used for an opening to a Religious Education lesson (Catholic/Christian), during the period of Lent so that they can approach it mindfully. Teachers might email the asset out or print them and give each student a copy. Students then create their own card using Spark and this is then printed, laminated and given to the student to take home and share with their families.

Or why not use Susan Bell’s (Instructional Designer) idea to create an ecard with Photoshop

using a picture of your face, Easter eggs and an Easter bunny picture.

However, you fill the last few weeks before the Easter holidays we at London Grid for Learning want to give you a massive round of applause and thanks for all of your hard work so far this year and hope you have a restful break and are ready for an egg-citing Summer term!

If you do use any LGfL content in your school to inspire your students do let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook pages

It’s that time of the year ! Using Christmas media with LGfL content

It’s that time of the year when like or not we are all exposed to Christmas media campaigns, be it advertising for a movie or supermarket. Over the last week I’ve been exposed to two campaigns which on the face of it have little or no link, but when looked at more closely, all share an important message. So, how is an advert for a movie, supermarket and LGfL content linked? Read on.

Just before I hopped on a train at Paddington station this week I couldn’t help but notice the many Paddington Bear promotional material around the station. What drew my eye the most was the latest issue of The Big Issue with a striking cover with Paddington Bear being showcased as a ‘Migrant British Icon”

Inside the Magazine Kiri Tunks vice president of the National Union of Teachers and who teaches a Global Perspectives class at her school in Tower Hamlets, tells why she had used Paddington Bear in her teaching of British Values.

Is Paddington a migrant? A refugee? What is the difference between the two? Does it matter?

These questions were being debated in the classroom, with Paddington acting as a symbol of immigration in order to introduce children to issues surrounding refugees and immigration.

“It’s one of the popular lessons, kids really like it,” she says. “I was looking for a way of getting into the refugee question, and tackling the issue from a slightly abstract angle rather than using real-life stories, it is quite useful in representing the other view that sometimes refugees are seen as.”

“It makes the point that when you talk about people in an abstract sense, it’s easy to see them as a threat and different but once you know their story you start to relate to them.” You can download the lesson plan here, and for more Refugee resources created by the NUT go here.

At LGfL we have created a range of resources that can help support the idea of knowing the person behind the label,  Developing British Values offers unique, high quality, safe and relevant teaching resources that foster deeper understanding of keys issues that are raised with the concepts of immigration, tolerance and inclusivity. Celebrating Us looks at issues relating to cultural diversity and identity, rights, roles and responsibilities, online safety and good citizenship. Real Voices is a series of three short interviews with Syrian refugees living in Jordan; they talk about their experience having to leave home, their journey to safety and life in a refugee camp.

And if your youngest students want to go on more bear related adventures PB Bear offers stories that offer starting points for cross curricular work allowing children to make connections in their learning and to put them in to a relevant context.

And finally, Tesco’s Christmas campaign “Everyone’s Welcome”

In the clip, different families are seen celebrating the festival as they dig into a turkey. Commenting on the campaign, Alessandra Bellini, Tesco’s Chief Customer Officer, said: ‘This year, our campaign will celebrate the many ways we come together at Christmas It’s important to remember that no matter how different we are, we have more in common then we think”

To explore this idea in more depth why not use Espresso Faiths to look at different communities and ask your students to explore the common links that they can see in religious celebrations? If you wanted to look at this in the wider context you could use Growing up around the World, which aims to help Children in the UK understand the realities of children in different contexts, the resources show that many struggles and challenges are the same from South Africa to India.

If we can take one message from the many campaigns and resources is the theme of Diversity and Tolerance, and the idea of coming together as a whole, because we truly do have more in common then we think. Or as Dr Seuss wrote“Maybe Christmas, the Grinch thought, doesn’t come from a store”

Are you using Christmas media with LGfL content in your school to inspire your students? If so let us know by posting them on LGfL’s twitter or Facebook