Thursday 26 June 2014

Learning about the Titanic with young children

Harry has lately developed a bit of a fixation with the story of the Titanic. He enjoys watching Lego videos on YouTube, and it all started when he came across a video recreating the sinking of the Titanic in Lego. He was amazed when I told him that the Titanic was a real ship, and found him some photographs of the ship at sea and the wreck photographs.

Learning about the Titanic with Twinkl

The next day, left alone for a short while with his box of Lego, he managed to craft a rather impressive model of the Titanic and an iceberg to go with it. His model even breaks apart in the middle, just like the real one did.

Learning about the Titanic with Twinkl

I know that I need to be very careful how we nurture his interest, after all he's only five and he doesn't need to know all the details. But I do think it's really important to try on build on a subject that he has expressed an interest in. After looking through some photographs online my next stop was Twinkl. I'm constantly impressed by their vast selection of teaching resources on such a huge variety of topics, and a search for Titanic materials didn't disappoint. Although some of the resources are only available to Premium members with a subscription, there is plenty available for free.

We were sent a lovely bundle of writing materials by Stabilo, and having fun with these resources was a great way to try them out.

Harry was keen to start with a Titanic wordsearch (Twinkl subscriber resource). He chose to use these gorgeous EASYcolors colouring pencils. They have notches down the length of the pencil to make it easy to position the fingers correctly and they wrote smoothly in lovely bright colours.

Learning about the Titanic with Twinkl

I gave Mia a set of crayons called the WOODY Wallet - six chunky pencils which colour like crayons and can also be used wet. Again, the colours were bold and bright and they were easy for her to hold. Her Ice Berg picture is one of the Titanic Colouring Posters (free download). She picks up so much of what is going around her, and she can easily recognise the Titanic now when she sees a picture of it!

Learning about the Titanic with Twinkl

I also wanted to stretch Harry a bit, so I printed out a Titanic Acrostic Poem (Twinkl subscriber resource), which Harry used in conjunction with a Titanic Word Mat (Twinkl subscriber resource). I love the Twinkl word mats, they are available for almost every topic you can think of and are a great way to increase vocabulary. He had to come up with a word to describe the Titanic for each letter, and although I did give him quite a bit of help with thinking up the words I think that he did really well.

Learning about the Titanic with Twinkl

For his writing he tried out the Stabilo EASYergo 1.4. It's a mechanical pencil so you don't need to sharpen it, and it also comes with a couple of replacement leads which are stored inside it. Harry had never seen anything like this and he was fascinated - this pencil definitely appealed more to him than a normal one! I was also very impressed by how comfortable it was to use. I must admit at this point that I have a terrible pencil grip, it was never picked up on at any point, and because I think that my writing is quite neat I'm reluctant to try and learn how to hold a pencil properly. But this mechanical pencil did give me an idea as to how I should really be holding a pen.

I've mentioned a few of the Twinkl Titanic resources that we used above, and below are the others that I found useful at Harry's level (Early Years/Reception). Twinkl also have all sorts of Titanic materials aimed at older children, including plenty of role play and literacy activities.

Even very young children would enjoy using the Titanic Playdough Mats (Twinkl subscriber resource) and could practice cutting and ordering skills with the Titanic Size Ordering (Twinkl subscriber resrouce) sheet.

Harry is a fairly confident reader, and he enjoyed the Titanic Word and Picture Matching Worksheet (Twinkl subscriber resource). You could help younger children by reading the words for them and helping them match the word to the picture. Finally Harry very much enjoyed looking at and colouring this Titanic Cross Section Template (free download), which is best used in conjunction with the Titanic Cross Section Poster (Twinkl subscriber resource).

We received these Stabilo products in exchange for a review. I have also kindly been given a Premium subscription to Twinkl in exchange for past review posts, but the resources are so great that I regularly write about them of my own accord!

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