By the light of the silvery moon

From the Earth to the Moon

Placing a historic text at the centre of the curriculum through blogging…

From the Earth to the Moon I have always been fascinated by the story of ‘From the Earth to the Moon’ by Jules Verne as it was so ahead of its time. Members of an elite club building a projectile which will help them to travel to the moon – in the 19th Century.

In Class 5, we have been learning about ‘Earth and beyond…’ in science and I have been thinking about ways in which I can use this text with my Year 5s. It was with great delight that I found out today that the book is in the public domain and can be reproduced online. I also like the idea of combining a historic piece of literature with a new literacy platform… blogging. I was originally going to link this through the class blog but instead have decided to create a separate blog. I’ve also renamed the Baltimore Gun Club to the Explorers Club to suit the age range of the class I teach.

The first blog post is the invitation at the start of the book given by Impey Barbicane which I think is an excellent stimulus for the start of the project. The children are now invited to discuss the invitation through the comments section. The actual address will be posted in a couple of days and the children can also create their own blog posts linked to our work across the curriculum, as well as their own independent learning linked to space.

I think it’s going to be an exciting ‘extra’ project that the children can take part in, which ties both traditional and new literacies together in an engaging way.

I would be thrilled to hear your thoughts about this project and how you think it could develop.

Featured imaged used under Creative Commons by jah.

You can’t stop the… learning?

Coming to the end of a very hectic half term week where my ‘to-do’ list is appearing strangely complete. As part of my resolution to try new things this year I decided to visit London and see the musical Hairspray. Most of the children I’ve spoken to think it’s brilliant – nearly as good as High School Musical, so I decided to give it a go.

I thoroughly enjoyed it – what an amazing show it was and the cast were fantastic at what they do. Above is a video of probably the most famous song from the show – although it doesn’t look half as good as seeing it live.

The show is very light-hearted but actually tackles some very serious issues; mainly racial predjudice and segregation in the 1960s America. This reminded me of some of the work I read by Barbara Comber about critical literacy and how texts can be used as a means to open discussions of controversial issues in a frank and open manner. The children in the audience were clearly understanding why such prejudice is wrong.

Would you class a theatre production as a’text’? If so then Margeret Meek’s immortal ‘texts teach what readers learn’ mantra is clearly evident here. I really think this could have a place in the classroom. Probably unsuitable for the year group I teach but something to consider for the future. Then I thought about what texts I could use to address such issues and one particular set of stories told by a character called Uncle Remus

I will reveal more later.