Fake News Is Top Of The Class At Madame Tussauds London

After being at the forefront of popular and celebrity culture for more than 250 years, Madame Tussauds London has launched a new programme to support and educate students about fake news.

 

The ‘Fake News and the Media’ school lesson is part of Merlin Entertainments new ‘Today’s Lesson Will Be…’ educational programme that is being rolled out across the company’s London attractions. Created in collaboration with education specialist SHAPES for Schools this new lesson is linked to PSHE and the English national curriculum and is targeted at Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3 students aged between 9 – 13 years old.

Taking place inside the world famous attraction on Baker Street, which boasts A-list celebrity figures such as Donald Trump and Kim Kardashian, the ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson has been created as a reaction to the current issues around the distortion and misuse of false information and the influence it is having on young people’s choices.

 

As the lines continue to blur between what is a real news story and what is false, the interactive lessons will provide teachers and their students with the essential skills to navigate the news agenda safely online and across social media.

‘Today’s Lesson will be…’

Delivered by Madame Tussauds performers, the ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson will lead students through a critique of how the media presents news whilst also analysing the difference between rumour, spin, satire and false information.

Lessons will include

  • Structured discussion around modern celebrity culture and the media, and how the two are linked.
  • Working in groups to categories news stories according to different criteria, including: how the news was shared; who wrote it, text and images, and the emotive impact on the reader.
  • A group-based definition of ‘fake news’ and other key terminology.
  • A game in which pupils try to identify their classmates’ real stories from their fake ones.

Joanne Channon, Education Manager at Merlin Entertainments, said:

“The dissemination of false information through the media both online and across social media can be incredibly confusing and challenging for young people. Out of the classroom learning is proven to be highly effective in helping to stimulate young minds while boosting student’s social skills such as confidence, creativity and communication. We believe our new workshop will inspire students this academic year and we hope it will have a positive impact on how they interact with modern media in the future.”

The fake news workshop helps children to stretch their literacy skills. They will learn how to identify different types of media, it’s purpose and to understand the concept of ‘fake news and how it impacts on modern audiences. Children will analyse a variety of news stories and by picking out textual evidence to back up their decisions they will learn how to assess whether they think the story is real or fake.

Learning outside of the classroom can lead to a deeper understanding of the subjects being taught by bringing it to life. It can help to inspire and reignite enthusiasm for learning. Hands on learning will also enhance a child’s personal and social communication skills by encouraging communication and increases engagement with in the subject.

The new ‘Fake News and the Media’ lesson can be booked as part of Madame Tussauds London’s schools package. This includes such benefits as a 40% saving on tickets and free Teacher Resource Packs. For more information please visit www.madametussauds.com/education

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Learning Outdoors: Free Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack

Having my own children and especially working within a school has made me realise that keeping children on task at such a young age can be difficult, it is hard to keep children engaged especially those with a short attention span. Taking lessons outdoors can engage children keeping them motivated. The experience of an outdoor lesson becomes more memorable and at an early age children learn through play.

The Forestry commission have launched a free downloadable Gruffalo Pack for teachers, full of activities based around the popular Julia Donaldson story The Gruffalo. Aimed at Early Years, Foundation stage and Key Stage 1, the activities are designed to be taken outdoors, aiming to encourage children to explore the nature world in the forest. All the activities have been designed to be used outdoors, in your local woods, park or school grounds.

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“Following Forestry Commission, England’s research, 83% of teachers said they’d would like to participate in more outdoor learning if it was more accessible. FCE looked at what prohibited teachers from teaching in the woodlands/ forest and how they could overcome these barriers to increase the ability of schools to teach outdoors when they wish to do so. The result, The Gruffalo’s teachers pack”

The Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack aims to teach learners about forests and how they are looked after for the benefits of people and wildlife. It has 4 sections:

1. Introduction: Scene setting

• This section will enable learners to get to know the Gruffalo story, the characters and the forest environment.

2. Programme 1 – Explore and discover the forest

• EYFS – Understanding the world; Mathematics;
• Geography KS1 – geographical vocabulary; geographical skills; place knowledge

3. Programme 2 – Design, make and evaluate

• EYFS – Physical development; Expressive arts & design
• Design & technology KS1 – design, make, build, evaluate

4. Programme 3 – All about animals

• EYFS – Understanding the world; Communication and language
• Science Year 1 – animals, humans, senses

Each section is full of ideas and tips and set out as a lesson plan that you can follow. Each section has a conclusion at the end, what you have investigated and what you have learned about living things. Covering areas of EYFS, curriculum linked. In each programme there are ideas on what you can talk about and also hands on activities. They are easy to follow and full of information, you will also receive the activity sheets to go along with each activity.

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The benefits of outdoor learning

  • Taking lessons outdoors engages and motivates children
  • Makes the learning more real by putting the subject into a context that they can grasp
  • Nurtures creativity and the imagination
  • The experience becomes more memorable, it becomes a hands on lesson
  • All children benefit from the lesson regardless of language, SEN and level of learning
  • Aids personal and social development
  • Being outside, children become more aware of the environment around them.
  • Widens their vocabulary and becomes more confident
  • Engages children with a short attention span

After reading the story to children in school and my own children, we took to the outdoors to make a story map of the Gruffalo. We followed the hands on activity from programme 1, to explore and discover the forest. The curriculum links for this part are mathematics and understanding of the world and it covers KS1 geography. We had to find a flat area and by using 4 big sticks make a frame. Using natural materials that were found from within the surroundings, we recreated the map.

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The stone is the mouse. Turn left and you reach the Fox’s underground home, go straight up and you come to the Owl’s tree, turn right and then you at the Snake’s logpile house and then comeback down to the Gruffalos cave.

We used twigs that had fallen to the ground, moss from the floor, leaves, bark from the trees and stones.

The children loved running around and working together to create their map. They were engaged and worked as a team, discussing what they should look for and what should represent the items in the story. As they were creating the map they retold the story how they remembered it, becoming familiar with the scenes and the forest around them.

After we had made the map we then went on the look out for any signs of the gruffalo and the other characters.

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Learning about the forest and the environment becomes so much easier if you could explore it.

To get your paws on the Gruffalo Teacher’s Pack visit http://www.forestry.gov.uk/gruffaloteaching

We was sent a copy of the pack and the book for the purpose of this review.

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Sewing with children

Do you like to teach your children skills that may well be needed as an adult?

Do you have a skill that can be passed onto your child?

Since the age of 15, I have always been interested in sewing, that much so that at the age of 16 I studied Fashion at college for two years. I had never used a sewing machine before and once I started the course my Dad bought me a Singer machine for a Christmas present. I remember being over the moon with it and stitching up things that didn’t really need stitching up lol. I went on from college to University to study BA (Hons) Fashion and used my machine at every opportunity (mainly for course work) as the years have passed by and the many houses that I have lived in, the machine has been with me. Now, nearly 20 years on and I am still using the machine, doing the odd alteration and making the children new stuffed toys. Recently I made a tote lunch bag and snack bag and had many friends asking me to make some for them (unfortunately due to not having any spare time, I have only managed to make 2)

With my love of sewing quickly fading away with time 🙁 I asked my eldest son Jak if he would like to learn how to use the sewing machine, thinking he was going to tell me that sewing was girls I didn’t expect him to say “yes” with such enthusiasm.

I cut out a small piece of felt and drew on some lines with tailor chalk

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I showed him where the notch was on the sewing foot and told him that if he kept the chalk marking in line with the notch on the foot, then with a gentle press on the foot pedal he should be able to follow the marking and sew a perfect line.

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He guided the material through the foot, using both hands, gently and slowly he followed the line. He kept focused and concentrated and even managed to follow a zigzag marking

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He done everything I taught him
– Guiding the material with two hands
– Gently pressing his foot down on the pedal and slowly easing off if he felt is was going too fast
– Cutting down the thread as he went
– Holding the thread taut when he was beginning to stitch, making sure thy the thread wouldn’t slip through the eye of the needle as it went into the material
– Making sure that the sewing foot was always down
– Followed the chalk marking
– Lifted up the sewing foot when he needed to turn the material but remembering to keep the needle in the material

He even learnt how to back stitch!

He was really proud of his work from his first sewing machine lesson and is now talking about attempting to make something. I am glad that he wants to learn how to sew as this will help him when he is an adult if he ever needs to darn his own socks 🙂

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The question is what will he make??

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Weekly Spellings

Joseph is 5 years old and in year 1 at school so every week he as part of his homework he is given a list of spellings to learn. There is normally about 10 words which will include 4 tricky words that can not be sounded out. He is given these on Monday and has to write them down every day until Friday when he takes a test in school on them.

Joseph struggles with his writing and spellings but with a bit of time and patience he is getting there with it, he spends about 15 minute a day on his writing and spellings. I have bought him a little notebook which he likes to write down a sentence every day on what he has done, a bit like a diary but he also draws a picture with his sentence too.

Along with writing down his spellings I also set up little games for him to play including the words that he has to learn just to try to make it a bit of fun for him. Joseph loses his concentration pretty quickly so keeping the games short and exiting is important.

The first game we do is WOW which is short for ‘Words On Wall’, This entails me writing down the words on a separate piece of paper, cutting them out and sticking them around the living room walls. I shout out the word and he has to run and find it, once he has found the correct word he then spells it out, we do it really quickly and he ends up getting really dizzy but he loves it!

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The second game is where we write the words down separate pieces of strips of paper and turn them over on the table so all the words are hidden, next we take it in turns to turn them over one at a time and then we have to act out the word that is written down. When the other person guesses correctly they have to spell out the word.

20130202-230238.jpgAfter each game if he has done really well then I reward him with a sticker, he loves these and tries really hard to get one.

These games seem to be working as he has starting to come home with his Super speller certificate, not every week but often than not he comes out of school with a big smile on his face at 3:10 on a Friday afternoon with s big smile on his face. Maybe its the time that I put into teaching Joseph his spellings or maybe it’s that he is concentrating more during classes in school, I just really hope the he continues to enjoy learning his spellings.

 

How do you get by with doing spellings with your little ones? Do they struggle like Joseph?

 

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