This blog offers ideas to help you make the most of resources that you have, or can easily acquire, to create a range of related activities for your students. Making several uses of the same resource, or sensory input, allows for cyclic learning, generalisation, and consistency across a topic or period of time.
This blog post is all about… Sticks!
It’s Autumn term and hopefully it’s still good for you and your students to explore outdoors! This is a perfect time for indoor/outdoor work and sticks offer so many opportunities for creative exploration and curriculum enrichment. Sticks can be explored whilst still on the tree; gathered from the ground or sticks such as bamboo or willow can be purchased.
- Non-standard measurement. Choose a stick and measure things! How many sticks long is the table? How many sticks tall are you? How many Lego 8 spot bricks does it take to match the length of your stick?
- Sensory sticks. Check for possible sharp sections/splinters before encouraging touching, feeling, and stroking the sticks (you could sand some down, so they are super smooth but still have undulations to explore). Why not tie a bell to the end of the sticks and make musical instruments? Tie a few leaves and feathers to the end of the stick and dip it in water, or paint for mark making.
- Magic Mixing! Set up a tray or a table, a tuff table would be excellent for this, and put big drops of paint on it. Now cover the paint with shaving foam so all that can be seen is white foam. Ask the children to say a magic word and then mix with their sticks… what happens?
- Story sticks. Divide a story into 3 or 5 sections. For each section have an item that represents that part of the story, a picture from the book, or a symbol. As you tell the story, attach the items to the stick. The story can then be retold step by step using the tied-on items as memory prompts.
- Stick building challenge. Provide sticks and a variety of resources such as sticky tape, wool, string, and strips of material. Depending on your group set an appropriate challenge for the students to make. Working in groups is best for this and a quick starter activity such as joining three sticks together to make a tripod is a good skill test before the main challenge. Challenges could be making a home for a plastic animal; making the tallest structure; making a floating boat, or making a structure that will hold a tin of beans without collapsing.