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Themed Activities


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Hello,

 

I'm a teacher in a school nursery and I've just been observed and told that all my activities should be linked or 'themed' to a topic. Apparently pretty much everything I set out for the day should be tied in with the topic (minibeasts this half term) because, I was told, this allows for 'layers of learning'. However, I think it's pretty much impossible to theme everything, everyday and I also think that it makes for a pretty topid learning environment especially when a topic lasts for a half term - sometimes up to 7 weeks long!!!!

 

I'd really appreciate some feedback on what everyone else does - I have to face the head on monday with some arguments as to why this isn't my approach.

 

thanks!!!

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Hi

We do our topics over a period of two weeks, we do try and link the other activities into the topic as much as possible, for example for minibeasts we put cooked spaghetti in water in the water tray to represent worms, painting ladybirds, making collages of minibeasts, talking about topic at circle time, stories connected with topic, sequence sheets of stories, puzzles connected to topic, homecorner adapted to connect to topic etc........

Doing it over a two week period we don't usually run out of ideas.

Not sure if this helps or not!

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I agree with you. Often with topics it's easy to get into the habit of just providing an activity because it's the best link you could get to the theme, rather than an activity that will extend the children.

 

E.g. I've just taken over as the manager of a nursery and 1 room are really struggling to get their head around planning. In the past they've always done topics. This week they're doing Nursery Rhymes. The children are all gluing black bits of crepe paper (cut out by the staff), onto paper spiders (drawn by the staff). The children are all fab at gluing, and haven't learnt a single thing! - but "hey" - it linked to the topic!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

 

Good luck with your arguments!

 

Shelley

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It is possible to add enhancements to your continuous provsion to reflect your learning theme. This allows the children to 'take' what they wish to develop their learning, but of course other items are there if they wish to set their own agenda. It encourages children to use the language that you introduce in your focus activities and to reinforce what they have been doing in their own way.

For example if your theme is growing, which mini-beasts may be part of, you can add small world insects, beetles, butterflies, caterpillars etc. to areas like sand or the maths area for sorting- or number rhymes like 5 little ladybirds, 5 little speckled frogs etc, to the maths area, with the objects or puppets and small rhyme cards. In the sand you could put trowels, pots and seeds and even change the sand to compost, or instead add minibeasts, small boxes and tubes to make dens for them. In the Creative Area you could add some photos of minibeasts to encourage them to draw or paint them or look at the patterns on butterflies. Malleable could be used to encourage making coils, snails or snakes or just add small items which they may wish to use to make minibeasts. Your role-play could be an explorers camp and this could be inside or out with lots of magnifiers, binoculars, maps, observation sheets etc. Tunnels and shleters outside would alos support this theme. You can place books in the different areas to go with the theme, and of course in the book area itself. Construction could just have a few small world creatures or puppets added, and some pictures of animals homes.

I agree that it isn't always possible to match everything, and wouldn't agree that everything available should be focused exclusively on the theme, but I would try to reflect it in enhanced provision by providing children with opportunities.

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As well as themed topics we add mini topics along side so during the spring term we had a weather topic we also included the colours white and blue and used these colours for many craft activities such as finger painting / threading activities / mixing paint / printing etc.

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Thanks for the responses....

 

I think that generally they back up what I have been doing which is linking activities to the theme as much as possible but not obsessively putting things out because they happen to fit in with the topic - minibeasts or whatever. I like the idea of breakaway topics like the colour one suggested. The only problem is that the Head is on my case constantly and is crazy about linking everything!

 

Thanks again,

 

:D

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I also teach in a school nursery which runs topics for half a term. I try to balance topic-based activities with non-topic, depending on how many ideas I have for the current topic. At the mo we're doing animals, so this week is fish. As it happens most adult-led activities are around fish this week, but we often have half topic stuff and the other half might be made up of a sorting activity, a writing activity and a PSED activity. Apart from anything else, the children get bored if it's all the same stuff day in day out.

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