Shape & Space Activities – Working with Year 6

Tomorrow I am trying out two of the three activities we were shown during the first meeting with 11 of my Year 6s – the rest are having a cycle training course, so I have a reduced number. For once this is a helpful thing!

I plan on starting with a secret construction task – starting with a simple house shape made of two colours. This will be the first time they have tried anything like this. I almost feel I’m not going to be pushing them far enough this time around. However, the cycle course is over two days so I will repeat this activity both days, amending the difficulty as needed.

I’ll be listening carefully for the language children will be using – my worry is that the simple shape won’t get much vocabulary out of them. Although clearly an entry level objectivie is needed to begin with – it’s the first time for me too!

To follow up, I’ll be taking them out into our playground where there is a clock face. I’ll be trying out the string shape making activity – passing a ball of string around the people in the circle following a given rule (pass the ball to every 2nd person, for instance) and seeing what internal shape is made when the string is placed on the ground and kept tight. As the clockface has equally spaced dots around the edge, the shapes produced should be regular – my teaching assistant will be the 12th man. However, I only expect to introduce the idea in this way. I plan on moving on to a less evenly spaced, less circular space to investigate irregular patterns. Then, in class, I’ll be following this up with coloured thread on some paper plates with notches cut into the edges. The pupils will be creating their own rule and seeing what shapes are made when moving the string around the plate. For recording purposes, I’ll encourage them to use the school’s digital cameras to take photos of their shapes, which will then make an ideal display.

On Thursday, I’ll be carrying out the other activity – the multilink plan views – with the same Year 6s. This will be more of a challenging thing for them. I’m not sure that visualisation is much of a strong point for them yet. Time will tell!

I have further plans to repeat the string activity with some Year 3 children next week.

I will most certainly update you on what happens.