Bienvenido a Mexico! We're going to explore this unique country, from its towering temples to its fun - packed festivals.
During this half term, we'll watch a traditional Mexican performance and join in with percussion instruments. To cool down afterwards, we'll have a refreshing drink of sangria or limeade. We'll use non - fiction books to find out about the importance of music in Mexican culture and have a go at folk dancing. Using our literacy skills, we'll write about festivals and create an invitation to a Mexican food tasting session. In preparation, we'll make delicious drinks and savoury dishes. We'll learn about the 'Day of the Dead' and create 3-D skulls.
With the Chihuahuan Desert as our imagined location, we'll write postcards and clear instructions for a game. We will read Maya myths and legends, and write our own. Using maps, we'll locate Mexico and explore its natural features. We'll discover what daily life is like and how it has changed over time. Then we'll craft Maya chocolate and simple woodwind instruments from recycles materials. Who can make the highest, loudest and longest sounds?
At the end of the project, we'll listen to Maya music and learn a traditional song. We'll also perform Mexican music from the past and present.
Our 'Big Question' - What makes Mexico different to England?
During our topic, we will aim to give many answers to our Big Question.
This week, in our Hola Mexico topic, the children have been learning about the legend of the 'Hero Twins' and their significance in Maya History. The children watched a short video and then re-told the story in their own words. Linking to the 'Hero Twins', the children also researched about the Maya ball game. They wrote a brief report on the origins and rules and then wrote a set of instructions on how to play it.
In science, the children re-capped light and shadows and they will be doing more shadow work over the coming weeks.
On Friday, the class started to make the mould for their Papier - Mache masks. Once they have dried, they will be decorating them using the design they created at the start of the topic.
This week, the children have been linking their writing with our class book 'Holes' and a piece of text called 'A walk in the desert'. They have been exploring the language used in both pieces and highlighting words and phrases that the author has used to describe the desert. They have then used these words and phrases to help write a descriptive paragraph about their time digging holes in the desert.
In history, the children have been researching the Maya civilization and how they used to live their lives. The children have also started to look at the Maya Writing System - where they have been able to compare it with Egyptian Hieroglyphics from our last topic.
This week was also assessment week, the children worked very well on completing these to the best of their abilities and were focused throughout.
In topic, the children did research about the Chihuahaun desert and what daily life is like in Mexico for children of a similar age.
In RE, the children painted and decorated their 'elixir' jugs that they made the previous week.
We kicked off our Hola Mexico topic with the children listening to a traditional Mexican Mariachi band playing the 'Mexican Hat Song'. The children had to identify the different instruments used in the song and when and for how long each instrument was played. They then compiled a graphic score of the instruments in the song.
The next part of Mexico that the children researched, was Mexican Festivals and Celebrations. Some of these were Dia de la Inpendencia (Independence Day), Fiesta de Santa Cecilia (Festival of Saint Cecilia) and Dia de los Muertos (Day of the Dead)
On Friday, the children labelled a map of Mexico with the states and notable cities. They looked at where Mexico is in relation to other countries of the world.
In R.E, the children looked at the Hindu pilgrimage of Kumbh Mela and made jugs to hold an elixir.