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What happens when it gets dark? Autumn Term 2

What happens when it gets dark?


This half term we are learning about what happens when it gets dark.


The children will begin the topic with a pyjama campout and star gazing experience in our classroom. This will allow us to discover what the children already know and find out what questions and interests they have. They will learn about constellations, make shadow puppets and discover why we have day and night.


Throughout our topic we will also learn about nocturnal animals, discover what celebrations are held at night, learn why we need sleep and exploring other aspects of light and dark.

In music we will be listening to lullabies, discovering what makes a good lullaby and creating our own by using different instruments and lots of the vocabulary and facts we have learnt through out the term.


Our WOW event at the end of term will be a light party where we will perform our lullabies together.

Our class lullaby so far:

Week 5

This week we learnt about nocturnal animals as part of our topic. The children then made their own owls and hedgehogs during their play. 

In guided reading we enjoyed the story the owl babies. The children were able to use lots of the emotion vocabulary that we have learnt during our circle time sessions this term. 

At the end of the week we made a large collage to answer our topic question, what happens when it gets dark. I was very impressed by how much the children had remembered. 

In maths we learnt to take away and enjoyed using aliens and skittles to practise this skills and in phonics we are working hard to read and write sentences in phase 2. 

Week 4

As part of our topic this week we have learnt about different sources of light and how they work. We also read the Non-fiction book  'Why do we sleep?' and talked about the reasons we need sleep. 

In music, we continued learning about lullabies. We decided that the best lullabies were slow and changed the way we moved around the classroom to slow or fast music. We then had a go at playing instruments quickly and slowly. 

In Guided reading we read the 'The Gruffalo's child'. The children learnt about different tracks, created them in playdough and discussed the new vocabulary beckon and brave. 
The children have also worked very hard this week recapping all of our learning in phase 2 and working on number bonds and adding in maths. 

Week 2 & 3 


Over weeks 2 and 3 we have been learning about celebrations that take place in the dark. We enjoyed sharing our experiences of bonfire night, making firework pictures and reading the story 'Sparks in the Sky'.  We also enjoyed learning all about Diwali, we learnt about the traditions,  ordered the story of Rama and Sita, watched a video about Mehndi and made Diva lamps with class 1. The children then compared the different celebrations. 


In Maths we have been learning about shapes and revisiting the numbers 1-4 in lots of different ways.  In Art we have been exploring the work of Kandinsky and learning how to mix colour and change them from light to dark. 


In circle time we explored the emotion scared or frightened. We read 'Bear feels scared' and talked about things that have made us frightened and what we should do if we feel like that at home or school. 

We also spent time during Anti bullying week we discussing friendly and unfriendly behaviour, we explained what bullying was and what we could do if someone was being unkind repeatedly. The children then made a class kindness promise. 

Week 1 

We had a fabulous time launching our new topic with a star gazing day in our pyjamas.  The children particularly enjoyed pretending to be the sun and earth when learning about day and night. They then decided that we should make a sun and moon to decorate the classroom. It was great to see the children so engaged and inquisitive, asking lots of questions about planets, stars, space and the moon.

In Music we learnt about lullabies. We learnt that lullabies are calm music that could help us sleep. We listened to several different types of lullabies, from different countries, and sang gentle nursery rhymes that the children were familiar with. We then had a go at making our own gentle music with the bells.

In Maths we learnt lots of vocabulary related to time. We took part in day and night sorting activities, practised acting out and ordering events  and using our new vocabulary. 

In circle time this term we are exploring different emotions. The first emotion we looked at was feeling happy. The children enjoyed reading the book 'Tell me something happy before I fall asleep'.  We talked about things that make us happy, pulled lots of happy faces and talked about some happy dreams.