If you read my last blog post, you’ll know I’ve recently visited the Kelvingrove art gallery and museum in Glasgow. If you hadn’t, you’ll know now.
Whilst I was there, we spotted some stone carvings which were really interesting. The museum had no idea what they would’ve been used for and this got me thinking. I wondered why someone would spend so long making something so resilient look so good (and I imagine they’d looked better). Were they something special? Maybe something to do with a currency?
When we got back to school, following the half term break, I showed the children the picture below, explaining what they were and why I thought they were so interesting. We had a big discussion about what we thought with some interesting ideas. Some of the class agreed with me, suggesting that they’re currency. Some thought they were something to do with a pagan religion long ago. Some used their imagination and thought that they were pots to put poison in, or objects that were lit on fire using tar before being launched at an enemy.
On Monday, we wrote a non-chronological report about these mysterious objects. It was a great opportunity to recap the teaching from last term and see how much the children could remember. I was pleasantly surprised when they were able to explain the features of a non-chronological report and then begin crafting their very own.
Later in the week, we wrote a letter to the museum persuading them to keep or throw out the carvings. Whilst at the museum I saw a painting being removed from display and I told the children about this, suggesting that perhaps they might remove the stones one day. The children chose whether it would be good for the museum to keep the artefacts or throw them out and constructed their letters. In order to add a level of purpose to their writing, I also promised I’d send off their letters once they’re all finished. I just hope the museum writes back.
Finally, we wrote a narrative featuring the stones. I was expecting a range of stories involving museum break-ins and stones that teleport characters to unfamiliar lands. What the children decided to write about what much different. We had strange buildings filled with unusual items which characters accidentally discovered and wizards fighting over their ancient belongings. With a little bit of prep using Alan Peat’s sentences their writing was excellent.
I’m going to take the opportunity to take more photographs whilst out and about and use them for teaching. This was certainly a trial for me that turned out to be one of the good ones.
A full week of work from just one picture.