Your school are going to travel around the world in 80 hours (or a little over !).
They’ll learn about the countries flags, culture, customs, human and physical features, the weather, capital cities, famous landmarks, traditional costumes, food and a myriad of other amazing facts.
There are many ways of running this fabulous off-timetable event. Here is just one version. You could easily adapt this to suit your particular circumstances.
Your pupils are going to travel to the five continents of the world. Each pupil is invited to visit one country each day. They must visit all 5 continents to complete their journey !
Organisation – An Illustration
Assume 300 children and 20 staff / helpers.
We run the activity for 5 days, and each day, there will be a choice of 20 activities, (4 activities per ‘continent’)
So we need
4 European activities (from 4 different countries)
4 African Activities (from 4 different countries)
4 Asian Activities (from 4 different countries)
4 Australian / Oceania activities (from 4 different countries)
4 Antarctic Activities (could include the Arctic as well)
Each teacher / activity leader will lead the same activity each day, (this simplifies planning, and allows time for better planning and provision). Obviously each day you will be teaching a different set of children.
Send a letter home, explaining the vision for your event. Ask for ideas and for contributions. (Wouldn’t it be perfect if you could find a willing parent who originates from one of your countries or who has close ties with it – especially if they can speak some of the language.
Parents are often very willing helpers and want to show-off their hidden talents. They will often offer to run activities. Help them develop ideas, and offer (perhaps) to keep group sizes low, and restrict courses to appropriate pupils. easyPLAN can be of tremendous help here.
As preparation for the event:
- Study a globe or map of the world. Identify the continents.
- Ideally, have a list of the available activities ready for the children to study. Can they find their chosen continents/countries ? Can they plot their route across the world (maybe draw this onto a prepared worksheet)
- What language is spoke in their chosen country ? How will they say “Hello” ? What sort of food will they eat ? What sort of clothes should they wear ? Is there any landmark that they would love to see ? What is the capital of their country ? etc etc etc.
- Have a closer look at the purpose and function of passports and borders. A super idea is to make a passport which will be stamped in each country.
- Can they calculate the length of their journey.
Obviously if you are using easyPLAN, the children can be choosing their courses at this time too !
We don’t want to be too prescriptive here as it is the individual ideas of your colleagues that is most important.
For each country, you need a choice of 4 activities. It might be helpful to think of ‘themes’ for each country to help develop the activities,
- History (American founding fathers, the french revolution, the ancient egyptians)
- Famous people from that country (Artists, composers, inventors, writers)
- Landmarks & Physical features
- Sporting heroes
. . . . and then identify your chosen countries on each continent. So, just to get the ball rolling . . .
(Most obvious countries first)
France (Prepare a french family meal, paint like a renaissance artist, horrible history – The French Revolution, Learn about famous french people – Napoleon, Marie Curie, Monet etc
Italy (rich in culture, famous people, landmarks, food)
(Potentially more interesting / challenging countries)
(More obvious countries first)
. . . . and so forth. For ‘Antartica’ we tend to stretch the definition a little to include all polar regions / cold countries ! (So we include Alaska, Iceland, Antarctica, Newfoundland etc). You can cover:
- Polar Research / Climate Change
- Polar explorers (could include survival ideas)
- Indigenous people
- Russia and Siberia (settlements, industries, culture)
- Alaska (settlements, industries, culture)
Check out our help pages for advice on how to make your off-timetable event the highlight of your school year.
How to set-up and run the perfect off-timetable event
It has started to expand very rapidly, (I’m struggling to keep up with it, and more valuable material for educators being added daily).
Basically, it is the official London 2012 education programme for schools and education providers across the UK. Central to their philosophy are the olympic and paralympic values:
- respect – fair play; knowing one’s own limits; and taking care of one’s health and the environment
- excellence – how to give the best of oneself, on the field of play or in life; taking part; and progressing according to one’s own objectives
- friendship – how, through sport, to understand each other despite any differences
I will quote directly from their site:
As a context for teaching and learning across the curriculum the London 2012 Games are unbeatable.
The projects and support materials are all built around the Olympic and Paralympic Values, and encourage children and young people to play an active part in their own learning, to develop leadership skills and to challenge themselves to try new things.
There are literally hundreds of inspirational ideas and resources for off-timetable ewvents on this site.
Have a browse – but don’t miss the Case Studies section (which I felt was a little difficult to find but contained some of the most valuable material)