Yvonne McBlain visited Primary 4 at Bantaskin PS on 16th November, to hear about their Green Street and Friendship Street Storyline work. Mrs Russell’s class helped Yvonne write this blog post, and took some of the photos too. Mr Davidson’s P4D class held their court hearing during the visit – they were all desperate to hear the verdict! 4R will visit Falkirk Sheriff Court on 17th November and then stage their court proceedings back in class.
We have been busy creating a street of houses in our classrooms. Each group in our class created a “typical” Falkirk 8 year old character, then made up a whole family to live with them.
Our families needed houses, so we designed homes which were just right for them. We got letters asking us to do different jobs. When an elderly couple from Malawi moved into the empty house on Friendship Street, 4D had to come up with ways to make them feel welcome in their new country. Another letter said that the council had given us a piece of land near our street, and that we had to design and make a community garden on it. Primary 4 used their tiling skills to create a tiled centre-piece for the garden using squared paper. The gardens had to be Eco-friendly – Olivia said that eco-friendly is “putting everything in the right bins”, Caitlin said “eco means don’t waste anything”. We learned how to tile a hexagon shape, and when our gardens were finished, we displayed them and organised a Grand Opening tea party to celebrate. The next day we were “outraged” to discover that our community gardens had been vandalised! Who would do this terrible damage? Why would they do it? The pupils discovered clues – a bottle of black paint, some fingerprints, and apples with bites taken out of them.
Children in both classes learned about Law and Order in our country by investigating the crimes of vandalism which took place in their community gardens (SOC 1-20a). Their storyline included a visit to the local Sherriff Court, and the storyline letters they received, highlighted skills and knowledge they would develop during this interdisciplinary work. The letters helped to engage the children in their learning and made it accessible to them. The pupils also developed their understanding of the impact of vandalism on real people because they experienced it through their make-believe storyline. Storyline is often valuable for this reason in helping children to develop sound values and attitudes which contribute to their development of the four capacities.
Click here to see a version of this storyline plan which was developed by Yvonne and primary 5 teachers at Ladeside Primary School a few years ago. It has proven to be a valuable way to link or bundle, specific Social Studies and Health and Well Being experiences and outcomes with elements of Learning for Sustainability.