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Suggested cross-curricular extension activities

Here we have suggested a variety of extension ideas linked into different curriculum subjects. The children can do them individually, in pairs, in groups or as a whole class activity.

  Cross-curricular extension activities for 4 to 7 year olds  

Science

  • Ask the children to investigate the types of materials that can be recycled (e.g. plastic, glass, paper) and how this takes place.
  • Give the children a range of different objects and ask them to sort them into groups according to what they're made from.
  • Ask the children to think about their favourite foods and where their ingredients come from.

ICT

  • Have children make their own lists in files on different items they recycle at home or at school.
  • Encourage the children to use the Nationwide Education site at home with their parents, reading the story aloud with them.

PSHE/PSE/Health & Wellbeing/PD&MU & Citizenship

  • Ask the children to set a simple goal - something they can do to either reduce, reuse or recycle. They should monitor their own progress in sticking to their goal.
  • Discuss some of the ways that people harm the local environment (e.g. throwing litter on the ground, cars producing pollution). How could these be reduced?

English

  • Ask pupils to write a new chapter for the WASTEWAY story, in which the family decide to have a
    recycling day.
  • Organise the pupils into groups and ask them to discuss one of the types of energy they use in their homes. When everyone has had a turn to speak, each child should show they have listened well, by repeating what someone else in the group has said.

Geography

  • Take the children on a trip to a local power station/recycling centre.
  • Ask pupils to think about ways that people in their local community could improve and sustain the environment.
  • Walk around the school and ask the children to make notes about ways the school is sustaining the environment (e.g. use of recycle bins, energy efficient light bulbs, etc).

History

  • Ask the children to investigate how people lived in the past, before today's sources of power were used (e.g. cooking on an open fire rather than a gas oven, using animals for transport rather than vehicles).

Maths

  • Ask the children to put all used paper in a bag for recycling. Each day, they should weigh the bag and write down the weight. At the end of the week, they should work out the total weight for the five days.
  • Ask the children to find out about the cost of energy at home by asking parents about monthly utility bills.

Art/DT

  • Discuss how we could recycle different materials to create a piece of art. Ask pupils to create an artwork using recycled materials. For example, this could be a collage using magazine cuttings, a sculpture made of used objects or mosaic made of milk bottle lids.
  • Ask the children to create an advertising poster to remind others to recycle, reduce and reuse.
  • Show the children how to make their own recycled paper using pulp from used paper.

  Cross-curricular extension activities for 7 to 11 year olds  

Science

  • Discuss the fact that some materials are better thermal insulators than others. Ask pupils to devise a simple experiment to find the best material that could be used to insulate a loft. For example, they could try wrapping a bottle of hot water in cotton, foil, wool, plastic, paper, etc in order to determine which material acts as a
    better insulator.
  • Ask the children to investigate different habitats that might be found outside the home and the type of plants and animals that might be found there (e.g. composts, trees, fields, ponds).

ICT

  • Ask pupils to search through a children's news website to find stories related to the environment or energy.
  • Ask pupils to use web research to find out the cost of one sustainable improvement for a home (e.g. installing loft insulation or cavity wall insulation) or to find more information on renewable energy sources.
  • Ask the children to log data from one of their sustainable living surveys and create pie graphs to show the results (e.g. number of children in the class whose house has double glazing, loft insulation, etc).

PSHE/PSE/Health & Wellbeing/PD&MU & Citizenship

  • Ask the children to investigate local environmental charities. What kinds of work do they do? How do they help the local community?

English

  • Ask pupils to write two stories presenting two contrasting views of the future - one positive, set in a well sustained future and one negative, set in a future in which humans have done nothing to help the environment.
  • Organise pupils into groups and ask them to create a short drama scene designed to teach younger children how to reduce, reuse or recycle.

Geography

  • Ask pupils to conduct research into the water cycle and create a diagram to show how it works. Discuss why some regions have more rainfall than others.
  • Ask pupils to conduct research into how people and animals cope with extreme temperatures in hot or cold climates (e.g. clothing worn; physiological adaptations such as blubber, fur or radiator ears; building
    houses on stilts).

History

  • Discuss the fact that a great deal of environmental damage was done through the use of fossil fuels during the industrial revolution. Ask the children to research some of the technological changes that took place during this time and how this led to increased consumption of fuel.

Maths

  • Ask pupils to investigate the temperature of their homes by looking at the thermostat. As a class, they could create a table showing the range of temperatures and number of houses. Finally, the pupils could work out the average temperature for the class.
  • The pupils could use some of the cost examples on the work and fact sheets to write simple addition problems for their classmates.

Art/DT

  • Discuss some of the features of a sustainable house or school and ask students to create a labelled design for one. They should consider materials to be used and ways to make the building environmentally friendly.
  • Hold a school-wide poster competition asking pupils to design a colourful and effective A3 poster with tips on reducing, reusing and recycling. Display the best 10 around the school.