When The Children’s Health Project first got up and running, we piloted our lesson plans and resources with a brilliant Year 3 class (7-8yrs old). We spent two days delivering a Health Curriculum to them, based on our four areas of Health Education – Movement, Nutrition, Lifestyle and Mindset. Clare, their passionate and dedicated teacher, joined in with every aspect of the curriculum, and would probably now be classed as our very first Health Ambassador, and is now one of our Health Leaders.
After two days of enthusiastic cross-curricular learning, with lots of props and an activity book of challenges, the children were keen to learn more and to get to know our Health Champions© a little more. Clare was going to continue their Health Education in PE, PSHE, Food Tech and Science, but I finished off by running a parent workshop for their families, and left them with a Topic Challenge sheet to take home and get creative with! The results were great, and the challenges really engaged children and their families.
Topic challenge homework had always been a popular choice for longer holidays when I as teaching in Key Stage 2 – it encouraged families to work together – the children brought in the most amazing creations – and each child was proud of what they’d done – and the parents loved it!
So what is a ‘Topic Challenge’?
- Take your broad topic of learning – on this occasion, Clare’s class had focussed on the four areas of Health Education, and this had been communicated through our Health Champions – Captain Kinetic©, Nutrition Ninja©, Agent Lifestyle© and Mindset Warrior©.
- Create four or more open challenges that could interest any child in your class – use your curriculum subjects to guide the themes – choose from a mathematical challenge; a writing challenge; a technological challenge; an artistic challenge; a musical challenge…
- Add key questions/learning points to the challenge to develop the child’s thought process behind their creation.
- Encourage them to produce this for a purpose – to create a new display in your classroom/to share on Twitter with the school account etc.
- Ensure you celebrate each and every piece of homework!
Many teachers are just starting to settle into the idea that their way of teaching and setting work is changing very quickly and dramatically right now with the Corona virus requiring us to stay at home as much as possible. A Topic Challenge would suit the introduction of home-schooling perfectly – there are few time pressures, they suit the child as an individual, there are no expectations on the family to have specific resources etc.
A great starting point for Health Ed at home…
We have included two options for topic challenges in our free CHP Academy – one for children aged 4-7 years and one for 7-11years. Feel free to use them as they are, or adapt them to suit your needs. You can join the free Academy here.