Activity Week -

Spring Term 2

Welcome to Kipling Class.

Our second Activity Week of Spring Term was all about Volcanoes and Earthquakes and had a focus on the subjects of art, design technology, geography, maths, and English.

Intent - to effectively write for a purpose, using numerical data to explore catastrophes and measures to prevent destruction.

Implementation - using slow writing to create and edit a newspaper report on Mount Ontake, presenting data using presentation skills, collaboratively creating a paper mache diorama of a volcano, building marshmallow buildings to test on unstable surfaces and print volcano art in the style of Andy Warhol

Impact - Applying writing skills to generate rich pieces with depth and detail, research skills (both primary and secondary) through the use of texts and media, generating their own style in how they express and formulate opinions, experimenting and developing problem solving skills using the scientific approach with the support of mathematical principles.

Spring Term 2 Activity Week Plan - Dangerous Ground


On Monday we looked at BBC footage of the eruption of Mount Ontake in 2014. We highlighted key information about the event and used that to make our own headlines and opening paragraphs, which we edited with slow writing.

In Maths we sorted and presented data with a variety of graphs to use in our newspaper reports.

Vesuvius by Andy Warhol

In the afternoon, we looked at the pop art style of Andy Warhol and his style in some of his most famous pieces. The children started to think of their design and the colours they would use. To top it off, we started the first layer of our volcano diorama.

And it is a big one!

We covered the key skills of planning, accuracy and presentation as well as focusing on personal choice and tools needed to complete tasks.


On Tuesday, we spent the morning in our weekly French and PE lessons, but we could not wait to get back to our work.

In the afternoon, we looked at the survivors of the catastrophe of Mount Ontake and used our imagination to put ourselves in their shoes. We used direct speech to recount what happened, as well as thoughts and feelings using writing devices such as similes, metaphors and even fronted adverbials. We also used collaborative work where our buddy system lets everyone share ideas and knowledge.

We could not help but continue adding to the volcano! We have now added the second layer of newspaper using paste. Messy indeed, but the best is yet to come.


On Wednesday we looked at using direct speech to enhance our writing and have begun to assemble our newspaper article.

In Maths, we covered essential skills with written calculations for addition and subtraction. We have started following our Line of Expectation model where we present our work in the very best light. We used Top Trumps cards to compare the world's volcanoes according to height and their destructive capability.

In the afternoon, we explored how structures need to be built to withstand earthquakes. We used cocktail sticks and marshmallows to construct our structures and then placed them on jelly to simulate the trembling ground. We evaluated our designs and had another go at modifying them. The overall effect was a lot of strong and well thought out structures that mainly survived the rigorous test of a good shake.

We also had a chance to meet the lamb that visited Donaldsons Class!


On Thursday, we assembled our written reports onto paper, editing to make them even better. The presses will be out tomorrow!

To get our creative juices flowing for the afternoon, we also made small models explaining how volcanoes work. Each volcano has a cross section labelled.

We spent the whole afternoon preparing our printing presses for our volcanic art. We used Lino sheets and cutting tools to carve out our designs which we then stuck to another piece of Lino. This became the printing platform where we applied paint and delicately pressed using our fingers. We then experimented with different colour combinations and even printed on different pieces of coloured paper. We now have enough Warhol inspired prints to open our own art gallery.

And odd seismic activity has been noticed by our astute artists around the base of Mount Kipling. Our team of volcanologists believe that an eruption may occur in the next 24 hours!


We had the final edit on the pieces we had already started and even set the volcano off... which was unsuccessful. This, we found, was due to the carbonated drink not being incorporated into the centre of the volcano right at the start of the week.

Summary of the week

We learnt about the structure of newspaper reports and used this to create a detailed and informative piece on a volcanic eruption incorporating information from other aspects of the curriculum to explore and add strength to an argument or view-point by using data. We found that the slow writing technique could allow us to scaffold and add detail to our writing in small but effective ways.

By exploring volcanic activity through art, we looked at the effects of colours to explore the catastrophes and the emotions that these scenes evoke. Further, we were able to explain our choices and assess the effectiveness of them. We worked on peer review and collaborative learning through our paper mache volcano (which unfortunately didn't erupt as successfully as we'd hoped) and through our exploration of structures built to withstand earthquakes.

The impact was that our writing skills are improving to include depth and detail, using collaborative research skills and teamwork to work to a design or method, as well as learning from mistakes in the process, sharing our opinions and evaluations on working technique and overall effect.