Its It’s – which to use?

Its It’s – which to use?

Lots of people get mixed up between its and it’s even though it is quite straightforward.

It’s with an apostrophe is short for “it is” or “it has”. It is known as a contraction.

Its without an apostrophe means something belonging to it. It is known as a possessive pronoun.

 

It is a nice day, can be written as: It’s a nice day.

The dog is playing with its ball does not have an apostrophe because the ball belongs to the dog. It stands for the dog.

 

 

Let me give you some examples.

Here are some examples of it’s with an apostrophe.

It’s always sunny.

It’s my life.

It’s all my fault.

It’s just rock and roll

It’s easy being green.

It’s none of your business.

It’s a dog’s life.

It’s my friend’s birthday today.

If it’s to be it’s up to me.

It’s not the money that counts, it’s the thought.

It’s your body, take care of it.

It’s ok to tell other people.

 

You will have noticed that it’s often comes at the beginning of a sentence but that is not always the case.

When there are clouds in the sky, it’s more likely to rain.

I wonder why it’s not easier to understand these questions.

 

Here are some examples of its without an apostrophe.

The football team is very successful because its players all train hard.

The city park is beautiful and its lawns are cut regularly.

Paris is well known for its many beautiful buildings.

The school has cleaned all its windows.

The moat around a castle used to help stop its enemies getting into it.

The aeroplane was starting its engine.

London is the capital of England and it is well known for its red buses.

The elephant was waving its trunk.

China is proud of its Great Wall.

 

Now you have a go with these:

Decide whether to use its or it’s.  You can scroll down after for the answers.

1.   America elects _____ presidents every four years.

2.   The wizard’s cat licked _____ lips.

3.   Mum said that _____ a long time before we can go on holiday again.

4.   Where are all the parking spaces? _____ been half an hour since we started looking for one!

5.   The tree looks bare now that all _____ leaves have fallen off.

6.   The giant panda is a carnivore but _____ diet is actually 90% bamboo.

7.   The ouroboros is an Egyptian symbol which has a serpent or snake swallowing _____ own tail.

8.   _____ a Wonderful Sponge is the new Spongebob Movie.

9.   That house is lucky _____ roof didn’t blow off.

10.  _____ interesting to see how different animal live.

11.   Did you know _____ not too hard to make fat balls for birds?

12.   _____ nice that you go and help out your auntie.

13.   The new play began _____ tour of Great Britain.

14.   The laptop needed _____ keyboard cleaning.

15.   _____ the small things in life that matter.

Scroll down for your answers

It's a lovely day to go to the beach.

 

Answers

1.   America elects its presidents every four years.

2.   The wizard’s cat licked its lips.

3.   Mum said that it’s a long time before we can go on holiday again.

4.   Where are all the parking spaces? It’s been half an hour since we started looking for one!

5.   The tree looks bare now that all its leaves have fallen off.

6.   The giant panda is a carnivore but its diet is actually 90% bamboo.

7.   The ouroboros is an Egyptian symbol which has a serpent or snake swallowing its own tail.

8.   It’s a Wonderful Sponge is the new Spongebob Movie.

9.   That house is lucky its roof didn’t blow off.

10.   It’s interesting to see how different animal live.

11.   Did you know it’s not too hard to make fat balls for birds?

12.   It’s nice that you go and help out your auntie.

13.   The new play began its tour of Great Britain.

14.   The laptop needed its keyboard cleaning.

15.   It’s the small things in life that matter.

 

 

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Science Kits For Kids

Science Kits For Kids

Many children love to mix up chemicals and make potions or explosions!!

Hamleys is offering the following science kits for kids to let them indulge such passions!

These kits also help children to grow a real interest in the possibility of becoming a scientist.

Hamleys 6-in-1 Science Super Kit

The first one is this Hamleys 6-in-1 Science Super Kit which has six different activities that you can do.

Super Lab Science Kit
Super Lab Science Kit

There are a variety of different experiments you can do and as the box says: “Become a real scientist and explore the world of Biology, Chemistry, Physics and Geology.”

This book shows you the kit inside the box and also that you get a booklet explaining the experiments that you can do.

Hamleys Super Lab Explosions Box

If your child likes explosions of any description then this might be the box for them.

Super Lab Explosions

Using the materials in this box, you can make mini rockets, some colourful explosions, and fizzy bombs.

It is suggested your child should be at least 8 years old to make the most of the learning experience, but also for health and safety reasons as this box contains balloons which must not be swallowed and various chemicals which should not come into contact with any body parts especially the eyes and the mouth.

 

Hamleys Super Lab Chemistry

For mixing of potions try out Hamleys Super Lab Chemistry science kit.

Once again there is a 36-page booklet with lots of experiments, 155 in fact.

Some of the things you can do include: creating a lava lamp, making giant soap bubbles, creating stalagmites and stalactites, creating sugar crystals and also creating a coloured foam column.

 

Super Lab Chemistry
Super Lab Chemistry

 

Again, this should be for children over 8.

Hamleys Superlab Jurassic Volcano

So have your children created a volcano at school?   And if they have, have they then excavated dinosaurs around it?

If not, then this kit is a must.  At least check with them, to see if they would like it.

They will have the opportunity to create their own exploding volcano and lava with this kit and then they with be able to excavate a T-Rex and a Triceratops.  Is your child a budding palaeontologist or volcanologist? By the way, volcanologist can also be spelt vulcanologist.

 

Super Lab Jurassic Volcano
Super Lab Jurassic Volcano

There are plenty more kits to choose from – which one would your child like?

Hamleys Science Kits
Hamleys Science Kits 1

 

Hamleys Science Kits 2
Hamleys Science Kits 2

 

 

 

 

 

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Tutorful review

Tutorful review

 

If you’re looking for a tutor in England, then Tutorful maybe a good place to start. To make it easy I’ve created a Tutorful review for you so that you can see whether this is likely or not to meet your needs.

A useful link to Tutorful

Here is a link to Tutorful which gives you £5 off your first lesson.

Tutorful Tutors

All of its tutors are from England and have had to give at least two references, prove their ID and also show their DBS documents for safeguarding purposes.

Some of the tutors will just be available in the evening and some of them will be available all day which means that if you are to the east of England because of the time changes you might find this is a useful website to find a British English speaking tutor.

Some tutors only do home visits in their local area where is others also do online work. There will be other tutors who only do online work. The cost is the same whether or not the tutor is visiting you and your home or working online with you or your child.

Book me for any of these areas:

I am on Tutorful myself and so if you would like me to tutor you just look for Julia Kossowska.

Primary Maths

Primary English

SATs – years 2 and years 6

11+ and other entrance exams.

Maths for secondary school students who are struggling and would like more of a primary approach to the subject.

Coaching for primary school parents – You might like to consider this option instead of tutoring for your child. As a teacher, I often supported parents who wanted to help their children, and I could often cover a lot more material with the parents who were then able to spend time with their own children in smaller chunks of time.

I do both home visits if you live in the south Birmingham area and online tutoring if you don’t or prefer the online option.

Children love it as well as benefiting from it!

Many children love the experience of being tutored and the extra confidence it gives them.

You might think that for a child who is struggling at school, having a tutor and extra lessons would be a right pain. However, it doesn’t seem to work like that. If you have a good tutor your child will get to know them, become more confident about asking questions and find themselves being able to do things in class with their friends rather than being left behind. They will start to find a variety of subject more interesting.

Not every child takes to every tutor, so an agency like Tutorful is ideal. You can try a tutor and if the relationship works, which most of them do, stay with them. However, if for some reason this doesn’t seem to be being a good experience for your child, it is very easy to try a different person.

In the video below you hear from a couple of pupils as to why they and their parents decided to try having support from tutors.

Tutorful Video –

Tutorful used to be called Tutora – so in this video where we learn why Tutorful was set up you will hear the name Tutora rather than Tutorful, but be assured it is the same organisation.

 

 

How to find your tutor

Just click on this picture when you are ready.

Click to get £5 off
Click to get £5 off

 

 

 

 

 

You can then choose in person or online.

If you choose in person the tutor will come to your home or wherever you agree. Each tutor will have put in a maximum distance that they are prepared to travel so you should only see tutors who would be happy to come to where you live or somewhere nearby.

You will also choose the subject, the level that the tutoring is for and if you have chosen in person you also need to need your location.

You will then get a list of people who are available to be a tutor for your child/young person.

Then you will see a shortened profile of each tutor – for example:

See our great tutors.
See our great tutors.

Here you can see how many repeat students each tutor has taught, how far away they are, how many hours they have taught and an indication of how quickly they are likely to get back to you.

If you like the look of someone you can then click “View profile” and find out more about them. If you then want to get in touch with them there is a message me button on the full profile page, and then you can exchange information before going ahead and signing up with them.

 

Tutoring Works!!

Tutoring does make a difference.

If you want to help your child by getting them a tutor, don’t forget you can get £5 off your first lesson by using one of the links on this page.

Click to get £5 off
Click to get £5 off

Any questions or feedback?

If you have any questions, comments or feedback, I would love to hear from you!

All the best!!

Julia

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Planet Earth Facts

Planet Earth Facts

This article has been inspired by a book called The Big Countdown: Seven Quintillion, Five hundred Quadrillion Grains of Sand on Planet Earth. Its author is Paul Rockett. It is full of pictures, infographics and amazing planet Earth facts. It was published in 2014 so I imagine that most of the facts are still correct.

The book

Planet Surface

70.8% of the earth’s surface is water.

29.2% of the earth’s surface is land.

The Earth’s Atmosphere

This book takes great delight in using enormous numbers. It tells us about the Earth’s atmosphere is that it is made up of atoms as is everything around us.  Apparently, some scientists think that there are about 200 tredecillion atoms in the atmosphere. One tredecillion has 42 zeros in it!

We learn about the 5 layers of the Earth’s atmosphere.  They are the troposphere, the stratosphere, the mesosphere, thermosphere and exosphere. The outer layer of the exosphere is 8000 kilometres away, well not exactly because there isn’t a specific edge. It just drifts off into outer space.

One of the facts I found interesting, is that an estimated 40 tonnes of meteors crash into the middle layer every single day.  Luckily for us, they burnt out before getting any closer to the Earth.

7 Quintillion, 500 Quadrillion Grains Of Sand On The Planet Earth

7 Quintillion, 500 Quadrillion Grains Of Sand On The Planet Earth is part of the title of the book and is also a chapter title.

This is obviously an estimate.  There is no way anyone could count all the grains of sand on the Earth.  Sand comes in different sizes anything from 0.06 of a millimetre to 2 mm. To come up with the number 7 quintillion 500 quadrillion,  scientist calculated how many grains of sand would fit into a teaspoon and then they multiplied the number of teaspoons they thought they were in all the beaches in the world and all the deserts in the world. How accurate do you think they might have been?

There are some amazingly long beaches in the world,  according to this book the longest one in the world is Praia do Cassino beach in Brazil which is just over 250 km long. The next couple of longest beaches are Cox’s Bazar in Bangladesh which is just over 240 km long and Padre Island Texas where the beach is about 230 km long. After that come to beaches which are both called Ninety Mile Beach one of them is in New Zealand and one of them is in Australia.  The one that is in Australia is actually slightly longer and the one that is in New Zealand is actually about 88 miles long not 90 as its name suggests.

The largest sun sand castle in the world was built in America and was nearly as tall as 3 double decker buses.

Deserts make up about 9.5% of the world surface, however, only about 20% of the deserts in the world are covered by sand. The others are covered with rocks and pebbles and different types of soils.

People

We now have over 7 billion people living on the Earth. This is twice as many as they were 50 years ago. In the next 50 years it is estimated that we will have over 9 billion people living on the Earth. Nearly 90 babies are born every 20 seconds.

The Earth’s population is spread over 7 continents – Asia, Africa, North  America, South America, Europe, Australasia and Antarctica.

Asia has the largest land mass and also the largest population with over 4 billion people living there, most of those in China.

Australasia has the fewest people living there.  Nobody lives there permanently but about 4000 scientists come To live and work there each year.

Water

As we’ve said most of the Earth is covered with water,  70.8% of its surface in fact. 68.3% of the earth’s surface is covered with saltwater and 2.5% of the earth’s surface is covered with freshwater. However, about 41% of the known species of fish are only found in freshwater.

The largest fish that is found in salt water is the whale shark which can grow up to 12 metres in length and its mouth is 1 and 1/2 metres wide!

The largest freshwater fish is the Beluga sturgeon this can live in both freshwater and saltwater and it can measure up to 5 metres long.

Sea sponges are a type of animal life, scientists reckon that they have probably been around for over 760 trillion years.

Most of us will have heard of the longest rivers in the world the very longest is the river Nile in Africa which is about 6,650 km long after that is the Amazon in South America, the Yangtze in Asia and the Mississippi in North America.

The largest waterfalls in the world are the Angel Falls in Venezuela Which has a height of 979 m, and then Tugela in South Africa and then or Utigord in Norway.

Volcanoes

Children often enjoy learning about volcanoes at school.  There are three types of volcanoes – Composite volcanoes, Cinder Cone volcanoes, and Shield volcanoes.

Volcanoes can also be classified as active dormant or extinct.

Active means it’s erupted in the last 10000 years.  Dormant volcanoes, are those which have not erupted but they might erupt again, and Extinct volcanoes are those which are not expected to ever erupt again.

Inside a volcano - diagram

For more information

For more details on these and many other subjects you might like to get a copy of the book – it is available for 35% off (at the time of writing) and free P&P to anywhere in the world from Book Depository

Contents page

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Fun Facts About Elephants

 

Fun Facts About Elephants

Elephants are the largest and heaviest land animals that exist on Earth at the moment. They’re probably also the most intelligent domesticated animal. They have the longest noses of any animal. They have the longest teeth, these are known as tusks. Their gestation period is the longest and it may be that they have the longest memories as well. This article will help you learn some other fun facts about elephants.

Elephants have lived all over the earth, everywhere except Australia and Antarctica.  They have lived in rainforests, deserts and glaciers.

A young elephant

Species of elephant

There were possibly 300 species of elephant. We now just have 2 left, the African elephant and the Asian elephant. There are two subspecies of the African elephant, the bush elephant and the round-eared elephant. Then there are three subspecies of the Asian elephant, the Sri Lankan, Indian and Sumatran elephants.

Family organisation

Male and female elephants (also known as bulls and cows) don’t live together. Usually, bulls will live together and the cows and their offspring will live together. The cows and calves (which are baby elephants) are usually in a herd which is led by an older elephant who will be a grandmother or maybe even a great-grandmother.

Mammoths and mastodons.

Many people will have heard of the woolly mammoth and know that it is one of the elephants’ extinct relatives. A woolly mammoth was found by a fisherman in Russia in 1799. It was frozen in a block of ice. Many other woolly mammoth tusks have been found in this area.

In North America, there were also some mammoths found but there were more mastodon remains found. Mastodons were similar to mammoths but they were shaped slightly differently. The mammoth had back which sloped downwards towards their tails, whereas mastodons have backs which are more level.

A woolly mammoth

 

Ivory boomerang – Poland 23000 years ago

Stone Age tools weapons

Elephant feet

Elephants have large round feet and are designed to walk quietly around the forest when they want to. As they put their feet down on the ground the size of their feet expands slightly. Most elephants have five toes on each foot, but some African elephants only have four toes. However, their toes do not stick out like ours do but are covered in skin. Their “toenails” are attached to the front of the round foot rather than their toe bones and look a bit like hooves.

The Elephant’s Trunk

An elephant’s trunk is a bit like having a combined arm and a nose.

The trunk will suck up water and then put it into its mouth so that it doesn’t have to put its head right down to the water to drink. You will also see elephants squirt water all over their bodies and also each other as a game.

The end of the African elephants’ trunk seems to operate almost like a finger and thumb. It can pick things up and even take grit out of its eyes.

The Asian elephant seems to have one finger on its trunk so it picks things up by curling its trunk around them.

The elephant can move its trunk in any direction and it can also stretch its trunk to reach things.

Tusks

Tusks are the elephant’s front two teeth but they have grown much bigger than the other teeth. They can grow about 17 cm or 8 inches per year. They are used as tools and weapons and sometimes the elephants will sharpen one or both of them to make them more effective.

Unfortunately, many elephants have been killed for their tusks, also known as ivory, as poachers have been able to sell them for a lot of money.  Tusks don’t wear out and last a whole lifetime unless they get damaged.

An ivory boomerang was found in Poland. It was thought to be 23,000 years ago

Ivory was used in the Stone Age both to make tools and weapons.

The Other Teeth

Elephants also have to lower teeth which they use to grind up their food. These teeth do get worn out and they get replaced about 6 times in an elephant’s lifetime. Each replacement is bigger than the last. Final teeth will be about the size of house bricks.

Elephants are constantly eating

Ok, not constantly! But for about three-quarters of the day and night elephants are collecting and eating their food. Elephants eat from 100 to 200 kg of food in the wild. They eat plants, they are herbivores, but they can’t eat cellulose which makes up a lot of what plants are made of. This is why elephant poo doesn’t contain much undigested plant fibre or seeds.

Elephants like bananas, other fruits and sugar cane so they are happy when they find these but they also trample these crops and push over the trees. This is a major problem for the people who have cultivated these as they can have their livelihood destroyed.

Elephant Quiz

Watch this video and see if you can answer these questions?

Can you name 5 things that elephants eat?

How old are the male elephants when they stop living with their female relatives?

For how long are female elephants pregnant?

How much does a baby elephant weigh when it is born?

Which elephants can’t run?  Why can’t they?

What is special about elephants and mirrors?

How do elephants protect their skin from sunlight?

 

Some Baby Elephant Clips

 

Some Elephants Running to Greet their Friend

 

 

Elephants Can Hear Through Their Feet!

The first minute of this video gives you an overview, carry on with the video if you what to know more about the science behind this.

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Planet Facts For Kids

Planet Facts For Kids

When I was younger, it was said that there were 9 planets in our solar system.  The planets were Mercury, Venus, Earth, Mars, Jupiter, Saturn, Uranus, Neptune and Pluto going around the sun. Later, I came across a mnemonic for it. My Very Educated Mother Just Served Us Nine Pizzas. However, since that time scientists have decided that we have eight planets in our solar system and that Pluto is a dwarf planet, and actually they have found larger rocks in the area of Pluto than Pluto itself.  On this page of planet facts for kids, I have decided to include Pluto so that you know why it is in some lists.

Here is a video you might like to watch and then there is some information about each planet.

Mercury

Mercury is the closest planet to the sun. It is also the smallest of the planets.  It is incredibly hot there as it is just 36 million miles from the sun.

It is named after the Roman god Mercury who is the messenger of the gods.

Two spacecraft have flown past Mercury gathering information.  One was called Mariner 10 and this flew past Mercury twice, once in 1974 and then again in 1975.  Then in 2004 MESSENGER was sent. This orbited Mercury 4000 times before running out of fuel and crashing into the planet in 2015.

 

Venus

Venus between Mercury and Earth and so will still be much hotter than Earth.

It is named after the Roman god of love.

It is the brightest object in the sky after the sun and the moon.

Whereas the Earth rotates once a day, Venus takes 243 days to rotate on its axis.  It actually goes quicker than this around the sun, taking 224.7 Earth days to make its journey.

Venus also rotates in the opposite direction than the Earth does, which means that the sun would seem to rise in the west and set in the east.

Venus is often referred to as either the morning star or the evening star, especially in poetry.

Earth

Of course, this is our planet.

From space, it looks blue because of all the sea and also the water vapour covering the land areas.

About two-thirds of the planet’s surface is water.

Earth is 93 million miles away from the sun and a quarter of a million miles from the moon. In kilometres, that is 150 kilometres from the sun and about 384,400 km from the moon. These are approximate distances as it changes throughout the year.

The Earth goes around the sun once a year.

The moon goes around the Earth every 27.3 days. This is known as a lunar month.

The diameter of the Earth at the Equator is 7928 miles, or 12,760 kilometres.

 

Mars

Mars comes after Earth.

It is named after the Roman god Mars the god of war because it looks red sometimes in the sky and this reminded people of the blood that you get in battles.

It is often called the red planet and can be spotted in the sky with the naked eye, that is without using a telescope.

Mars is much smaller than Earth. Its diameter is about half of the Earth’s.

Mars rotates once in 24 hours 39 minutes, so the length of its day is almost the same as Earth’s. It has two moons, called Phobos and Deimos. They are not round like the moon but irregular.

Jupiter

After Mars we get Jupiter.  This is a very big planet, 1000 times smaller than the sun but two and a half times bigger than all of the other planets in the solar system put together.

Jupiter and Saturn are both gas giants.

Jupiter has an area called the Great Red Spot – you can see it on photographs.  There are constant storms here. This area alone is 1.3 times as wide as the earth.

Jupiter is made up of hydrogen and helium as well as other elements which possibly gives it a rocky core. Jupiter has many moons, at least 74,  including four that were discovered by Galileo Galilei in 1610. The largest of these is called Ganymede and it has a diameter that is larger than the planet Mercury.

Saturn

Next is Saturn which has amazing rings around it.  These rings consist of small rocks that held in a particular orbit.

Saturn is another gas giant, It is the outer layer that is made of gas, The core is probably iron, nickel and rock,  and then there is a layer of metallic hydrogen, with hydrogen and helium surrounding that.

Saturn also has a number of moons, at least 62. 53 of the moons are officially named.  The biggest is called Titan and that is bigger than the planet Mercury.

 

 

Uranus

Uranus is even further away. Uranus, along with Neptune are known as ice giants,  as their interiors are filled with ice and rocks.

Uranus is unique in that it rotates on its side.

It has wind speeds up to 900 km an hour.

It is also the only planet that has been named after a Greek god rather than a Roman god.

Uranus has 27 named moons and 24 are named after characters in Shakespeare plays and 3 after characters in a poem by Alexander Pope. One of these Ariel appears both in The Tempest by Shakespeare and in the poem by Pope.

Voyager 2 was the closest to Uranus on its voyage on January 24, 1986.

Neptune

Neptune is named after the Roman god of the sea. It is now accepted as being the farthest known planet from the sun. Neptune’s atmosphere is made up of hydrogen and helium but its interior is made up of ices such as water, ammonia and methane.  Its wind speeds reach up to 2100 km an hour!

In 1613 Galileo noticed Neptune but he thought it was just another star.  It is thought that if he had noticed it a few days earlier when the sky was clearer and tracked it he would have realised it was a planet.

Voyager 2 flew past Neptune on 25th August 1989.

Pluto

And as I said before Pluto is no longer classified as a planet, but you will often see it in a list of planets,  especially if the article or book was written before August 2006.

Pluto has a strange orbit around the sun so sometimes it is nearer the sun than Neptune.

 

Other videos you might like to see:

Planet facts worksheets

Here are some free worksheets about planets that you might find useful.

https://www.education.com/worksheet/article/planets-in-solar-system/

https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/FREE-Planet-Research-Worksheet-222661

https://instantworksheets.net/planet_matchup/

And here are 15 planets worksheets – designed for children with English as a second language but useful for all.

https://en.islcollective.com/resources/search_result?Tags=Planets&type=Printables&searchworksheet=GO

 

Planet Wordsearch

This is a picture of a wordsearch
Planets wordsearch

 

If you would like a larger one here is a pdf version with answers

https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/custom/?ws=xwjgr

 

Finally – a few pictures you might like to use for Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook etc.

Coloured Planet
Coloured Planet
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Easy Flower Crafts For Kids

Easy Flower Crafts For Kids

It is lovely to get flowers through the post from time to time (I recommend Bunches UK) but when you have children, it is even better to receive their own creations.

To get them used to making flowers you could encourage them to make flowers for a variety of different occasions. Consider family members’ birthdays, anniversaries, get well soon times and then you will be sure to be added to the list at some point.

Here is a Mother’s Day card example from Easy Peasy who I will tell you more about below Junk Modelling.

Junk Modelling

When I started teaching quite a few years ago we used to have a junk modelling afternoon every so often. I loved it and so did the kids. They used to make some amazing models.

Sometimes I was more directive and the model had to be to do with our topic at the time. Other times I was teaching them new skills. Sometimes they were allowed to do whatever they wanted. It was great to see them incorporating the skills that I had been working on with them previously, and see the models become more complex as the year went on.

Although the following craft projects are quite prescriptive, you don’t need to follow all the instructions to the letter. See what materials you have already at home. Let the children consider what they would like to do and how they might improve on some of the ideas. Use the ideas as an inspiration rather than a blueprint that they have to follow exactly.

Easy Peasy and Fun has 25 original ideas with super photos

This is my favourite on the Easy Peasy site (I love that name!) because they look so realistic. If you click on the link below the picture you can see how to make them. They are Calla Lilies.

https://www.easypeasyandfun.com/flower-crafts/

Some of the ideas on this page are suitable for toddlers and some for older children.

I would also recommend taking a look at the sunflowers underneath this picture on the Easy Peasy site.

For younger children the button activity is easy peasy, but older children could do something similar and I bet it would look fantastic.

DLTK

If you’re looking for very simple activities for younger children then DLTK is excellent.

http://www.dltk-holidays.com/spring/crafts-flowers.htm

My favourite on this page is the hand-printed tulip flowers.

If you like real coffee, then the coffee filter paper flowers are a very original idea.

Making Paper Flowers

Paper Flower Craft for Kids – Very Easy DIY Paper Flowers by Crafting Hours

Paper Dahlias from Craftaholics Anonymous

These are relatively straightforward to make but look very effective.

Paper dahlias and full instructions from http://www.craftaholicsanonymous.net/rainbow-paper-dahlia-flowers

Leaf and Flower Pounding from Buggy and Buddy

If your child can be trusted with a hammer or mallet, you might like to try this.

Can you guess how to make these pictures

For instructions go to https://buggyandbuddy.com/spring-banners-from-leaf-flower-pounding-science-invitation-saturday/

Fairy Flower Lights by Red Ted Art

These amazing fairy lights are made from egg boxes. What a brilliant idea! When I first saw this picture I thought it would be good for slightly older children to do. Actually on the website there are some great pictures of very young children creating most of the artwork.

Go to https://www.redtedart.com/egg-carton-spring-crafts-blossom-fairy-lights-from-egg-cartons/?cn-reloaded=1 and start making your very own fairy lights.

Parts of a flowers

Here we have another idea for using egg boxes. This is more like the pictures you often see younger children making, however, this activity is part of a science project with the children using the picture to learn the names of the different parts of the flower.

https://www.schooltimesnippets.com/2012/04/parts-of-plant-with-egg-cartons.html

DIY Egg Carton Daffodils by Caitlin Ball

I hope you like eating eggs as here’s another idea for using up those old egg boxes.

I’m pondering putting some of these in my garden for some all year round colour.

https://caitlinball.com/2014/04/diy-egg-carton-daffodils/ check out the pipe-cleaners – great idea!

Origami flowers by Here Come the Girls Blog

There are lots of origami flowers on the internet. I particularly like these ones. As with most flowers, they look better in bunches as you can see on the website mentioned underneath the photograph. there are detailed instructions with photographs every step of the way.

http://www.herecomethegirlsblog.com/2013/03/28/how-to-make-origami-flowers.html

One of the nice things about this idea is that you only need paper although it’s good if it’s colourful paper. Also, you can do little bits of the project if you only have a short amount of time.

You could do this sort of activity on holiday, all you’d have to take with you is some glue and a few paper clips. You could buy a couple of magazines when you are at your destination and use the paper from them. If it is a magazine that you want to read, you could just tear out the adverts. Alternatively, you could go to the information tourist information office, collect some leaflets and find out about the place you are staying and then when you finish with the leaflets you could make use of those.

A sewing activity by Hello Wonderful

We probably all remember doing something like this when we were at school. You could buy new wool but you might just find you’ve got lots of bits and pieces of wool or yarn that could be used equally well.

If you haven’t got any wool and you need to buy some you might want to consider buying a ball of wool that changes colour giving a sort of rainbow effect rather than buying lots of different coloured balls of wool.

A picture of string flowers

https://www.hellowonderful.co/post/KID-MADE-DIY-STRING-ART-FLOWER-CARDS/ 

 

How to make paper flowers out of crepe streamers by ArtsnCraft4u

This is more fiddly but really quite clever.

Your feedback

Hi,

I would love to hear from you.

Have you tried any of these projects? How did it go?

Have you any other other ideas we should include?

Please use the comments area to keep in touch – I love reading the comments I get!

Have fun,

Julia

Flower crafts
betinasuarez / Pixabay

 



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How Many Countries In Africa?

How Many Countries In Africa?

There are 54 countries in Africa.  Here is a list and some interesting information about them.  So next time someone asks, “How many countries in Africa?” you can tell them more than just the number.

Here is a list in alphabetical order (except I put the 2 Congos together)  with some interesting facts about each country. These are not necessarily the most important things about each of these countries but they just grabbed my attention.

The countries and a few facts about them

Algeria – Algeria is the largest country by area in Africa. It produces some of the best dates in the world.

Angola – Nearly 70% of the people in Angola are under 24 years old.  Dreadlocks were first worn in Angola.

Benin – Royal pythons are worshipped in Benin. There is a place called the Temple of Pythons which houses about 50 adult royal pythons.

Botswana – Many people around the world feel they know a bit about Botswana because the book  “The First Ladies Detective Agency” was set in Botswana. There are large areas for animals to roam around in Botswana as about 40% of the land is made up of nature reserves and national parks.

Leopard

Burkina Faso – Burkina Faso is the largest producer of cotton in Africa. It is known as “white gold”. Its capital city is called Ouagadougou which is pronounced Wagadugu!

Burundi – at Mugere in Burundi is the Livingstone-Stanley Monument. It overlooks Lake Tanganyika and marks the spot where David Livingstone met Henry Morton Stanley and spent a couple of nights there in 1781.  92% of the population of Burundi still live in rural areas and group jogging is banned!

Cabo Verde – Cabo Verde is also known as the Cape Verde islands. The islands are covered with mountains which makes growing food difficult.  There is lots of interesting marine life around including Loggernest Turtles and Humpback Whales.

Cameroon – Cameroon has a lake called Lake Nyos which is considered the most dangerous in the world as it has poisonous gases from a local volcano going into it. People come to Cameroon to see the hippos and also the forest deer which are called bongos. The bongos have white stripes on them which helps to camouflage them.

Central African Republic – The Central African Republic as its name suggests is in the middle of Africa.  It has lots of lowland gorillas and forest elephants.

Chad – If you go to the to the Tibesti Mountains in Chad you can see some of the best camel racing in the world. About a third of the country is covered by the Sahara desert.  The country is named after Lake Chad. Lake Chad has shrunk by about 95% since 1963 but it’s still the 17th largest lake in the world.

Comoros – The Comoros is made up of three tropical islands with amazing beaches.  There is an active volcano called Mount Karthala which has erupted more than 20 times since the 19th century.

Democratic Republic of the Congo – The Democratic Republic of the Congo is the only country where wild bonobos and the eastern lowland gorillas are found. We need to make sure that they don’t become extinct.

Gorilla with arms folded

Republic of the Congo – One of the major rivers in the Republic of the Congo is the Congo River which is the deepest in the world in some places. Depths of over 220 metres have been recorded.

Cote d’Ivoire –  The Cote d’Ivoire has the largest church in the world which was modelled on the Vatican and finished in 1990.  It can hold a congregation of 18000. However, it is rarely that full. The national football team is called Les Éléphants.

Djibouti – Lake Assal in Djibouti is saltier than the Dead Sea. After the sun sets taxi fares increase by about 50%.

Egypt – The Egyptian alphabet has over 700 hieroglyphs! Most of Egypt is made up of desert – The Sahara and Libyan Deserts.

The Sphinx in Egypt

Equatorial Guinea – Spanish is the official language. The Goliath frog lives here. The Goliath frog is large – it is about a foot long and weighs more than 3 kilos!

Eritrea – Eritrea means “red”, it is named after the Red Sea. It is likely that early humans migrated out of Africa from Eritrea.

eSwatini (formerly Swaziland) – The Ngwenya Mine is considered to be the world’s oldest mine – red ochre was extracted about 43,000 years ago and then iron later on. There are many rock paintings – some are as old as 25,000 B.C., others maybe just a couple of hundred years old.

Ethiopia – a human fossil which is about 3 million years old and known as Lucy was found in Ethiopia in 1974. Since then even older fossils were found in 2001.  These fossils are about 5 million years old and are the oldest human remains ever found.

Gabon – The first people to live in Gabon were pygmies. The president is called Ali Bongo Ondimba which I think is a great name. 80% of Africa’s gorillas live here.

Gambia – Gambia is the smallest country in Africa. It Is also very narrow. At its widest, it is just 30 miles wide. One of Gambia’s largest exports is peanuts.

Ghana – Ghana used to be known as the Gold Coast. Gold was and is mined there. Ghana has the largest reservoir/artificial lake. It’s over 320 miles long and can be seen from space.

Guinea – There are 22 West African rivers that start in Guinea Including the Niger River, the Gambia River, and the Senegal River.

Guinea-Bissau – People from this region are known as Bissau-Guineans and not Guinea-Bissauans.

Kenya – Kenya has lots of national parks and nature reserves.  Lots of tourists come to Kenya to look at the animals. The highest mountain in Kenya and the second highest in Africa Is called Mount Kenya.

An African Lion

Lesotho – Lesotho has about 300 days of sunshine each year. There is a dinosaur called the Lesothosaurus which means lizard from Lesotho.  Its footprints can be seen in the rocks.

Liberia – The Sapo National Park Is in Liberia and in this park there are some very rare pygmy hippopotami. The Liberian flag is a bit like the American flag it has 11 white and red stripes which are two reminders of the 11 people who signed the Liberian Declaration of Independence.

Libya – Libya is 95% desert and so it needs to import 75% of its food.  It has 1100 miles of coastline which makes it the longest Mediterranean coastline.   There are superb Roman and Greek ruins including at Leptis Magna, which was described as one of the most beautiful Roman cities in the world.

Madagascar – Madagascar is an island country.  In fact, it is the fourth largest island in the world. Lemurs are only found here. There are lots of different species of lemur many of which are rare or endangered.

Malawi – More than a fifth of Malawi is taken up by Lake Malawi.  There are more species of fish there than anywhere else. David Livingstone described it as a “Lake of Stars” because of all the fishing boats with lanterns on it. It has also been called the Calendar Lake as it is 365 miles long and 52 miles wide.

Mali – In the early 1300s, Emperor Mansa Musa went to Mecca on a pilgrimage. Mansa Musa was very rich. He took with him 60,000 men, 12,000 slaves and 80 camels. Each camel carried 30 to 50 pounds of gold. Every Friday along the way Mansa Musa built a mosque.

Mauritania – In Mauritania there is an amazing circular feature in the desert called the Richat Structure or the Eye of the Sahara. It has a diameter of 25 miles! Early astronauts used it as a landmark to look for when they were in space.

ASTER Richat

Mauritius – The Dodo an exotic bird which is now extinct used to live on Mauritius. About 90% of cultivated land is used for growing sugarcane.  However, Mauritius is probably best known as a tourist destination.

Morocco –  There is a university called al-Qarawiyin in Fez. It was built by a woman in 849 as a madrasa –  which is an educational institution. it is considered by many people to be the oldest university in the world.

Mozambique – Mozambique is the only country in the world that has a weapon on its flag.  It is also the only country in the world to have a one-word name that contains all the vowels.  If you play Scrabble you might also like to know that it is worth 34 points which is more than any other country.  Not that you would use it as you don’t normally include nouns when playing Scrabble.

Namibia – Namibia has desert elephants!  These are not a particular type of elephant although one time it was thought that they might be a subspecies of the African elephant, but these are elephants that have chosen to live in the desert. Now, from large animals to a large plant.  Namibia has an 800-year-old baobab tree which has been hollowed out and used as a church, a Post Office and a hideout. It is at the Ombalantu Baobab Tree Heritage Centre & Campsite.

Niger – A strange looking dinosaur was discovered here, at least its head was strange. It was named Nigersaurus after the country. It had a head like a hammerhead shark with loads of teeth in it which was good for grazing on ferns.  It had a long neck and was about 30 feet long together.

Nigeria – Nigeria has 170 million people which makes it the country with the largest population in Africa. The longest bridge in Africa is in Nigeria. It connects Lagos Island to the mainland. The Nigerian movie industry is called Nollywood. About 200 movies every week are produced.

Rwanda – Rwanda is known as the land of a thousand hills,  as it is covered by grassy hills. You can visit gorillas in the wild in Rwanda. Kigali is incredibly clean as on the last Saturday of every month there is a community clear up programme.

Sao Tome and Principe – There is a beach called Praia Jalé, where you can stay in huts where there is no electricity. On some mornings giant sea turtles come onto the beach to lay their eggs.

Senegal – The most western part of Africa is in Senegal.  There are over a 1000 stone circles which have been created from about 300 BCE and 1600 CE – these are called the Stone Circles of Senegambia.

Seychelles – Esmerelda the largest tortoise in the world lives here and is about 170 years old.  Seychelles used to be a hideout for pirates.

Sierra Leone – In Sierra Leone there are 20 different words for rice including one for rice that sticks to the bottom of the pan.  The name Sierra Leone comes from the Portuguese for “Lion Mountain Range”.

Somalia – There are more camels in Somalia than in any other country.  Somalia has the longest coastline in Africa. It is 1880 miles long.

Camel head

South Africa – South Africa has hosted the football, rugby and cricket world cups and it the only country to have done so.  There are many wild animals in South Africa, but did you know that there are African Penguins living there?

South Sudan – South Sudan is a very new country. The first baby boy born on the day it became independent was called, “Independent”.

Sudan – Sudan became 25% smaller when South Sudan separated from it. There are more pyramids in Sudan than in Egypt.

Tanzania – Kilimanjaro is the highest mountain in Africa and Lake Tanganyika is the deepest lake in Africa. They are both in Tanzania.  Six species of galagos or bushbabies live in Tanzania.

Togo – In Togo, it is considered rude to be seen smelling your food and a compliment to be told you are fat.

Tunisia – Carthage which was a very important city in Roman times and has many amazing ruins which you can visit is in Tunisia.  Lots of scenes from the original Star Wars film like Luke’s home are in Tunisia and are visited by Star Wars fans.

Uganda – Ugandans love trees, they have a rule that if you cut one down, you must plant 3 more. One favourite food is a pan of fried grasshoppers. This is considered a great treat.

Zambia – Zambia’s longest river is the Zambezi, after which it is named.  The Victoria Falls which is classed as the largest waterfall in the world is on the Zambezi river between Zambia and Zimbabwe.

Zimbabwe – In the 10th century this was a rich gold-trading country, where they build big stone houses. It is believed that Zimbabwe means either stone houses or honourable houses.

How many of these countries had you heard of?

Now can you fill in the missing vowels?

(Answers after the films and the craft activity.)

Ngr
Ghn
Ethp
Algr
Mdgscr
Ertr
Ml
Cntrl Afrcn Rpblc
Gmb
Gn-Bss
Rpblc f th Cng
Brnd
Egypt
Gn
Sngl
Djbt
Tnzn
Srr Ln
Btswn
Zmbbw
Sth Sdn
Ugnd
Sdn
Rwnd
Dmcrtc Rpblc f th Cng
Gbn
Mlw
Tg
Angl
Zmb
Eqtrl Gn
Mzmbq
Lsth
Swtn (frmrly Swzlnd)
Sml
Lbr
Cmrs
Kny
Chd
Ngr
Mrtn
Brkn Fs
Mrts
Bnn
Cb Vrd
Sth Afrc
Mrcc
S Tm nd Prncp
Lby
Tns
Sychlls
Nmb
Ct d’Ivr

A Song about the Countries of Africa

Here is a song from Arthur – if I had listened to this first I could have saved many hours of research!!

You might notice a couple of differences – put them in the comments below if you spot them.

 

This song tells you the names of the capitals of the African countries

 

 

A craft activity

A picture of an African savanna scene
A picture of an African savanna scene used with permission.

For instructions and templates to make your own please go to:

https://www.firstpalette.com/Craft_themes/Animals/africansavannadiorama/africansavannadiorama.html

Answers from the Missing Vowels quiz

Nigeria
Ghana
Ethiopia
Algeria
Madagascar
Eritrea
Mali
Central African Republic
Gambia
Guinea-Bissau
Republic of the Congo
Burundi
Egypt
Guinea
Senegal
Djibouti
Tanzania
Sierra Leone
Botswana
Zimbabwe
South Sudan
Uganda
Sudan
Rwanda
Democratic Republic of the Congo
Gabon
Malawi
Togo
Angola
Zambia
Equatorial Guinea
Mozambique
Lesotho
eSwatini (formerly Swaziland)
Somalia
Liberia
Comoros
Kenya
Chad
Niger
Mauritania
Burkina Faso
Mauritius
Benin
Cabo Verde
South Africa
Morocco
Sao Tome and Principe
Libya
Tunisia
Seychelles
Namibia
Cote d’Ivoire
Cameroon

Comments and Feedback

I hope you enjoyed this page.  Please let me know if you have any comments, suggestions or questions below in the comments area.  I look forward to hearing from you!

 

 

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Free Word Search Maker

Image from https://thewordsearch.com/

Free Word Search Maker

A really useful tool, if you have a child who likes word searches, is a free word search maker.

There are a number of different types on the internet.

Why would this be useful?

Although you don’t want to spend all your time creating and solving word searches, they do have their place.

  1. Familiarising your child with words for spelling
  2. Familiarising your child with specific vocabulary
  3. To expand your child’s vocabulary generally
  4. A useful way for your child to exercise their brain
  5. It’s good for pattern recognition
  6. They are fun to do

Printable word search makers

 

Super teacher worksheets

I’ll start with the one which is probably my favourite – it is from Super teacher worksheets.

https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/generator-word-search.html

Just choose the level and then fill in your words.  There are 3 levels to choose from, basic, intermediate and advanced and each one shows you the options you can have.  However, if you want more freedom to choose you need to look at some of the other word search makers.

Image from  https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/generator-word-search.html

The thing I really like about this one is that it gives you a smart set of worksheets and the solution – here’s my example

https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/custom/?ws=hrSpS

 

atozteacherstuff

Here is another very straightforward example

http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/word-search-maker/wordsearch.php

You just need to fill in the options.

Image from http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/word-search-maker/wordsearch.php

Note the advice about checking it for inappropriate words.

Here I have chosen forward words only but you could have backwards words only or a mixture.

Then this is what it looks like:

Image from http://tools.atozteacherstuff.com/word-search-maker/wordsearch.php

 

Puzzlemaker at Discovery Education

Another popular puzzle maker is at

http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp

The final puzzle looks like this

Image from: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp

I used the same list of capitals as in the last example, but you can see it looks much harder.  However, don’t forget I only chose forward words in the last example.

Here is the word list:

Image from: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp

You should be able to click on solution and get a worked example but that doesn’t seem to work for me.

The sheet to input your material looks like this

This is the top of the puzzle maker form
Puzzle Maker

 

Image from: http://puzzlemaker.discoveryeducation.com/WordSearchSetupForm.asp

Here is a video talking you through the process.

How to make a free Word Search using Discovery Puzzlemaker

Word lists

I find it useful to create my wordlist in Excel first so I can reuse them in different puzzle makers, or choose different numbers when I have a long list.

Talking of Excel here is a video of using Excel to create a Word Search Puzzle.  I used to use this method quite a lot myself. It takes longer but I have more freedom to do what I want with it. However, these days I generally prefer to just use Excel to keep my word lists in and then use one of the automatic word search generators.

How to Create a Word Search Puzzle in Excel – Tutorial

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xcoWS8EGywI

Useful Word searches that are already out there

 

The Word Search . Com

https://thewordsearch.com/

There is a word search maker here but you have to type each word in separately.  This may be useful if you want your child to type in a spelling list or a list of specialised vocabulary.

Also, the puzzles only stay on the site for 30 days, so you must print it out if you want to keep them for longer.

However, what I really like about this site is all the word searches that are already there.

Browse through the categories at https://thewordsearch.com/ or search at https://thewordsearch.com/search/

Image from https://thewordsearch.com/

 

ESL – but useful for everyone

These words searches are created for children who are learning English as a Second Language but actually the very useful for all children.

https://bogglesworldesl.com/wordsearches.htm

Lots more ESL wordsearches here to browse through.

 

For More Word Searches

 

Printable word searches collected on Pinterest

Monster Word Search

Education.com Word Searches

Topical

If you have an interest in the World Cup

http://allfreeprintable.com/russia-world-cup-teams-word-search

 

 

For a software option that you can use offline

http://www.csfsoftware.co.uk/WrdSrch_info.htm

 

Get in touch

There are lots more word searches I could have included – let me know you favourites below in the comments.

Thanks for reading and I look forward to hearing from you!

Julia

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Adverbs KS2

Adverbs KS2

What is an adverb?

It is important to learn about adverbs in KS2.

An adverb is a word that describes a verb, At least that’s what I remember learning at school. It’s a  little bit more complicated than that.

An adverb can also describe an adjective or another adverb.

However, let’s not over complicate it when teaching, unless your child is ready for the next stage.

Here’s a song for your child

Here are some examples of adverbs where it describes a verb.

The adverb is not always next to the verb. It often describes how something was done.

I have underlined the adverb.

Cautiously, the Fox looked around the farm.

The sailor courageously climbed the mast.

The teacher cheerfully took the children out to play.

The boy played football enthusiastically.

The girl looked around the garden inquisitively.

The postman nervously walked around the dog.

The vet gently put a bandage on the cat.

The market trader shouted loudly to the crowd to come and look at all his goods.

These next sentences include the adverb that answers the question “when?”

Before we went for our dinner, we washed our hands.

We often went shopping.

We must get to school punctually.

Tomorrow we will go swimming.

I am hoping to get a bicycle soon.

I need to clean my bedroom now.

I have to hoover again.

These next sentences include the adverb that answers the question “how often?”

The clock chimes hourly.

Occasionally we go to the seaside.

I tell her repeatedly not to break my toys.

We pay our car insurance annually.

Usually, the cat likes to be stroked.

I am constantly cleaning up.

I never get to play with the Lego.

These next sentences include the adverb that answers the question “where?”

The kitchen is downstairs.

Look up to see the sky.

Can you feel the sand below your feet?

I left my gloves here.

Let’s go outside and play.

These next sentences include the adverb that answers the question “how much?”

He is completely mad.

You ate almost all the biscuits.

I think that dress is rather nice.

We got very wet.

There are two adverbs in these sentences.

The criminal solemnly swore that he would never steal again.

The police often had to drive quickly to catch criminals who were escaping.

Eventually, the boy carefully hung up all his shirts.

 

 

 

Some adverb lists for KS2

http://www.keystage2literacy.co.uk/adverbs.html

These ones you have to download

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/171-adverbs-learning-mat-6420991

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/adverb-word-bank-6147848

http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/english/englishB2.htm#adverbs

And these worksheets are from America and so use American spelling rather than British spelling so be careful with them if you are in the UK.

http://www.momswhothink.com/reading/list-of-adverbs.html

https://www.superteacherworksheets.com/adverbs.html

http://grammar.yourdictionary.com/parts-of-speech/adverbs/list-of-100-adverbs.html

Worksheets for Adverbs

I am including some links here for worksheets to do with adverbs however I never really advocate just using worksheets as they are written.  Sometimes it is helpful for you to the see the sort of activity of child might do but I would try and think of a way to cut it up and make a game of it.  At the very least is it possible to make a quiz out of it maybe even with some prizes? Put individual words on cards cut them out and then reorder them.

I am not sure why the first piece is called “nice” homework.

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/adverbs-worksheet-nice-homework-6119653

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/adverbs-worksheet-6452064

Interactive stories where you can choose some adverbs

Finish the story – Bushfire

http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L1275/index.html#

Make sure your speakers are turned on!

Adverbs KS2

Super Stories – The Sea Cave

http://www.scootle.edu.au/ec/viewing/L6187/index.html

Or try using one of these story book creators:

https://www.mystorybook.com/

https://www.storyjumper.com/

https://www.storybird.com/

all of which give you a lot more freedom and lots of actions to describe.

Adverbs KS2

Adverbs Powerpoint KS2

Here are some useful powerpoints –  they are all free.

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/adverbs-11109763

https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/spag-adventurous-adverbs-activity-6340899

There are plenty more here and these tell you what year group they are suitable for – http://www.primaryresources.co.uk/english/englishB2.htm 

Videos

There are masses of videos on YouTube here are just a few that you might like to check out.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FfUGLAtr8Ck

But the adverbs describing adjectives here are not ones you would want to use too much of.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=YPt0Kdpuum8

I like this video – there is more detail.  However, you might want to start with the first one and move onto this one.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=c4ZEJOWXmEI

 

Let me know what you think in the comments below.

What have I missed out?

 

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