I am beyond excited to share with you our latest resource – a great way to explore New Zealand History in the Classroom.
Imagine your students have been taken in a time machine back in time. To get back to the present day they need to complete tasks and collect mosaic tiles. Once their mosaic tile is complete, they can use the time machine to get home. Along the way, they read 18 current (2014-2019) School Journals and learn about interesting parts of New Zealand history. They complete activities that promote higher-order thinking and the use of reading comprehension strategies. So let’s quickly clarify here.
Our new NZ History Time Travel Adventure resources feature:
- An engaging hook to get students excited.
- A mosaic tile system to ensure regular and continued student buy-in
- Current School Journal texts that focus on New Zealand’s history.
- Interesting activities with a variety of options and creative tasks.
Oh, and did I mention… lesson plans for each text are provided!
Let me unpack the resource further.
The Purpose of our New Zealand History Time Travel Adventure
The purpose of this resource is to provide an engaging and motivating way for students to explore New Zealand’s history through 18 recent School Journals. At this stage, there are two sets available: Level Two School Journals (Year 4) and Level Three School Journals (Year 5-6). The Level 4 (Year 7 and 8) set is coming soon.
An exciting time travel scenario is used to hook children in, and this engagement is rewarded with mosaic tiles that help students “get back to the present day”.
A lot of teachers are looking for ways to explore New Zealand history in the classroom. With this comprehensive resource (over 120 pages), I’ve aimed to make that as easy for you as possible by providing:
- Setting the Scene resources (paper-based and Powerpoint options) to hook students in.
- Lesson plans for each of the 18 texts.
- Follow up activities and further creative tasks (36 activities in total).
- Answer guides for the follow-up activities.
- Teacher guides with more information.
- A table with a break down of the reading and thinking skills used in each activity.
- Current journals (2014-2019) that are all available via PDF here.
Check out our Level Three Time Travel Adventure with this video:
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Setting the Scene
This resource to explore New Zealand history in the classroom includes:
Setting the Scene resources
- A Setting the Scene document AND PowerPoint presentation to hook the students into the activities.
- This includes a ”How it works” page that explains the resource though a simple visual flow chart.
- A black and white mosaic template for each student to complete.
- A coloured mosaic template to show the finished mosaic design.
- 18 coloured tile pieces for students to cut out and glue onto their black and white mosaic template.
- You can either do this individually (yes, it is a bit fiddly and requires some photocopying) or as a whole class mosaic, enlarged to A3 size. I get it, this step is fiddly, but worth it!).
Engaging and comprehension follow-up activities
In this resource, you receive:
- A table that highlights the journal name, the article or story name, the reading and thinking skills included in the follow-up activities and the name of the creative activity that is included.
- A detailed lesson plan for each journal article or story. You can use this as a guide or follow it step by step during your guided reading session.
- Two follow up activities for each journal article or story.
- The first activity includes Remember, Understand, Apply, and Evaluate higher-order thinking skills and a range of reading comprehension skills including finding specific information, making inferences, making connections, using prior knowledge, summarising, using evidence, and sharing opinions. Do all or some of the activities.
- This comes with a full answer guide.
- The second activity is creative and involves the synthesizing of information and the higher-order thinking skills of analysing and creating.
Here is an example of what is included in ONE article/story.
Tips for Using our New Zealand History Time Travel Adventure
- Make sure you set the scene with either of our Set the Scene resources. This way, your students will have buy-in to complete the full resource.
- There is enough goodness in this resource for it to carry over two terms, or 18 weeks. You could cover one journal story or article a week and have more than enough activities to keep them busy each week.
A weekly timetable for using this plan could be:
- Monday Guided reading session using the lesson plan, talk through follow-up activities and answer any questions.
- Tuesday: Students complete the first follow-up activity page.
- Wednesday: Students finish the first follow-up activity page and move onto the creative activity.
- Thursday: Follow-up activities – remind students that quality completed work gets a mosaic tile!
- Friday: Conferencing/marking activities with you, either individually, or as a group. Distribute mosaic tiles to be glued onto the mosaic template.
Let’s talk about those mosaic pieces…
- Tip: Either print out one set per student and cut each puzzle piece as needed or store a class set of each mosaic tile in separate envelopes or zip lock bags.
- This step is fiddly BUT worth it.
Check out our Level Two Time Travel Adventure with this video:
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Benefits of our New Zealand History Time Travel Adventure
I’ll leave you with what I think are the five biggest benefits of using this resource:
- Ease of use. Once you have this resource set up, it is all there for you. Your students will get into a routine, understand how to use the resource and be able to work independently.
- Built-in engagement. This activity has a built-in quest and challenge for the students to complete. Research shows that students who are engaged in their reading achieve higher results.
- New Zealand content. Important aspects of New Zealand’s history are covered in these journal articles and stories. By completing these activities, your students will learn about many important moments in the life of Aotearoa.
- Easy to integrate. The history topics and follow-up activities explored can work in with the activities you are doing in other curriculum areas. Students will get a chance to write a report, narrative, and persuasive piece of writing, and you could easily link the history topics into your topic or social studies programme.
- Flexibility! The journal activities can work in any order, so feel free to move them around and do them in the order that suits you. You could completely remove the mosaic tile focus and just pick and choose particular journals and activities throughout the year. You could complete one mosaic per student or get your class to complete the challenge in small groups. It is up to you.
Do you have any questions about this resource? Email me at email@example.com and I’ll be in touch!
Onwards and upwards,