Older Colouring pages

I know lots of people think of Activity Village as the site for colouring pages for younger kids, and they do have lots of stunning pages for younger kids but they also have a few gems tucked away for older kids, gems that not everyone knows about. So I thought I would share some links for some of the pages that might be suitable for your older kids. Sorry if this reads as a bit of a list but here goes.

Activity Village colouring pages for older kids

I have to start with the Colouring Quotes section. We love this section and have printed out and coloured in a number of these stunning pages.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Then onto their circle colouring pages (these are my current favourites). They have quite a mix of topics under the circular theme, but really all of them are stunning.

Activity Village circle colouring pages flowers

And the Illuminated Letters, I love these for some colouring fun while you are looking at Medieval History. They actually have two version for every letter – the embellished version has a lot more detail and takes a bit more time to complete. They also have Illuminated alphabet cards which we actually like using for birthday cards (just select the starting letter of the birthday person)

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Speaking of History pages they also have an interesting sections called Scenes through the Decades which some older kids might enjoy.

Activity Village Decade colouring page

Oh and the famous sites page also has some good pages for older kids, I think they can tie quite nicely into Geography topics. 

And then there are the Doodly Colouring pages which are very detailed.  My oldest often colours in one of these if we are listening to audio stories.  (We love the Mandala set they have included here).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And even though it is still Autumn I have to share a link for the Older Christmas colouring pages. There are some lovely festive pages here.

I am sure there are other great colouring pages but these are the ones that we regularly use.

Posted in Homeschooling | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Romeo and Juliet pages from the Twinkl website

My daughter really enjoys English Literature. She loves the older, more classic stories, Jane Austen and Shakespeare are current favourites. She enjoys the way they are written, the fact that she sometimes has to figure out what they mean and she likes the historical settings. A few of the books that she finds fascinating are actually studied at GCSE level but because she is so interested in the books we have chosen to read some of them now and study the works but not at the same detail as they would later on. Our reason for doing this is 100% driven by her desire to read these books. She reads lots of other books in her own time but she was desperate that we include some of the classics this year as part of her academic work. (I must admit she actually already knows the basics of all these works as she has read condensed versions but she wanted to work through the “proper” versions with me).

We started with Romeo and Juliet over the summer. We read our stunning RSC Romeo and Juliet book (I really am a big fan of the way they have set this out) and then at her request we looked for some worksheets to complete along with the book. I knew Twinkl had Romeo and Juliet worksheets on their Secondary site so we started there and I must admit I was really impressed with how much they had, the detail and the different activities was impressive. I know they are always updating their site but when I downloaded the Romeo and Juliet section I found 28 different lessons and lots of other extra resources (it is under KS4 literature). If you just select the Unit of work on the left hand menu you will only get the lessons but there is a lot of really good extra pages so I suggest looking at everything.  Each lesson varies slightly but at a minim there is always a PowerPoint doc which explains the text that the lesson covers and at least 1 printout (often more than 1).  The printouts vary between all kinds of pages.  Some are straight forward worksheets, some are character summaries or events summaries, really a lot of content.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

For our purposes, I went through each lesson by myself and then my daughter and I would read the text in our book and depending on the lesson we sometimes read the PowerPoint together, sometimes did the worksheet and even sometimes just miss a lesson out and continued reading.  We did not do even worksheet included, we picked the ones we thought interesting and the ones we thought highlighted key themes.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

It is the first time we have used a whole literature unit from the Twinkl Secondary site and I was very impressed with it.  I liked the way they set it out, and yes there are pages that we ignored but I much prefer picking which pages I want from a wide selection then feeling limited and frustrated because there is not enough.  And I must admit we felt like they came up with some interesting pages.

Romeo and Juliet the Death Toll page from Twinkl Resources

I am so impressed that I have already gone and downloaded the next Shakespeare work that my daughter wants to cover later this year and I will definitely come back and look at the other literature works that they cover as part of both KS3 and KS4 English.

Admin – This is NOT a sponsored post.  This is just me writing about something that we used and enjoyed using.

Posted in Homeschooling | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Henry VIII Topic Pack

We recently went back and looked at Henry VIII, his wives and the King’s Great Matter again. We have covered Henry and his wives already just by going out to various places and reading our different History books but this time we focused on his different wives and how everything unfolded together with the changes in the religion in England.

After we had covered everything I gave my daughter the Oaka Book Henry VIII Topic Pack to work through. It was a lovely summary of the events and she really liked the different character cards that came with the pack (she loved the different way the wives were depicted).

using the cards and the active learning map

We read through the topic booklet together (it covers his different wives, the rise of Protestantism, what the Great Matter was all about, Thomas Wolsey, Thomas Cranmer, Oath of Succession and the Act of Supremacy). And even though we read this as a summary activity it actually ended up explaining the difference between the Oath of Succession and the Act of Supremacy which was not clearly included in the other sources that we had used. This is one of the reason why I like using different sources, we always find something extra when we use more than one source.

I also really liked the way they summarised the different wives into a “mind-map” type page.

Henry VIII topic booklet has a lovely summary of the 6 wives

My daughter worked through the topic booklet by herself.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And then we moved onto the Active Learning Map and Character Cards. This tends to be the one difference between the packs. The Science and Geography packs tend to have board games whereas the History packs tend to have these learning maps.

My daughter uses the learning maps and character cards in a few different ways. She likes to work through the learning map answering the questions (this is a great way of finding out if they have understood everything) and while she is answering the questions she adds in the character cards where she thinks appropriate.

She also likes to use the character cards in her way to retell the sequence of events and to summarise how key characters are linked. She is a visual learning so she likes using the cards when she “tests” herself to see if she can get the sequence correct and the links between key figures correct.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We found the Henry VIII Topic Pack to be the perfect summary activity for our History topic and we really liked the summary pages on the wives and enjoyed being able to use the character cards in our own retelling of events.

I do want to point out there are two other topic packs – Thomas Wolsey and the Dissolution of the Monasteries and the Pilgrimage of the Grace which cover these two topics in more detail.  This pack is about Henry VIII and although it mentions Thomas Wolsey and the dissolution of the Monasteries it does not go into detail.  For detail I think you would need these other two packs (I have not seen these packs but from what I can see on the website these would cover those 2 topics in more detail).

Posted in Homeschooling | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A Stunning Life Cycle Book

This book is stunning.

DK Life Cycles. Everything from Start to Finish

When I initially saw this book on Amazon I wondered if it was worthwhile getting it because we already have a few books that cover life cycles but when it arrived I was immediately impressed. The pictures and layout of each page is gorgeous and they cover a HUGE range of life cycles. HUGE! They have included life cycles on topics that I never thought of as being life cycles. This book (DK Life Cycles) is 100% worth it.

When I say it covers a HUGE range of life cycles I really am not exaggerating.  They split the book into 4 subsections – Space, Earth, Plants and Fungi and finally Animals.  I must state that it does talk about the Big Bang as the start of the universe and it talks about evolution (I know some people try and avoid these so I want to be clear that it is included).

Space.  My son loves space and this was a different way to look at it. I never would have thought of talking about a star or a comet as having a life cycle but then they do form and they do eventually disappear. 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Earth.  I must admit I love that this section has been included because I often find it difficult to obtain books which deal with these topics in an interesting manner. They have included Rocks, Mountains, Water, Tornados, River, Icebergs and more.  I am just so thrilled that these pages have been written and illustrated in this way because it makes them more accessible to the kids and I think more interesting when you think that an Iceberg or Tornado has its own life cycle.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Oh and I must include there is a life cycle of an Amoeba. My daughter was just reading about Amoeba in her Science so she loved that it was included here.

Then onto Plants and Fungi.  Now a personal confession.  Both of my kids find Biology fascinating but they are not that keen on plant biology and I often search for resources to make plant biology a bit more interesting and I normally end up with nothing. But this section is brilliant. Such a good way at introducing a wide range of plants in an appealing manner. They include – mushrooms, trees and flowers here and give a few different examples for the trees and flowers. (The plant section is 18 pages long).

And then Animals.  As expected the animal section is the longest but they do a very impressive job of including all the animals you would expect and then some totally unexpected gems (like the two dinosaurs – thankyou to whoever thought of including this). Some of our favourite pages have been – Octopus, Earthworm, Lizard, Swallow, Bat and the Naked mole-rat.  But they do also have the typical ones likes.  I counted 29 different animal life cycles.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

We LOVE this book.  Really LOVE it.  My son has already spent hours reading it and I know he will go back through the pages and reread them multiple times.  

DK Life Cycles. Everything from Start to Finish

Everything about this book has impressed us.  The wide range that they have included, they stunning illustrations and they way the have linked in facts.  It really has been well thought out.  We highly recommend this book.

For those of you who want Amazon links here is the link for the Book – Life Cycles: Everything from Start to Finish

Admin Bit.  I found this book while I was searching for educational books for my son.  I then contacted DK and asked if they had any Press copies and they kindly sent us one.  The fact that we love this book so much is nothing to do with the fact that we were given our copy. We love this book because it is stunning and is the perfect book for my son. 

I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and love.

Posted in Homeschooling | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Starting Year 8 Geography Resource Ideas

Geography was never one of the subjects that I found interesting but last year we actually did quite a bit and it was fascinating. We did a lot on Rivers and Erosion and then went onto different types of Rocks and found a fascinating series called How the Earth was Made – which walks the kids through the theories behind how certain places on Earth were created eg was it as asteroid strike, glaciers, rivers etc etc. Very interesting. We also covered Glaciers and learnt more about Biomes of the world (with a bit of focus on Africa). Anyway it was a good year for Geography so we are all a bit excited for this year (and yes even I am a bit excited).

We are going to stick with our Geog range from Oxford University Press and use Geog.2 as our starting point (although we will also extend like we did last year if we find interesting topics). We will also work through some Geography Oaka Topic packs and continue with our On the Map board game and we are hoping to start using the more advance game Geogo (we just first need to brush up on a few skills).

Geog.2 books from Oxford University Press

Like we did with Geog.1 last year we are using the Student Book and the workbook together but this year I also have the answer book (although I must stress the answer book is for the workbook it does not contain the answers for the questions which are included in the student book. Those answers are apparently included in the Teacher’s guide, which I do not have).

So what are the main areas of focus for Year 8 Geography as per the Oxford Geog range?

  1. Fieldwork and GIS (when we do this section we are also going to include some extra map activities, mainly because we like map work and because it ties in with some projects that we kids are currently working on).
  2. Population
  3. Urbanisation
  4. Coasts (we are excited to cover this)
  5. Weather and Climate (we actually thought we were going to do Weather and Climate last year as an extra but the kids got really carried away with the How the Earth was Made series that we never did get around to it.)
  6. Climate Change
  7. Asia
  8. China

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Now the Geog.2 workbook ties in with the student book.  For every double page in the student book there is 1 page of questions in the workbook (and the exact same page is reproduced in the answer book but with the answers written in red). 

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The student book does have a few questions at the end of each double page, which we always work through but I must stress the answers for these questions are NOT in the answer book they are in the Teacher’s Guide.  The answer book is for the workbook.

I will write a proper review about the Geog.2 books once we have actually used them but in the past we have found the explanations concise, the pages well layed out, nothing too busy or overwhelming and lots of pictures and diagrams added in to help explain the concepts. We liked the format of Geog.1 and Geog.2 looks like it is sticking to that same format so I am sure it is going to be a winner.  Also I found having the workbook reduced my own workload – what I mean by that is I did not end up printing out as many extra activities for my daughter to do.  We tended to work through the student book and then look at the page in the workbook, so I saved time on resource searching (which can be very time consuming).

Topic packs.  The ones that I think we will use this year are the Weather and Climate one (I actually got it last year thinking we were going to cover it then and we never did), the Coastal one (we really liked the River Topic pack so I am sure the coastal one will also be good) and finally the Population one.  Again, once we have used the packs I will write reviews but so far we have liked every single topic pack that we have used.  We like the format of the booklets, the write your own notes and the active learning games that are included.  They always work well as a summary activity for us and as I have mentioned on many occasions I find they work well when you are covering a topic with kids of different ages (which we do with Geography as my youngest joins in).

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

And two games.  One of our favourites is the On the Map Game.  Brilliant game, we love it and I am constantly amazed by the different capital cities that my kids know and it is all because of this game.  Highly recommend it.

And then a new one is Geogo game.  I am looking forward to trying this out with the kids. From what I understand it covers all kinds of things from map work to landforms to settlements.  We have enjoyed every Oaka Board game that we have and I am sure this one is going to be another winner in our house.

This slideshow requires JavaScript.

The Geog.2 books that we are using are these ones

geog.2 Student Book (Oxford Education)

geog.2 Workbook

geog.2 Workbook Answer Book (Oxford Education)

Admin Bit – the resources included in this post are a combination of items that I have been given and items that I plan on using.  The images included for the Coastal and Population Topic Pack were images that I asked Oaka Books for as I do not have these packs yet (I tend to gather a number of resources at the start of each year and then get more resources during the year as we progress).

I do include Affiliate links. If you follow an affiliate link and go on to purchase that product, I will be paid a very small commission, however your cost will remain the same. I only include affiliate links for products that we use and recommend.

Posted in Homeschooling | Tagged , , , , , , | Leave a comment