I am spending more one-on-one time with my oldest (we working through some poetry activities) so I wanted to find a learning unit that my son could complete by himself. And as the Twinkl book activities have always been a hit with him I decided to try their World War Two story (which happens to tie in nicely with our World War Two history topic) Code-Cracking for Beginners. We happened to have the actual book (it was sent to us last year sometime as part of the Twinkl book club but if you don’t have the book you can download the story in eBook format) and I went a bit crazy printing off all kinds of related worksheets and activities for him to do.
Then whenever my oldest and I were working on her English he would either read some more of the story or work through some of the activities. It worked out perfectly. He really enjoyed the story and he powered through the activities. I have to admit English is probably the subject that we need to work on with him – he just tends to enjoy Science and History and Maths comes easily to him but English is just a bit more challenging for him. But in the past whenever he have worked through one of the Twinkl eBooks and done the related activities he has always enjoyed it and he never seems to complain if the English activities are linked to an interesting story. So for me it really is a win all the way around.
My son read the book completely independently but I did notice that on days when he only needed to read 2 chapters (because the linked activities dealt with those 2 chapters) he would often actually read 5 just because he was enjoying the story. So I decided to read the story myself just to see if it was as good as he seemed to think and I must admit I thought it was a really enjoyable World War Two story. The characters were lovely and interesting (both the good and the bad characters), there was some suspense and adventure and there was even a plot twist at the end which I was not expecting. I love the fact that the Twinkl stories have linked activities but even if you are NOT planning on doing any of the linked activities this is still a sweet World War Two story for the kids to read. And I REALLY liked the descriptive words and phrases that were used – I feel like the whole book was a good example to my son on how to write an interesting account of events and people.
And there are lots of activities. As always there are guided reading questions and a comprehension, which we always tend to do just because I like getting my son to practice reading a piece of text and then being able to answer questions on it (really a good skill to develop).
But they also included a wide range of Grammar and Punctuation activities which I really appreciated because these are the activities that my son often finds a bit dry but which he does need to practice a bit. And he even found the Dictionary activity interesting (which is a first), he thought the words that they used were interesting.
Linked to this story we found a great drawing World War Two planes activity which my son loved (in fact he did comment that he wished they had included a wider range of ALL the world war two planes to draw – but they he really likes learning about weapons).
And he also really liked the Morse Code Activity (and yes we have tried to use a torch to flash our own messages like they did in the book and yes he is wearing a home-made cape while he does his work).
I am a huge fan of the Twinkl orginal books and their activities. We have read and worked through the activities for a number of them and really enjoyed almost all of them. But I have to admit this one is possibly one of our favourites, although it is hard to decide which is our absolute favourite as we have enjoyed so many. (But for anyone wanting some other suggestions we can also recommend – The Pack of Pompeii, The Birds of Flanders Field, Victorian History hackers and Wyrmstooth Crown).