Teaching Ideas : School Fireworks
Bonfire Night provides an excellent opportunity for the children to develop their creative skills working across a number of curriculum subjects. The class can work together to produce a mock firework display using art, music and computing skills for the whole school to enjoy in an assembly.
Before starting a topic based on bonfires and fireworks you should spend some time discussing with the class some of the rules that they should follow on the 5th of November to stay safe. Get the children to identify the negative outcomes that could happen on Bonfire Night and suggest how they could be avoided such as visiting organised displays and holding sparklers correctly. The class could make a list of rules for all of the pupils in the school to follow using instructional language. Get the class to demonstrate their computing skills by designing posters to display the selected firework rules around the school.
Working in art and design, the children can make some back drops to display during the school firework display showing images of different fireworks in the sky. Split the class into small groups and provide them with a sheet of black sugar paper to represent the sky. The children can then explore different techniques to add paint or pastels to the paper to represent a firework in the sky on Bonfire Night such as splattering the paint with brushes or using tools to spread blobs of paint across the paper. Get the class to experiment on some newspaper before working on their finished artwork of a firework display.
The children can practise their computing skills by creating some graphic presentations of a firework display. The class can use a graphic program to create a range of shapes to represent a firework bursting in the night sky. The selected images can then be saved and embedded into an animation program to control the sequence and timing of when the fireworks might appear on the screen. Using a program such as Scratch, the class can devise a set of commands to order when and where the shapes representing a firework might appear on a screen to emulate a display on Bonfire Night.
Working in music, the class can use percussion instruments to compose a set of sounds to represent the launch and burst of a firework in the night sky. Get the children to explore how to use duration and pitch to illustrate the movement of a specific firework. For example, the class could create a composition using long sounds to represent a firework shooting in the night sky and then short sounds to show what happens when the firework bursts into different colours and shapes. Tell them to investigate which of the percussion instruments can best illustrate a firework such as using the keys from low to high on an xylophone to show a firework’s launch and a wood block to represent the burst of colours and shapes.
Invite the whole school into the hall to watch the children’s firework show. The class can display their artwork of the fireworks on a wall in the hall. You can use an interactive screen to show the school the animation of fireworks created using a computer program . Some children can play the music compositions that they have created to match the movements of the fireworks on the screen. Other members of the class could read some poems that they have crafted in an English lesson to describe the sights and sounds that might be seen and heard on Bonfire Night.
Check out some of these teaching packs on this topic
Select and use vocabulary to describe some of the different sounds heard from fireworks on Bonfire Night
Compose and write a set of instructions to explain how to use a firework safely on Bonfire Night
Calculate the duration of different fireworks in bonfire night display using times in minutes and seconds
Select vocabulary in use in poetry describing the sights and sounds that might be seen and heard on bonfire night
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