Holes are just about everywhere! We can find them in our food, our toys our surroundings and in a whole lot of things we use everyday!
Once you start looking for holes you can't stop! So go on, get started, get hooked on holes! Scroll down the page and grab some novel teaching ideas for your new 'Holes Theme'!
I usually start my new topic with a story but this time I couldn't find a book that would suit both the theme and the age range. So decided on a song!
'There's a hole in my bucket', seemed to fit the bill and if you aren't familiar with the words you can download them by clicking here.
I usually split the class into girls and boys [the girls love this!] and we sing the song through several times so they get to know the words.
Then we look at all the questions that Henry asks. I ask the class how they would mend a hole in a bucket. The answers are usually ingenious! But what about this straw thing? How would they go about mending a bucket with a straw?
For teachers info only! It seems that the bucket in the song was probably made of wood. Straw may well have been used to mend the hole as it is a highly absorbent material and would expand when wet. So hey presto, one fixed bucket!
Ask the kids to try it out! Give them some straw and water and let them experiment! Older kids could make a written report of their findings.
Holes Theme started! Lets move on!
Now you've got them going, Brainstorm some other holes that might need mending like a hole in your tooth for example. Or a hole in your knee?
See How to keep our teeth healthy on my food teaching theme page.
Discuss what you would do if you got a hole in your:
a. bicycle tyre
b. a school bag
c. a cardboard box
d. a shoe
Provide the children with:
Sticky tape, different types of glue [not superglue for obvious reasons!] needles and thread [if applicable for your age range] iron-on tape and iron [ obviously with supervision] sewing machine [if available]
A variety of different fabrics with holes in.
Challenge the children to try different ways to mend the holes in the fabric pieces and then record their results.
Provide the kids with a plastic bag with holes in it. Can they find a way of making it watertight? Perhaps it's not possible. What do they think?
Allow them to test any results in the water tray or sink?
After they've had a chance to have a go at both the activities, get the kids to tell the class which method they found best and why.
Perhaps they could make up their own word to :'
There's a hole in my sock, dear Liza, dear Liza! etc
Then mend it dear Henry, dear Henry,dear Henry! etc
Now you've mended all the holes, it's time to find out about making them!
We make holes all the time. Brainstorm how many different things we make holes for. It might be for road works, for putting pipes underground, for putting plants in, to bury rubbish or to get stones,sand or clay out of. They might even suggest making a hole for a coffin!
And whatever kind of hole you make you need a special kind of tool. For holes in the ground you need an enormous tool such as a digger or bulldozer but for planting a seed you only need a small tool such as a trowel.
For the next task you will need : spoons, forks, a timing device such as an egg timer and a quantity of sand or soil.Also a few empty yogurt pots.
Split the class into groups of about 6 or 8. Then split each of those groups into 2.
One half of the group has forks to work with the other half has spoons.
Each group has a bowl of sand or soil. The challenge is to fill their yogurt pots up as quickly as possible using their own particular tool.
Use a timer to make it a fair test. Discuss how having the right tool is so important. With the wrong tool it may take twice as long. Swap over tools so each child gets a turn with the fork!
Make a pattern of holes. Take a piece of paper, a rectangle or a circle will do. Fold it into 4 or 8 and cut patterns out of the folded edges. Open it up. What sort of pattern did you make? Was it symmetrical? How many different ones can you make?
Make a wood carving out of balsa wood.
If you can get hold of some balsa this is a really fun activity.
Provide some lolly sticks, pencils and spoons, both metal and plastic, if poss.
Draw a simple picture or message on your piece of balsa wood using straight and curved lines. Go over the lines lots of times so the lines become very deep. Use a wax crayon to go over your picture so the lines show through.You can use paint instead of crayons if you wish. Make a display of all the wood carvings for your 'holes theme'
Provide a hole punch and a 'hole' lot of paper!
Let the kids experiment making hole patterns in the paper pieces.
Set up a play area where they can pretend to be workmen digging holes. Don't forget to provide them with hard hats and ear muffs! They could make their own pneumatic drill from a stick or broom handle or anything else they can think of!
You've done the experimenting 'holes theme' now its time to do the creative 'holes theme'!
Create a 'hole story'
Show the children a picture of a big dark cave [ like the one above!] Then ask them:
'Who or what do you think might live in this cave?'
What sort of creatures live in caves?
Have any of the children ever been inside a cave? What was it like? Were they scared or excited?
Challenge the children to make up a story of a make believe creature that lived in a cave. They could tell it or write it. Don't forget to illustrate it afterwards! Younger children could make a story board version of their story using only pictures. They could then tell their stories to the rest of the class.
Create your own musical instrument for your holes theme!
Brainstorm with the kids as many musical instruments they can think of that have holes.
Why do they have holes? Try blocking off a hole in a whistle or a flute. What happens to the sound?
Which ones have holes that you can see?
What about ones you can't see, like the drum for example. Where does the drum have its hole?
Try banging an empty tin. Then fill it with sand or cotton wool. What happens to the sound
Now its time to create your own musical instrument with a hole for your holes theme!
Remember it must have a hole either inside or out!
Create your own game with a hole!
The game of golf involves hitting balls into holes!
Can you think of other games that use holes? Snooker or marble run for example. Make a list. Who can think of the most?
Perhaps you can make a game of your own using holes?
Years ago children played a game with a cup and ball. Why not have a go at this? All you need is a yogurt pot, a longish piece of string and a bead.
Thread the bead onto the string and tie a knot to keep it secure. Make a small hole in the side of the yogurt pot and thread the other end of the string through it and tie a knot here too. And bingo you have your cup and ball game!
Just in case you are wondering! The idea of the game is to chuck the bead up in the air and catch it in the cup! So simple!
I'm sure there are many more games you can think of to make.
Raid the junk box and have a go!
Here are some more ideas for your holes theme!
1. Go on a 'hole hunt.
Take a clipboard and pencil for a walk around the school and write or draw all the things you find that have holes in them.
2. Paint through holes!
Find a large piece of cartridge paper and cut out some different shaped holes from it. The more shapes you cut the better your work of art will look! Put you holey paper on top of another piece of sturdy paper and get painting.Patterns or just colours it doesn't matter.When you take off the holey top paper you will reveal a piece of modern art!
3.Make a necklace bracelet.
Find objects around the classroom that have holes in. Thread a long piece of string or cotton thread through all your holey objects to make a 'Hole Necklace'
4. Holes in the alphabet!
Work your way through the alphabet and see how many of the letters have holes in them.You can do the same with numbers.
Here are a few more songs you can sing that fit in with your Holes Theme. I haven't written all the lyrics out because they are all on the web. Just put the first line into your search engine and sing along!
1. The Donut Song!
2. The green grass grew all around.
3. Dig,dig,dig your pit. [To the tine of Row,row row the boat]
4. Here is a bunny.
The Holes Theme was supposed to be a 'fill in theme'. One you could dive into when you had a day or two to kill! But as I was writing it I discovered that you could use it as a starter for lots of other themes too. As I mentioned earlier 'a hole in your tooth' could be the start to a 'dentist' theme. Or the hole in your knee a 'hospital theme' There are just so many links you can make. So go for it, go wherever the kids want to go and have fun!
You don't have to follow the theme to the letter either. Some activities will suit your kids better than others so pick and mix the ones you fancy and get stuck in!.
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