Monday, 10 December 2012

Using flash cards

I've been thinking recently of using flash cards as a way of learning and helping children to remember the information being given.

The top two sheets explain the mummification process. Each step of the process has a missing word to fill in. They find the missing word by looking at the Clue Sheet which they then should be able to relate to one of the Flash Cards which will be laid out in front of them on a table.

For example -

On the first sheet it says " First the Pharaoh is laid on a table. Now we can get to work! First we remove his _ _ _ _ _ through his nostrils! Ewww! 

It says See Clue 1, so now we look at the Clue Sheet which says 'we use this to think with.' The answer is Brain. The flash cards are there to make things easier. Effectively, the answers are there on the flash cards in visual form to help the child narrow down the answers. On the back it will have an explanation of the object, for example, the brain card says...

'The Egyptians didn't think the brain was important so they threw it away." 

Action - Test out this activity 

Then and now

I had tutorial session today with my tutor where I brought in the flash cards and the new sheets I'd designed and we laid them out on the table and discussed a few things.

(I've tried to post the worksheets I've designed into this post but unfortunately the blog isn't being very co-oporative right now so I'll put them in another post to follow)

The aim of these worksheets is to engage children with the topic of mummification but to do it in the way of deep learning so that the child gets to take a more hands on approach to their 'work' which becomes more like play. Essentially, I want them to be able to learn without knowing that they're doing so. To do this, I've now decided to approach things in a slightly different way.


A change in approach.


I plan to produce an activity pack for children which will cover three sessions. Each session will be a combination of three different stages

  • A talk from myself with a slideshow (8-10 slides roughly) where I will talk about each subject area, engaging with the children through consistent 
  • A worksheet or activity where the children can be hands on, do crafts and puzzles 
  • A 'test' in the form of a fun activity to test their knowledge at the end of the session 


There will be 3 sessions, each of a different topic

Session 1 - Introduction to Egypt as a country, The Nile, Social ladder (farming, Pharaoh's etc) << although this may be too much to cover in one session

Session 2 - Pyramids and how they were built

Session 3 - Mummification

The reason why I've titled this post 'Then and Now' is because I've realised how much my idea has changed from what I originally intended to do. This is because my research has shown me that there are much better ways and more intellectually stimulating and fun ways to approach this topic than just handing out worksheets. I not only want the children to enjoy it in the moment, but also to be able to take something away from it and remember what they have learnt.


Action - Become much clearer with my sessions. What is it that I want to cover? Which areas of Egypt are the most covered in schools? Research into this. 

Saturday, 8 December 2012

Flash Cards

Following on from the ideas of group activities, I've decided to design and draw up a set of Flash Cards. Here are a few I made which show the front and backs of the card. The front shows the picture of the object and the back has the explanation.

The children will have a worksheet in front of them which will have missing words to fill in. These flash cards will then be laid out on a table and selected whenever the appropriate word comes up. 

I do like the way they look. I chose to use tea-stained paper to give a the cards a more authentic look, like papyrus. Unfortunately, Papyrus is very expensive and made from reeds so it's not ideal to print on, but this idea seems just as good and still looks effective. 


Action - Feedback from peers 

Tuesday, 4 December 2012

Group Learning

I've been doing a bit of research on group learning and having a think about how I can approach this project so that it's more hands-on, enjoyable and memorable learning experience for kids.

I drew up this mind map to show some of my ideas. At the moment I'm really liking the idea of flash cards and the way in which they can be used to help children learn with a combination of information and visuals.

I'm wanting to avoid the children reading from long worksheets, so instead I'm thinking about writing a process/story/journey (the mummification process for example) and getting the children to fill in the missing words by using the flash cards and placing each appropriate one on the desk whenever they've found the word required.

By doing it this way, I think it allows the child to engage more with the topic. I feel they are more likely to remember and enjoy the facts of Ancient Egypt if they're able to physically interact with something.

Action - Design and develop Flash Cards

Monday, 3 December 2012

I may have to re-think some things!

After a group discussion today with myself, Johny and two other students, I realised I may need to re-think the way I'm going to present this project to children.

A lot of good pointers were made today! I found the session extremely helpful.

The Information provided 

  • Too much - could it be cut down but still include everything I want it to
  • Could I make it more visual (even more so) instead of listing facts - 1...2...3
  • Could I deliver the information in another way? 

  • Everyone seemed to like the style of my illustration which is great, and they seemed to appreciate and notice that I had a consistent style throughout the worksheets.

Using a different method - delivering it to children in another way - Working in a group

  • Make it more hands-on and group based. This may help children to digest information better. "Deep learning."
  • Produce flash cards with images one side and information the other. This could be more interesting than reading from a sheet. It allows the children to be more involved.
  • Children could fill in missing words by using flash cards and help each other out. This way they can have a class discussion.

After today and getting pointers, I'm going to re-think things so I can put my information across in a more memorable way and also a more enjoyable way. I really like the idea of group discussions and getting children to 'take part' in something, so that's what I'm going to focus on as of now. 

Even though I'll be changing my approach, I'm glad I did the worksheet layouts, because I 'do' like them, but I'm thinking that they would probably be appropriate for slightly older children, possibly aged 12 because of the amount of information. I'm aiming this project at age 9, so I think the group discussions and flash card tasks would work out much better.



  • Put information from the session to good use by considering the age range and the way the activity pack can be aimed at Key Stage 2 (age 9) in a way which is much more suited to their learning level.
  • Look into learning and teaching methods for Key Stage 2