Cornerstones Topic 1 - Revolution
Facts - Did you know?
- In Victorian England, classes were huge. There were sometimes more than 100 children in every class!
- Teachers often beat children using a cane, a long stick usually made from birch wood. Boys were usually caned on their backsides and girls were either beaten on their bare legs or across their hands. A child could receive a caning for all sorts of reasons, including rudeness, leaving a room without permission, laziness, telling lies and playing truant.
- Children as young as six regularly carried out dangerous tasks, such as clearing blockages on spinning frames in mills.
- All Victorian rocking horses were grey with dappled markings and the tail and mane were made from real horsehair.
- Until the 1890s, when microscopes proved that microbes and bacteria caused diseases, most people believed that illness was caused by bad odours.
- The Victorian era was a great time for inventions. The telephone, radio, flushing toilet, camera, adhesive postage stamp, railway train, vacuum cleaner and sewing machine were all invented by Victorians!
Bonus Homework Ideas
- Find out about health and medicine in Victorian times, including the ghastly and deadly diseases like typhoid, smallpox, influenza and cholera. It was pretty grim!
- Find out about significant women of the Victorian era, such as Mary Seacole, Florence Nightingale, Elizabeth Garrett Anderson (the first English woman to qualify as a doctor), Charlotte Brontë, George Eliot (whose real name was Mary Ann Evans) and Mrs Beeton.
- Make some simple Victorian recipes, such as Apple Charlotte, Banbury cakes and custard patties. Create a recipe book using photos of your own creations.
- Find out about life as a child worker in factories and coal mines or as chimney sweeps and scullery maids. Write a ‘Day in the Life of a …’ diary entry and add your own illustrations.
Cornerstones Topic 2 - Blood Heart
Facts - Did you know!
- Human blood is red due to a substance called haemoglobin. Haemoglobin contains iron which gives blood its red hue.
- Squids, octopus and snails have blue blood. This is due to them having haemocyanin in their blood which binds to copper instead of iron!
- The study of the human heart and its various disorders is known as ‘cardiology’.
- The heartbeat (lub-dub) is the sound produced by the closing of valves in the heart preventing blood from flowing backwards.
- The first successful heart transplant was performed in Cape Town, South Africa in 1967 by Dr Christiaan Barnard.
- The blue whale has the largest heart of any living creature: it can weigh over 680 kg and is the size of a small car!
Bonus Homework Ideas
- Be kind to your heart! Research information and plan ideas for a weekly menu of food that your heart would love. Spinach, porridge, blueberries, salmon and soya protein are all heart-healthy.
- Find out about the historical tradition of Valentine’s Day. Why are hearts traditionally used as symbols of love?
- Find out about the size and structure of a human heart and compare it to the size, structure and number of hearts in other animals. (Worms have five!)
- Find out about the different pulse points on the human body including the side of the neck (carotid), wrist (radial), top of the thigh (femoral) and elbow crease (brachial). Test the different pulse points – which one has the strongest pulse?
Cornerstones Topic 3 - Frozen Kingdom
Facts – Did you know?
- The Antarctic is a continent surrounded by ocean. The Arctic is an ocean surrounded by continents.
- There are no terrestrial mammals in the Antarctic. Arctic terrestrial mammals include musk ox, reindeer, caribou, fox, hare, wolf, lemming and bears.
- In the Antarctic you’ll find marine mammals such as whales, porpoises and seals. These creatures also swim in Arctic seas along with amphibious mammals.
- Climate change is the polar bear’s biggest threat. Every year, global warming means sea ice melts earlier and re-forms later, giving polar bears ‘reduced’ hunting time.
- Polar bears swim comfortably and skilfully, usually at around 6mph. Their Latin name means ‘sea bear’.
- Antarctica is the southernmost continent on Earth.
- The word ‘arctic’ comes from the Greek, arktikos, or ‘country of the great bear’. (Well, it is where the polar bears live!)
- Antarctica is the highest, driest, windiest, emptiest and coldest place on Earth. Brrrr!
- Birds that live or breed in Antarctica include cormorants, gulls, skuas, terns, sheathbills and pintail ducks.
- The Arctic has a wealth of natural resources, including fish, oil, gas and minerals.
- Above the Arctic Circle there is all-day sunshine in the summer for at least one day a year (and there’s a full 24 hours of darkness on at least one day too!)
- Sir Ernest Henry Shackleton was a polar explorer who led three British expeditions to the Antarctic. He died on January 5th, 1922.
- Penguins lost the ability to fly millions of years ago, but they are the fastest swimming and deepest diving of any bird species.
- Penguins often slide on their tummies over ice and snow. This is called tobogganing.
- Penguins swallow pebbles and stones to help them digest their food. Ouch!
- Extreme cold may result in serious injuries such as frostbite and hypothermia.
Bonus Homework Ideas
- Imagine the Earth has entered another Ice Age. Write a diary-style piece describing the changes and how the human race has adapted to cope.
- Find out what natural resources and raw materials are reaped from the Arctic. What impact does this have on the environment?
- Use a range of snowy images to create a polar collage. Remember to use lots of interesting textures, shapes, colours and patterns.
- Make ‘iced jewels’. Add salt and powder paint or ink to ice cube trays. Leave overnight and see what happens!
- Create your own Arctic and Antarctic wordsearch puzzles using all the new words you have learned during the project. Challenge a grown-up to solve it!
- Make a model of your favourite Arctic animal using clay, dough or recycled materials. Take it in to school and explain how you made it.
- Create a poster or brochure for a new travel company which arranges visits to the Arctic or Antarctic. Use powerful images and text to tempt customers who want an extra-special trip!
- Design a pair of snow boots for an Arctic explorer. What materials would you use? What features could they have? Let your imagination run wild!
Cornerstones Topic 4 - A Child's War
Facts - Did you know!
- Schools sent letters home telling parents what to pack for their children's evacuation. Recommended items included washing items, clean clothes, strong walking shoes and a favourite book.
- Each evacuee carried a gas mask, food or the journey and a small bag for washing things and clothes. The children had a label pinned to them giving their name, home address, school and where he or she was going.
- Neville Chamberlain was the British Prime Minister at the start of the Second World War. He resigned in May 1940 and was replaced by Winston Churchill.
- Anderson shelters were built in gardens using corrugated iron. Morrison shelters were constructed indoors.
- During the Second World War, British eating habits improved. Rationing meant that food was shared equally between the rich and poor. People ate more vegetables to fill themselves up, and foods such as white bread and sugar were less readily available.
- Children were given daily milk, cod liver oil and orange juice to boost their vitamin levels. Their improved diet and nutrition meant that children grew taller and heavier than before the War.
Bonus Homework Ideas
- Find out what happened in your local area during the War. Were any children evacuated or did your local area host evacuees?
- Find some wartime recipes and make a typical meal using foods that would have been rationed at the time. Can you work out the nutritional value of the meal?
- Record your own wartime radio broadcast. If possible, use an audio editing package to add sound effects such as air raid sirens or overhead aircraft.
- Imagine a child has been evacuated to your home. How would you make them feel welcome? How could you support them if they were missing their own home or family? Which places in your local area would you like to show them?