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Using technology safely to develop our Year 4 topic of Adventurers and Explorers

Over the last six weeks, 4 Lilac has been delving into the theme of exploration. We have made a comparative study of the landscape of the Antarctic and the beautiful, but harsh Everest. We have used the book, “Shackleton’s Journey” by William Grill to help understand the voyage taken by the crew of the Endurance ship and each student has taken on the role of Shackleton’s crew in an effort to understand what it might have been like to attempt crossing the South Pole in the early twentieth century. Our class novel, “The Climb” by Gordon Korman, has given students a unique insight into exploration across the Himalayas and the challenges of climbing Everest as a young person.

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One of the highlights of this topic has been the use of technology to contact explorers around the World. One of our students, Finn Turner, informed us that his previous teacher has been to Base camp. We were able to use this information to contact her and ask her lots of questions and she shared some amazing photographs of her experience.

Through news reports, we found out that an expedition is taking place to locate and photograph Shackleton’s ship, the Endurance, this month! This was perfect timing as we could follow their progress in real time by reading their Twitter feed each day. Through the feed, we have been able to share photographs of our work and been in contact with a variety of explorers! This experience has made it fun for our students and they are proud of their work being ‘liked’ by so many people across the globe! Students have been able to create their own presentations using their iPads and have chatted together in Firefly forums about their thoughts and ideas. We are really excited to find out if the Endurance ship can be located on the ocean floor so I’m sure the students will be following Twitter over the holiday #welovelearning.