Review-Polar Pen Pal-Arctic Libs Pack
Recently we had a few snow days and Big was home from school. We had some fun outside, doing different activities, and then he found his Arctic Libs Pack which Polar Pen Pal had kindly sent to us a few weeks ago to review.
Big got stuck in right away and enjoyed thinking of the different adjectives, verbs and nouns which the activity asked for. This task seemed well matched to what we describe as ‘Key Stage 1’ level here in the UK, and children at Key Stage 2 could also get a lot from it, by using it as a starter and then extending the activity and taking it even further. It could also be adapted to be used as a resource with children with special educational needs.
The task is to fill in a sheet which asks for seemingly random words from the different word categories. You then have to transfer those words into the story frame in the right spaces. Finally, the children can read the story they have created out loud:
“Mum, it is really, really funny!”
We had kangaroos bouncing over the hot arctic, sharks prowling around houses, and all sorts. As well as the activity being useful for writing and storytelling, it also gave us the idea to go further and think about what we might include in our own version, at home. Big was very engaged with the task and the story he had made, and this style clearly worked well for the stage he is currently at.
I know from my previous experience as a teacher that many children, particularly boys, will sometimes feel daunted by extended writing tasks when faced with a blank sheet of paper. Some also worry about making a ‘mistake’ in those kind of scenarios. This task worked well for Big; it doesn’t take too long to do but does require thinking and planning for what the story may evolve into. It was also great to have a brilliant output of a fully formed narrative after about 15- 20 minutes of concentrated work, as opposed to the amount of time it would normally take a child of this age to produce their own story from scratch.
I would recommend this task for primary school aged children who are being homeschooled or who just enjoy this kind of activity after school or at weekends and holiday time. It was fun, engaging and Big was really pleased with the resulting piece of work.
By following Polar Pen Pal on Instagram, our children already know a lot about the context of any task which we use from them, and they often talk about what the weather might be like today for Mark and Meeka, the characters from the resources. This relationship and understanding of the context has been really great for them in building engagement with the tasks, too. What a great time in history we all live in; that education can be so diverse and interactive as well as fun. We are really enjoying being part of the community and highly recommend these resources and following online!
*Disclaimer: I received the Arctic Libs pack from Polar Pen Pal for free in return for a review. All comments above are my own and an honest reflection of how we found the resource.