Preparing for Palaeontology?
February 23, 2014

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D: I’m going to read EVERYTHING there is about dinosaurs – if it says anything about ‘dinosaurs’ I’m going to read it!
Me: Do you want to be a Palaeontologist?
D: What’s that?
Me: Someone who finds out all about dinosaurs and prehistoric times.
D: Yes! That’s what I want to be! I want to be a Palaeontologist. Can you book me onto a lesson PLEEEASE mum? Can you find some training for kids to be Palaeontologists and if it’s not too much money can you book me on? I REALLY want to do that.
Me: I’ll look into it…
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Poster by Chart Media, purchased at Stony Stratford Library

So far, we’ve visited the Natural History Museum (last Oct), D has excavated 6 dinos from a block of plaster, helped a T-Rex to fly and watched the BBC’s Walking with Dinosaurs series twice over. He’s now deeply into some library books on the subject.

…Anyone know of any low cost, local Kid’s Palaeontology sessions?!

Walking with dinosaurs
February 2, 2014

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D: It’s epic! I LOVE dinosaurs!
Me: Why’s that?
D: Because you get meat-eating ones; plant-eating ones: big ones; small ones; sea ones; land ones; air ones; slow ones; quick ones…
Me: That’s called ‘diversity’.
D: Yes. I wish that they were still alive… But only the kind and gentle plant-eating ones. Like the diplodocus.
Me: Why, what would you do if they were still alive?
D: I’d look at them and I’d stop them from fighting other dinosaurs, even if they weren’t meat eaters, because they’re meant to be kind and gentle.
Me: How would you do that?
D: Um – actually I wouldn’t need to, because they don’t really fight.

Story time on planet Earth
August 1, 2013

bestspeaker

STORY TIME ON PLANET EARTH

Boy: What’s that?

Mum: It’s a ‘Best Speaker’ ribbon – I won it in my Toastmasters Club, it’s like an award.

Boy: Can I borrow it for my bedroom, like I borrowed your old swimming trophies?

Mum: You can HAVE it if you like?

Boy: No. I have to WIN it, I can’t just have it.

Mum: OK.

Boy: We need to have a competition. I’ll say “put your hands on your head” or “put your hands in the air” or “put your fingers in your ears” and the first one to do it wins. The one with the most points wins the ribbon.

Mum: We could do that, but it’s an award for the sort of speaking where you tell a story.

Boy: But who can I tell a story to? Not just you, that wouldn’t work.

Mum: What about your teddies?

Boy: OK, I’ll tell a story to my teddies and you have to tell me if it’s good enough for the ribbon. Don’t just say it’s good though – you can say if it’s not good enough.

Mum: OK, how about I tell you the things I liked about it and also things you could do to improve it?

Boy: Yes! And if there are more things that you liked about it than things to improve, then I win the ribbon. But not if there’s more things to improve than you liked.

Mum: OK – Go on.

Boy: Once upon a time, there lived a boy and his name was Tom. He lived with his mum and he grew up to be really happy in his house. Then all of a sudden his mum died, and his dad had to look after Tom all by himself. One day, his dad took him out for a walk in the woods and it was very strange because it all looked like winter, but it was the middle of summer! The End.

Mum: That was great!
I loved the storyline – it was a bit sad wasn’t it, but very interesting and you had some really good ideas in there – like summer looking like winter.
I also like the structure, you had: a beginning – once upon a time and it was great how you gave the boy a name, Tom; a middle – where he was happy in his house and then the mum suddenly died; and an end – where things started to look different.
I also liked the expression you used in your voice when you were telling the story – you made the ending sound very mysterious.
I liked it so much that, the only thing I could suggest if you wanted to improve it would be to think about using some more describing words – adjectives.

Boy: I know what describing words are – it’s when you say a thing and then you describe it!

Mum: Yes, so you could have said something like “he grew up to be really happy in his BEAUTIFUL house” or “HEAVENLY house”.

Boy: Yes, I see… So was it good enough for the ribbon?

Mum: Yes! I liked three things about it, but could only suggest one thing to improve, couldn’t I?

Boy: Was it three? Yes – I liked the storyline, the structure and the expression you used in your voice.

Boy: Oh yes. I WISH I could stick it on my wall.

Mum: Here [passes some white tack].

Boy: [Sticks the ribbon in the centre of the world image on the OU Frozen Planet poster by his bed] I want to stick it here because I look at this poster every night. I read all the parts of it every night – it helps me when I’m not feeling sleepy.

Tiresome tales
June 21, 2013

tiresometales[Watching children’s TV]

That was really funny mum – Ryan the Lion was just telling a really boring story about putting the bins out and when he’d finished Kay said, “That was different.” Then Ryan said “Do you want me to tell you the story about when I watched some paint dry?” And Alex said, “Let’s watch some Driver Dan.” Then Ryan said, “I’ll take that as a yes!” And he carried on telling the story anyway!

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