The Sea Company

Wednesday, November 01, 2006


I showed the children a strange stone, with some sort of symbol on it (found by my son on Mundesley beach!), and told them that in our drama we were going to imagine that it had been found at the bottom of the sea. The children were fascinated by the stone and spent a long time discussing what it might be. They came to the conclusion that it was part of the lettering of a ship’s name as the marks looked like part of a letter H. I asked them what sort of people might be looking around at the bottom of the sea – they knew quite a lot about divers so began to talk about that and then about submarines (the boys’ eyes had already lit up!!). I asked them what these divers might be looking for under the sea – quite a lot of the children began to talk about sea life, especially sharks, giant squid etc – so we will definitely follow this interest later in the drama.

Then somebody mentioned shipwrecks – I hoped they would, but might have fed this idea in myself if they hadn’t!! I then asked them ‘if these divers were working for someone, who might be paying them to dive down to shipwrecks to find things?’. They had quite a few ideas: the captain of the ship, the ship’s owner, a museum, people who had survived the wreck . I asked them if they knew the term ‘salvage’ which they didn’t, so we talked about what that meant. I then asked them ‘in our drama, would you like to imagine that we are members of a salvage team who dive down to explore shipwrecks?’ (the childen ae very familiar with drama and had taken part in a small Mantle in Year 1, working as problem solvers in stories. Most were very keen, but there were a couple of doubters, so we got into small groups to discuss the pros and cons of being a salvage company. Then 3 advocates stod up to give their ‘for and against’ views. The ‘againsts’ thought it would be too much hard work and too complicated and maybe dangerous; the ‘fors’ thought it would be fun and exciting and that we wouldn’t be in real danger because it was only pretend – they also thought it would be great to see all the sealife and to make people happy by finding things they had lost in shipwrecks. We then went to a class vote which was overwhelmingly for (pheww!!). Question – how to make the doubters still feel valued and motivated. ( I did talk to one boy who was very put out, saying just to give it a go and if he still didn’t like it to make sure and let me know!! He was actually hooked by the end of week 1 (double pheww!!)


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