As we’re all currently spending our days at home, many of you will be feeling bored, missing your friends and wondering how to pass the time. Although it might be tempting to spend longer than usual on social media, Netflix or gaming, there are far better – and more exciting – ways to make use of this extra time. It is possible to keep your brain active, learn some new skills and, hopefully, have some fun at the same time!
We’ve come up with lots of tips and ideas, as well as links to useful websites (see below), to help you get started. You’ll find everything from crafting projects, recipes to try and virtual tours of some of the world’s most famous museums to crash courses on learning how to play the guitar or teaching yourself a new language. The options are endless and there’s something for everyone. Some of the activities, such as the Film Club, enable you to share your thoughts and feedback with other students too. What are you waiting for? Give it a go!
We’ll be updating the list with new suggestions over the coming days and weeks, but you might be able to come up with ideas of your own too and we’d love to hear about them.
You can tell us what you’ve been up to by mailing: firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject Stay Curious below. Remember to include your name and tutor group in the email.
We’ll be sharing examples with students, staff and the wider community on our social media feeds and in the school newsletter, so watch this space!
Projects and Co-Curricular
A fantastic resource for consolidating and furthering your learning – https://www.brainpop.com/
A wealth of documentary programs (at a cost) – https://curiositystream.com/
Learn to Code – https://www.tynker.com/
Build your maths – https://beastacademy.com/ (ages 8-13)
Creative & crafty ideas – https://www.creativebug.com/
Escape into Story
Read, read, read – though be a bit selective about what you read. Read books that will transport you somewhere else, or stretch and stimulate your mind, or bring you comfort.
A list of places where you can find free books online can be found here – https://bookriot.com/2017/08/28/free-books-online/
Listen to audiobooks for free online – https://stories.audible.com/start-listen
Endless hours of entertainment can be found in podcasting
TED Talks – hours of fascinating talks on fascinating subjects https://www.ted.com/about/programs-initiatives/ted-talks/ted-talks-audio
A list of 10 podcasts for school age group – https://www.commonsensemedia.org/blog/10-must-listen-podcasts-for-tweens-and-teens
Crash course world history with John Green – https://www.youtube.com/user/crashcourse
Crash course philosophy with Hank Green – https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PL8dPuuaLjXtNgK6MZucdYldNkMybYIHKR
Be inspired https://www.youtube.com/user/soulpancake
Learn Something New
Learn British sign language – https://www.british-sign.co.uk/learn-online-british-sign-language-course/
Learn another language with Duolingo https://www.duolingo.com/
Learn to play the guitar https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/lesson-1
https://www.mooc-list.com/ – MOOC directory, what free courses can they do
Lights, Camera, Action
Being stuck in lock down isn’t much fun for anyone, even more so when the weather’s bad and you’re stuck indoors. There’s a temptation to flick on the TV to find something to watch and just chill out with a movie.
Film can be a fantastic source of information and education, so why not watch a film? There are literally millions of films to choose from and just because you’re sitting in comfort in front of a screen, that doesn’t mean you aren’t learning and developing as a result.
Why not take a look at their film library Film Library and choose a film on their A-Z list that you have access to watch. You will find study guides, online activities and downloadable worksheets for you to use that can even be linked to the subjects and levels that you are already studying or are just simply creative, informative and enjoyable to learn about.
There are films to suit everyone’s tastes from foreign language films for those of you studying French, German or Spanish to classical Shakespeare and even Japanese anime. From comedy to tragedy, action to sci-fi, you can find activities linked to blockbuster films like Jurassic Park, Avatar or Despicable Me to name but a few. Whatever your interests are, there will be something for you on Film Education and who knows, you might just learn something without even realising it!
Cook, bake, draw, bake; tell us what creations you have been working on, take pictures of them.
This is a great time to unleash the artist/chef in you, and create things that you can be proud of and enjoy, while learning skills for life in the process.
Grow something from seed – https://www.gardeners.com/how-to/how-to-start-seeds/5062.html
Museum’s and Virtual tours
The MET of New York, during this difficult time, each day, mades available for free in streaming, during a period of 23 hours, from 7.30 pm EDT until 6.30 pm, outstanding and complete performances from the past 14 years of cinema transmission and Opera’s great singer.
Opera theatre La Fenice di Venezia several full Opera available in the YouTube page Io resto a casa/ I stay at home
MUSEUMS AND VIRTUAL TOURS
3D Tour Sistine Chapel
Archeological Museum Athens
Journaling & Journalism
In this unique and bewildering time, I would like to urge you to start keeping a journal. Journaling can be a real gift at times like these, and will offer you and others some concrete memories for the future. Here are three reasons that keeping a journal can be helpful.
Expressing and articulating your thoughts and feelings at a time like this can reduce anxiety and help you to process thoughts.
Journaling draws your attention to things in life that can otherwise go unnoticed (your progress academically and personally, your relationships, Spring as it unfolds from your window).
Keeping a record of work, conversations, events, news etc – will give you a resource to look back on and learn from.
Tips for keeping a journal
Have a dedicated time and place that you do this, ideally every day.
Keeping it brief and matter of fact can be very useful without pouring all your thoughts down on a page.
Using regular prompts/leading thoughts can help draw your attention to things that might have gone unnoticed (see list of prompts below).
Choose one/two of the following sentence stems as prompts for writing:
This was my luxury….
This was my suffering…
I am grateful for…
The best thing I have heard today is…
I wish I had…
Today I have learned…
Map your main thoughts/ideas from today in pictures.
As your reflective writing improves, you might find a desire to compose a more organised and coherent piece of writing. During this time, it would be good to gather articles together for a publication (online and/or print – tbc). Here are some types of writing you might like to try out and send to the school:
An essay on this moment in time – what are your observations? Has it made you reflect on the way we were living? Is solitude/isolation helpful in any ways?
A review – write a book, music, art or film review of something that you think captures this time that we are in.
A piece of creative writing – a poem or short story which captures something of the time that we’re in.
Please feel free to combine these with an image – either a photograph that tells a story, or some kind of illustration you have done.
What can you do in your community? Who can you write letters to or phone?