Fact Finding

question sheet

It`s good to have a range of activities. They give your practice times variety and help maintain interest and motivation. This activity uses YouTube, and was based on a set of cards that came with a National Geographic kids magazine.

The magazine was another last-minute buy at the airport. It’s far to advanced for my daughter to read at the moment, but it did come with a few animal cards that got us thinking.

Yesterday, after having completed the Peter & Jane 4a book on Tuesday, we used the animal cards as the basis for a fact-finding mission. On a blank piece of paper we wrote down questions we would like to know the answers to about our chosen animal. That day was Cicada. “Where do they live? What do they eat?” etc.

After that, we looked up Cicada on you tube and watched a fascinating 5 minute video featuring my all time favourite, David Attenborough. We watched a little, paused to talk about what we had seen or heard, then watched a little more. We completed the questions along the way. It was very interesting! Cicada live for 17 years underground (the same age as your cousin). They drink sap from the roots of trees while they are underground and only live for about two weeks after they emerge. The males are the noisy ones, and they say ‘Come on girls, I’m here!’.

It wasn’t just a fact-finding mission though. My sprog has always mixed her be verbs and her do’s in questions. Partly age, partly the lack of exposure. This activity has helped her to focus on the form of questions. Where do they live? How big are they? Today we did the second in the series about Wildcats. We are attaching the cards to the question sheet and keeping them together with the magazine in a clear file on the sprog’s desk.

YouTube is full of fascinating things that can provide the basis for informative discussion at any age. Certainly my daughter enjoys this format as much as any other.

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4 responses to “Fact Finding”

  1. Chris Drew says :

    A great buy Nick! My daughters had a subscription for a couple of years to National Geographic Kids and we still have a box full that come out every now and again. As you say, helps to broaden the vocabulary. I’m a firm believer in having magazines on subscription. My sprogs love receiving things through the post with their names on it, and these then tend to be stored on a shelf in the toilet, where they will then spend hours (and I don’t exaggerate!). I’ve mentioned “Story Box” and “Adventure Box” previously – other great magazines to keep in mind are “Aquila”


    and for my sprog the elder (and for us), we now have a subscription to “The Week”


    Best wishes!


  2. Jenny says :

    My daughter has developed a phobia of wasps; when one flew in the window this morning, she refused to come back into the room, but then started asking lots of questions about what wasps “do”…I like the idea of using a fact-finding mission to kill two birds with one stone – explore her curiosity about something while using English in a practical and constructive way. I’ll definitely be giving it a go, as I have now realised I know nothing about wasps!

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