Sunday, 21 August 2016

Book review and a bit of octopus maths.

We recently enjoyed reading this seaside story 'Out of the Blue' by Alison Jay. There are many things that were appealing about it. The story is a beautifully simple and sweet one - A boy who lives by the sea in a lighthouse, visits the seaside one day and meets a little friend. They go rock-pooling and exploring together. Then a storm comes and they run inside. After the storm has passed, when they go out to the beach again, there are loads of things that have washed up... including a giant octopus tangled up in a net. Everyone is too scared to go near it, until they realise it's terribly sad. So they all work together, including a few very helpful seaside creatures, to get it out of the net and get it back into the water. Lovely lovely.

Not only are the illustrations really enchanting, but because there is no script, it means you as the parent can really elaborate on how the story is told. To be honest the children told most of the story- I ended up asking them loads of questions about what they thought the boy was saying, what was the octopus thinking? What do they think was going to happen next? etc. At the end of the book was a bit of information on beach safety too where they talked about not leaving rubbish on the beach to help save the animals.  It was a brilliant story to promote their language and comprehension skills. I highly recommend it.

A few days later, we had a bit of an octopus maths game based on the story we'd read. I saw a similar thing on Pinterest, but I can't find the link.

Anyway, I adapted it slightly so it suited each of the children's different levels.

For chick 2, I drew the octopus and he had to try and use his fine motor skills to pick up a cheerio and place it on each of the suckers - being totally honesty, every other cheerio went into his mouth!!

Chick 4 focused on 1:1 counting. So above each tentacle, I wrote the numbers 1-8 and he had to count out and place the correct number of cheerios for each of the arms. 

Then to Chick 6, I gave an addition problem - 1+0, 2+1, 2+2, etc. She then drew the correct number of suckers on each arm.

I'm sure there are plenty more activities that could come out of this story, which we may get around to doing later!!

Have you done any octopus games, activities and artwork? I'd love to see! Please comment and link up if you have anything to share.

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