Rang-tan takeover of Year 5 English lessons!

It started as a simple writing exercise in Mr Hall's Year 5 English class, but has now assumed a life of its own. . .

After watching Greenpeace's Rang-tan video, the boys were asked to create a piece of writing, imagining that they were the Rang-tan.  Firstly, they used stills from the video to develop descriptive ideas and then studied an extract from Morpurgo's Kensuke's Kingdom, which featured the main character experiencing similar fear to the orangutan. The boys then did some shared writing to try out out some different sentence structures before individually writing their own piece. 

At QEH Juniors, we believe that children's writing should be celebrated and shared and not hidden in exercise books and so the young writers performed their pieces in front of a green screen and used stills from the Greenpeace video as backgrounds in their films.  The results can be seen in the video below.

Year 5 perform their descriptive writing

The pupils were very moved by the plight of the orangutans and wanted to do more to help them.  They shared their work with Greenpeace and the World Wildlife Fund and Greenpeace rewarded their efforts with some Greenpeace goodies.

The boys wanted to contact multinational companies who had signed the Healthy Rainforest Charter in 2010 but were now running out of time to comply with the Charter by 2020.  Once again, technology lent a hand as they created a video using Adobe Spark to petition these companies to honour their pledge. Their message was sent to the companies via social media, demonstrating to the boys that social media can be a force for good.  And these companies have replied, explaining their progress to date and what their future plans are.

A letter sent to multinational companies

At QEH Juniors, we are not tied to the National Curriculum and this freedom allows us to deliver lessons which enthuse the boys and stretch their learning in new directions.  The Rang-tan project culminated in the publication of an ebook, which was available to download from the iBookstore.  Book sales raised enough money to enable Year 5 to adopt an orangutan with the WWF.  

A shorter version of the ebook can be viewed here.