Hawthorn and Poplar enjoyed their first trip of the year, to the River and Rowing Museum in Henley-on-Thames. Learning about our current reading book for the year group, The Wind in the Willows, they were immersed in illustrations and props from the story from the first minute we arrived. They began the day with a smidgeon of acting, pretending to be the proud (and rather loud) Toad of Toad Hall. They were then given a series of tasks to explore: Handling real Victorian artefacts that would have been present in the scenes of the book; deciding which adjectives best described the habitats of the four main characters; discussing and finding examples of the running theme of friendship, in the story and finally, dressing up!
The children walked down to the river and looked at the habitats in which the characters would have dwelled: A meadow for Moley, ‘Cold bath stream’, for the water-vole and Mr Toad and the woodland, for Badger and the dastardly stoats and weasels. They were even introduced to the ‘Willows’ themselves and we all observed a slight wind blowing in them. After lunch, the children were treated to a small gift from the shop and looked around the exhibition area. They were most impressed by the interactive exhibits – especially the scary, wild wood!
All in all, they enjoyed a day of varied activities and learning which kept them well-engaged. Hopefully, this will have enriched their experience of the book and brought it to life, more vividly, in their imaginations.