What to do with this activity?
The Irish primary school curriculum for 3rd and 4th class (around ages 8 to 10) has a strand that encourages kids to get to know their local area.
Discover and explore the local area with your child. Is there a river, hill, lake, bog, sea coast nearby? Did the natural features of the landscape have an influence on what was built there - a bridge, a mill, a port, a town or city? If you live in a town or city, was it shaped by the natural features? Find out the names of places near you and talk about whether the names are there for a reason. For instance, place names that start with "Knock" are from the Irish "cnoc" for hill; or those that start with "Rath" meant there was a fort there.
Have a look at Google maps for your area and switch to the Satellite View (bottom left corner) to see your area from the air. Encourage your child to draw their own map of places that are important to them.
Why am I doing this?
Writing is like a muscle – the more your child practises it the stronger their writing ability will become. Your child is also more likely to write about things they like or are interested in – writing is a way to express yourself and using writing in this way can be more meaningful to a child. Word searches and crosswords can help with pattern recognition and spelling, and help build vocabulary and spelling.
How can I do more?
Give your child lots of opportunities to write - notes, birthday cards, emails or text messages. Encourage your child to make and write their own books about something they are interested in, for example, cars, dinosaurs, fairies or dogs. They can draw or stick in their own pictures.
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