Colour and Pattern - Elmer

'Elmer' by David McKee was our next story for our Colour and Pattern topic - as you can see from our herd of milk bottle elephants! We listened to lots of different Elmer stories and watched them on You Tube too - we even watched and listened as the author and illustrator David McKee read his own story!

Here we are doing some elephant-themed maths. As our Number Ninja number was 7, we made a herd of 7 elephants each holding onto the tail of the elephant in front using their trunk! We counted carefully and found the number 7 on our number fans and number lines. We also practised moving along a number track. We rolled the dice, subitised to find the number of dots (that's when we just look at an arrangement of dots and say how many there are), then moved our elephant that many spaces along the number track. 


We used the maths equipment to show 7 in as many different ways as we could. We needed to count carefully to make sure we had the right amount. Here we are showing we know 7 is made from 6 and 1 more, 5 and 2 more, and 4 and 3 more.


As we were doing 7, we used the 7 colours of the rainbow to practise forming the number 7. We looked at a picture of a rainbow to get the colours in the correct order and traced inside an outline of a 7 with each colour before writing our own 7 below.

Neat job Antelopes!


We even thought about number 7 as we were making our elephant-shaped biscuits!

Once we had weighed and tipped and poured and mixed and sieved and stirred the mixture we were ready to roll and cut out elephant shapes! Mrs Guppy cooked our biscuits in the school kitchen and when they had cooled down we decorated them with squares of coloured icing. How many pieces did we have to put on? That's right.....7!



We made colourful patterned elephants by tracing carefully over lines and patterns, then used these as a basis for some reading and writing activities. Again we made wordbanks to support our writing. This time we sounded out the pattern word or an adult sounded it our for us, then we drew the pattern next to it. There were l-oo-p-s, s-t-ar-s, z-i-g-z-a-g-s and other pattern words. After using our phonics to blend the sounds and read the words, the next day we wrote down the sounds we could hear in pattern words when we said them. These were useful when we wrote a description of the patterns we could see on our pen control Elmers. 



In pen disco we practised some of the patterns we had been drawing. We listened to 'True Colours' as in the story Elmer showed his true colours when the rain washed off the grey berry juice he had used to cover over his colourful patchwork squares!

We learnt how to use rulers to make horizontal and vertical lines in coloured pencil on an Elmer outline to give him a patchwork effect..........


.....and we carefully placed colourful dot stickers along different lines to make a patterned Elmer. We needed to be accurate in placing our stickers and had to persevere and keep going, although it took a long time. We were proud with the finished results and were pleased we didn't give up!



We each made a puffy Elmer by painting inside the squares on Elmer outlines - one facing left and one facing right, then these were cut out and stapled together around the edges ready for us to fill them with scrunched up balls of newspaper!



We used playdough, rollers and cutters to create patterned elephants and used different collage materials to make our elephants colourful and patterned just like the elephants did in the story, where all the elephants decorate themselves brightly on one day of the year, Elmer's Day.......all except Elmer who decorated himself ordinary elephant colour!


Miss Wheatley challenged us to try to make a 3D elephant model using Multilink. We needed to include a body, head, four legs and a trunk. It was quite tricky working out how to join the cubes together, but here are some of our amazing elephant models showing the different ideas we had. Great thinking Antelopes!



To create our milk bottle Elmers we started off with the top of a plastic milk bottle and covered it with lots of squares of brightly coloured tissue paper and plenty of PVA glue. Again we needed to persevere to make our models look their best. We made cardboard ears and covered these in tissue paper too, and attached these and a wool tassel that we had made for a tail. Finally it was time for some googly eyes. As soon as we put these on our milk bottles were transformed into unique elephants each with their own special character - just like each of the Antelopes! Here are some of us standing with our Elmers!


Can you spot yours in our herd of elephants on small world?

And what about in these photos? Miss Wheatley took a photo of them looking out of our classroom window wondering where all the Antelopes had gone!

And Miss Ellana couldn't resist taking a photo of the elephant bottoms and their cute tassel tails!

The end!