Are you looking to stretch and challenge the curious young minds in your life? In need of homeschooling inspiration? Then Oxplore is here for you!
We’ve made a handy activity sheet that will help you get started with Oxplore. All of our content is free and informed by the latest research from the University of Oxford. Click the link to download: http://bit.ly/OxploreActivities.
Below are the ideas included in the activity sheet with a bit more contextual information. For example, each of the short tasks are designed to help children practise learning and research skills which are valued in a range of subjects. Look out for the ‘Good practice for’ sections below for more specific details about this.
- Watch your big ideas get bigger!
Visit oxplore.org and find a Big Question that intrigues you. Draw a thought bubble and write the question inside.
Around your thought bubble, jot down your first impressions. This could include:
- what you already know about this topic
- your opinion on the question
- other views that could be taken
Look at the Big Question materials and add to your ideas. What have you learnt? Did anything surprise you? What would you like to learn more about? Could there be an interesting subject to study which is related to this topic? (Check out the ‘Take this further’ resource in the ‘Read more’ section for subject ideas).
Good practice for: summarising existing and new knowledge; considering multiple perspectives; challenging preconceptions; forming a balanced opinion.
- Cooking up a Big Question
Take a look through two or three of Oxplore’s Big Questions.
Create an ingredients list for a ‘perfect’ Big Question. If you’re feeling particularly creative you could write this in the style of a recipe e.g.
‘First stir in a range of ideas from different subjects… Next, spoon in a dollop of…’.
Once you’ve done this, try thinking up your own Big Question. Is there a topic that has always interested you? If you could ask a professor at a university like Oxford anything, what would you say? Look back at your recipe to make sure your question is suitably BIG! Click to send us your ideas.
Struggling for ideas, have a look at our word clouds and sample question formats to gain some inspiration.
To take this further, try completing our planning sheet to help you devise how you would go about finding answers to your Big Question:
Good practice for: Identifying the codes and convention of a text; evaluating what makes a text effective; being playful and creative with language; identifying personal interests; suggesting new ideas adopting an existing format; creating a research plan.
- Sending Big Questions with love
Select a Big Question and learn more about a topic that interests you.
Take a postcard-size piece of paper. On one side, write down some of the key points made in the question and what it has made you think e.g.
‘Dear…, today I learnt about…. Some people argue that… while others suggest… Something that surprised me is… Overall, I think that…
Postcards are short texts, so make your points as concisely as you can.
On the other side, create an artistic representation of the question. You could write down the question itself or add drawings which relate to the topics covered. Get creative!
Maybe you could send your postcard to a friend. Remember to include our url – oxplore.org – so they know where to look!
Good practice for: Summarising ideas; writing concisely; adopting the codes and conventions of a particular text (i.e. a postcard); expressing ideas artistically and through a different medium.
- What’s the BIG idea?
While browsing the homepage, you may have noticed that we’ve grouped our Big Questions into themes. To do this activity you’ll need to close your eyes to this! No peeping!
Scroll past the first 3 sections of the homepage until the Big Questions appear randomly in grids that look like this:
Try to categorise the Big Questions you see using your own themes. Aim for 5-8 themes in total. Were there any questions that sat in more than one group or were really tricky to sort? Jot down your findings.
Good practice for: Making connections between ideas; categorising content; recording and explaining observations.
Keeping in touch
We’d love to hear how you’re using our resources and engaging with our Big Questions.
Stay in touch via @Letsoxplore on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook.
Ask us a question: firstname.lastname@example.org