KS2 Science and Literacy Workshops
Suitable for Years 3, 4, 5, 6
Helping teachers and parents to inspire children to be creative thinkers, wide readers and boundless writers.
The May’s Moon trilogy follows 13-year-old Michael May in his quest to become the first child astronaut. It's a story about following dreams and what happens when those dreams hurtle towards reality.
Although fiction, the more I researched about our journeys into space, the more fascinated I became in space exploration. That’s why these stories include a substantial amount of space and science fact.
This led to me developing KS2 workshops, which combine science and space education with my own writing process.
I've delivered these cross-curricular workshops to schools, libraries, bookshops and at festivals. I’ve worked with primary schools on the Tim Peake Principia Mission project, with a local Space Academy and like to meet astronauts whenever possible.
Workshop benefits for teachers:
- Sessions are cross-curricular and interactive.
- Workshops are inclusive and cater for a variety of learning needs and styles.
- All materials are supplied.
- Any pre-reading material is supplied.
- Follow up material to enhance learning outcomes is supplied.
Workshop benefits for pupils:
- With clear links to the national curriculum, workshop sessions encourage creativity, imagination and a positive learning experience.
- Sessions combine a variety of learning methods and styles to suit varying learning needs.
- Workshops are designed to increase knowledge, skills and confidence in a fun environment.
- Follow up material gives pupils the opportunity to continue practicing skills and acquiring knowledge.
Workshop: Could you be an Astronaut?
A space-themed session on what it takes to become an astronaut and what life is like in space.
Workshop: From the Moon to Mars
A science-based workshop about the current developments in space and what it means for us. Interactive group work on our future plans for space exploration.
Workshop: Launch your Story
With the May’s Moon trilogy as the backdrop, this workshop focuses on the building blocks of story writing: Character, Setting, Plot and Openings. Workshop content and learning objectives
I have a number of free resources for teachers in the form of downloadable / printable information and articles.
Feel free to download the pages or articles you require. Please ensure that the copyright and author information is not deleted i.e. please acknowledge that you obtained the information from the S.Y. Palmer website and that permission is granted solely for educational purposes.
Workshop reviews from Teachers and Pupils
Firstly, I wanted to say a massive thank you for such a wonderful workshop – it has been the best virtual workshop we have had so far! The children would not stop talking about it all afternoon. We will start writing our stories this week and will pick a few to send on to you – the children are now competing to get their work chosen.
Tildy - "I really liked it because we got to use our imagination lots, we got to come up with our own ideas and just write what we were thinking down on paper."
Esme - "It was really interesting and I liked the part where we had to make things up for a story and give the characters a background."
Ben - " thought it was really fun."
Zak - "I learnt about why Sue made the book Mays Moon and I learnt how to write stories, describe settings and make our own characters."
Evi: “I loved making our own stories, our own characters. It was so much fun.”
Bailey: “I really enjoyed the work and had an amazing time doing story writing, it was a top workshop, it was excellent.”
Cherisse: “I really enjoyed learning about the full outfit of an astronaut, I was shocked that they wore diapers and everything else too!”
Chloe: “We made our own characters from cutting up magazines and learnt cool info about space, all of it was good fun.”
The UII girls were fortunate to spend the day with local author Sue Palmer who published her debut children’s book ‘May’s Moon’ 4 days before Tim Peake’s launch as the first British astronaut to go to the International Space Station. The girls had enjoyed reading the first chapter of the book during the Easter holidays which details Michael May’s first test in a neutral buoyancy pool with ten other children who have been accepted onto the ‘Children’s Moon Program’ in Florida to win a place on the next mission to the moon. Sue showed the girls her Moon globe and ‘Jim’ her model astronaut (which took 8 hours to build) in his ‘Extravehicular Mobility Unit’ (EMU) or space suit. The girls learnt about the order in which an astronaut gets dressed into their EMU including the essential ‘nappy’ for when they are outside of the Space Station. Sue talked about the breakthroughs in Science that have been achieved by the astronauts experiments including growing rocket seeds from the International Space Station - the girls will be planting our own 'space seeds' soon. The girls very excitedly took a test of their own whereby they had to work in teams to put together a jigsaw using thick gloves. Several girls purchased books and had them personally signed by Sue. Sue’s talk was incredibly informative and inspiring and hopefully will encourage the girls to continue to read ‘May’s Moon’ and to go on to study Science or Engineering... maybe one day we will see an UII Abbey girl as next British astronaut to go into space!
Could you be an astronaut? That was the question posed to Form 1 pupils when children's author Mrs S.Y. Palmer visited the College as part of a project organised by the English and Science Departments. Based on her novel, May’s Moon, the story of a 13 year-old budding astronaut, Mrs Palmer’s workshop explored what it means to live and work in space. Pupils were delighted to receive a signed copy of May’s Moon after the workshop. Head of English Matt Coolin said: “We’re very pleased to offer an activity that sparks an interest in writing and Science in young people. We are now looking at other ways that English and STEM subjects can work together to provide opportunities for our students.”
We really enjoyed your visit - you were brilliant with the kids. They were really inspired and fascinated by your awesome presentation all about space. We have a good number of children reading your book right now - I will try and arrange a book review before the summer holiday. All the best with the book and your school visits. Thank you again - we really appreciated your visit.