This lesson covers the sowing of flax seeds and the harvesting of the mature flax plants. It considers the impact of the process on the rural workforce involved in flax growing and the Ulster-Scots words they would have used. Pupils have an opportunity to use historical evidence to sequence photographs and use ICT to create a short animation which represents the stages of flax sowing to the stacking into ‘stooks’.
Main Areas of Curricular Focus
- understand how flax was grown and harvested in the past;
- compare how the harvesting of crops is different today;
- explore historical evidence from photographs to justify their opinions;
- become familiar with, and be able to use, relevant Ulster-Scots vocabulary related to the linen industry; and
- develop their ICT skills of Express, Evaluate and Exhibit when using appropriate animation software to represent the stages of flax growing from sowing to the stacking into ‘stooks’.
- broadcast sowing
Today we are going to learn how the seeds grow into plants and how the flax plants were harvested in the past.
Display the first screen of Resource 1.5: Stages of Growing Flax (IWB) showing the four stages in a random sequence. Now distribute Resource 1.6: Stages of Growing Flax (Cards) depicting the four stages and ask pupils to put the series of pictures in order using evidence from the pictures to support their decision making.
Once the pupils have put the stages in order, take feedback. Now display the second screen of Resource 1.5 showing the pictures in the correct sequence from sowing to flower, then to pulling and finally to stacking beets. You can provide more information about each stage to clarify what happens in each picture, see Resource 1.7: Teacher Information Card.
Display the third screen of Resource 1.5: Stages of Growing Flax showing the vocabulary relevant to flax planting and harvesting (sowing, growing, pulling, stacking into ‘stooks’) and discuss with pupils what each word means.
Play the video showing pulling/harvesting flax in action and ask pupils to listen for the vocabulary they have just learned. (You should watch the first five minutes of this clip which shows the flax being pulled more recently on a farm in Northern Ireland, and how things changed as machines were introduced to help with the pulling.)
Take time here to discuss with pupils the physical demands of the work and the contrast between harvesting long ago and in more recent times. Answers should be based on what they see in the video and also on the spoken comments of the narrator.
Remind pupils that the seed was sown in April. The plants were harvested in July–August. The plant is called the flax plant but in Ulster-Scots was known as ‘lint’. You may also introduce pupils to the following Ulster-Scots words:
- ‘lint watter’ – the water in the flax dam;
- ‘the stanes aff’ – the stones were lifted off; and
- ‘wat lint’ – retted flax just taken from the dam.
UICT Assessment Task: Amazing Animation (Levels 3-5) - In this task, pupils are required to work in a small group to produce a short animation showing the stages from flax sowing to the stacking into ‘stooks’.
UICT Assessment Task: iMovie Magic (Levels 1-5) requires pupils to work individually or in a small group using an iPad, to produce a short film, for a particular audience. Depending on the level at which the pupil is working, the movie may include a combination of still images, moving images, text and sound.
Pupils may work in pairs or small groups to storyboard/collage their work in preparation for their animation/movie task. See Active Learning and Teaching Methods for Key Stages 1&2, page 14 for guidance on this Collage Activity.
You may wish to use TS&PC Thinking Card: Sorting out how you can do this task to help pupils to manage themselves.
Pupils should be encouraged to incorporate some Ulster-Scots words into their storyboard.
Distribute Resource 1.8: Storyboard (Template) which is divided into boxes for planning of this activity.
- broadcast sowing
Provide pupils with an opportunity to view each other’s work and talk about what they have created using the Ulster-Scots vocabulary that has been introduced in this lesson. Distribute Resource 1.9: Today’s Lesson Tweet (Template).
- broadcast sowing
If you wish to assess pupils’ responses to this lesson, see the suggestions below.
You may wish to use the:
- ICT Assessment Task: Amazing Animation (Levels 3-5)
- UICT Assessment Task: iMovie Magic (Levels 1-5)
- broadcast sowing
Additional Pupil Activity
Pupils may either draw or use an online app in cartoon style to show the stages of the flax plant.
- Draw Cartoons (Android Tablets)
- Comic Life (iPad)
Pupils should aim to include:
- the process of sowing;
- the process of weeding;
- the plant with blue flower appearing; and
- ‘pulling/pooin’ and gathering into ‘beets’.
- broadcast sowing
Links to Curriculum
Cross-Curricular Skills: Communication
Children should be given opportunities to engage with and demonstrate the skill of communication and to transfer their knowledge about communication concepts and skills to real-life meaningful contexts across the curriculum. (Language and Literacy)
Talking and Listening
- Participate in group discussion about the flax seeds using some Ulster-Scots words;
- Prepare and give a short oral presentation to a familiar group for example, using the KWL grid (Know - Want to learn - Learned); and
- Identify and ask appropriate questions to seek information, views and feelings.
- Use traditional and digital sources to locate, select, evaluate and communicate information relevant for a particular task; and
- Represent their understanding of text in a range of ways, including visual, oral dramatic and digital.
- Write for a variety of purposes and audiences, selecting, planning and using appropriate style and form; and
- Create, organise, refine and present ideas using traditional and digital means combining text, sound or graphics.
Cross-Curricular Skills: Using Information and Communications Technology
Using Information and Communications Technology across the curriculum has the potential to transform and enrich pupils' learning experiences and environments.
Across the curriculum, at a level appropriate to their ability, pupils should develop their ICT skills to:
- create, develop, present and publish ideas and information responsibly using a range of digital media and manipulate a range of assets to produce multimedia products.
- talk about, review and make improvements to work, reflecting on the process and outcome and consider the sources and resources used, including safety, reliability and acceptability.
- manage and present their stored work and showcase their learning across the curriculum, using ICT safely and responsibly.
Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities
- Thinking, Problem-Solving and Decision-Making (UICT Assessment Task: Amazing Animation (Levels 3-5))
- Self-Management (TS&PC Thinking Card: Sorting out how you can do this task)
- Being Creative (UICT Assessment Task: Amazing Animation (Levels 3-5))
The World Around Us: History
Using historical evidence from photographs to explore:
- Ways in which the use of natural resources through time have affected the local and global environment; and
- Technological change and the impact of inventions over time.
- Places then and now and how our identity, way of life has been shaped by influences from the local and wider world.
Change over time
- Comparing an aspect of the Ulster-Scots community over a long period of time, for example, farming and harvesting.
The World Around Us: Science and Technology
- Plants and plant growth; and
- The main stages in the lifecycle of some living things for example flax seeds.
- Why materials are chosen for their use.
Active Learning and Teaching Methods
Active Learning and Teaching Methods for Key Stage 2
These active teaching and learning approaches encourage active participation from pupils, making the learning a more relevant and enjoyable experience.
Pupils work in pairs or small groups to storyboard/collage their work in preparation for their animation/movie task.