Creative topic: Seaside hotel

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By Moira Andrewauthor, poet-in-schools and former headteacher

Brighten up the cold winter days with an exciting project that brings the seaside to your classroom

Holidays loom large on everyone’s horizon from the dark days of winter right up to the time when we pack our bags and set off. Key Stage 1 children are no exception, and this creative project aims to provide a rich resource that develops key skills and engages children in a range of practical and enjoyable activities.

The children will take on the roles of problem-solvers and designers, asking and answering questions such as Where will we build our hotel? What will it look like? and How can we make it special? They will work through the various elements of the project and will be involved in creative learning as they consider the ideal location for the hotel, how to advertise local amenities, and design gardens and bedrooms.

You will need

Map showing the nearest seaside location to your own school, or the fictional map of Sandy Bay (see attached resource below); interactive whiteboard; hotel brochures; holiday artefacts such as a sunhat, bucket and spade, shells and so on; boxes; strong glue; paint; sticky tape; safety scissors; pipe-cleaners; tissue paper; papier-mâché; pebbles; small safety mirror; sand from sand tray; modelling clay; felt-tipped pens; paper.

Getting started

Talking about holidays

Ask the children to sit in a circle and introduce the project to the whole class. Encourage them to talk about different kinds of holidays they have enjoyed in the past, whether they are seaside, farm holidays or foreign trips. Discuss what was special about each one. Did they enjoy the travelling, sunshine, making friends and so on?

Show the seaside artefacts and ask the children what kind of holiday needs a bucket and spade. Lead in to holidays by the sea, by talking about building a sandcastle with the bucket and spade, decorating it with shells and filling the moat. Try to set the scene in word pictures, describing the beach, sand and the sound of the waves. Ask the children, As well as making sandcastles, what other things can you do at the seaside? Make a list of favourite activities on the whiteboard, for example, swimming, sunbathing, sailing and fishing.

Encourage the group to think about where you stay when you go on holiday. For example, in a cottage, tent, caravan or B&B. Do the children know what B&B stands for? Do they know what makes a hotel different to the other places?

Thinking about hotels

Talk to the class about why we use hotels. Explain how they provide us with a room while we are away from home. Make sure that the children realise that we have to pay to stay at a hotel. Do they know that most hotels have lots of bedrooms, a dining room, a place to sit and watch TV, gardens and a pool? Look through the brochures and compare amenities in different hotels.

Explain that you are going to build a model hotel in the classroom and that they will be the designers. Tell them to close their eyes and imagine their ideal hotel. Ask, What colour is it painted? What do you see that tells you it’s a hotel? What can you hear? (remember it’s by the sea) and so on.

Creating your seaside home

1. Making the hotel special

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