Updated: Jun 17, 2020
You can't beat a legend that explains some sort of landscape - especially when it gives you a reason to go visiting (when this is all over!) So today's tale explains the famous Giant's Causeway in Ireland...with a little bit of teaching about hyperbole (the technical term for exaggeration)!
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BACKGROUND-BITE: As many will tell you, the Giant's Causeway was formed following a dispute between two great giants - the Irish giant Finn MacCool and the Scottish Benandonner. In Celtic mythology Finn MacCool, (or Fionn mac Cumhaill if you prefer the proper spelling), is a seriously famous mythical hunter-warrior who is always described as having been of 'extraordinary height' if not an actual giant. He is said to have lived in the 4th century and the epic stories we enjoy about him and his band of warriors called the Fianna come from a collection called the 'Fenian Cycle' (documented in the 12th century). Finn lived a pretty epic life - eating from the 'Salmon of Knowledge' as a boy, becoming a great leader, killing fire-breathing beings and leading his team through many adventures before retreating until a hill and getting ready to wake up when Ireland really needs him again...bit like Arthur! In this particular tale, he's busy flinging rocks a Scotland and much of what he got up to can still be seen today!
ACTIVITIES FOR YOUNG CHILDREN - EYFS / KEY STAGE 1 (0-7 years):
1. Listen to Oxford Owl's version of the story - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ewrK3u07Abs
2. Visit the Giant's Causeway using this virtual tour - http://panoramas.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/1/
3. Find out how landscape like the Giant's Causeway is formed - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/features/video-how-to-build-a-causeway#
4. Watch this animation - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/features/video-legend-of-finn-mccool#
5. Watch this video about the place and the tale - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qHygfkHD5TE
6. Grab some props - of the general household variety - and check out just how dramatic you can make your own re-working of our tale!
7. Try telling the story from Benandonner's perspective - here's a funny little video to help remind you how to organise your story - www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpWHZJZQDSE
8. Using story stones/dice (see my blog post about outdoor activities for kids) , devise your own adventure for Finn MacCool!
9. Create your own causeway out of saltdough or Lego!
ACTIVITIES FOR OLDER CHILDREN - FOR KEY STAGE 2-4 (8-15 years):
1. Visit the Giant's Causeway using this virtual tour - http://panoramas.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/1/
2. Find out how landscape like the Giant's Causeway is formed - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/features/video-how-to-build-a-causeway#
3. Watch this animation - https://www.nationaltrust.org.uk/giants-causeway/features/video-legend-of-finn-mccool#
4. Learn a bit more about the Giant's Causeway - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aQbyVYUob1o using TedEd.
5. Try out these tasks - https://www.tes.com/teaching-resource/the-giant-s-causeway-legend-of-finn-maccool-11011172
6. Create an comic strip or animation of the story - https://www.imagineforest.com/blog/how-to-create-a-comic-strip/ , www.storyboardthat.com/storyboard-creator https://www.canva.com/create/comic-strips/
7. Sharpen your skills before you break out your story scribbling equipment. Check out https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zs4qn39/articles/z6h72sg and remind yourself about the benefit of using hyperbole (exaggeration) in your writing. You could also try out these bits about adjectives that help you exaggerate - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/z4hrt39/articles/zj33rwx
8. Try writing the story from Benandonner's perspective - https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/guides/zwjsyrd/revision/2 , www.youtube.com/watch?v=NpWHZJZQDSE
9. Draw/design your own giant - https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Imnu6aoL3sY
10. Build a causeway out of saltdough/clay/Lego
11. Solve the mystery of how this incredible landscape was actually formed - https://www.theguardian.com/science/2018/apr/12/scientists-solve-mystery-of-how-giants-causeway-was-formed
12. Listen to more stories about Finn MacCool - https://www.mythpodcast.com/12964/95a-irish-legends-wanted/
FOR GROWNUPS - STORY-ORIENTATED ESCAPISM:
1. Enjoy some more Irish myths - http://celticmythpodshow.com/episodes/index.php!
The Mythology Book that I referred to this morning was this one - https://www.amazon.co.uk/Mythology-Book-Ideas-Simply-Explained/dp/1465473378