‘Extinction or Survival?’ – new video resource for schools

We have a new and exciting resource to share with you today, created by 60 Year 3 children from Crab Lane Community Primary School in Crumpsall.

This short video is designed to be used inside the  fabulous ‘Extinction or Survival?’ exhibition, at Manchester Museum until 20 April 2017.

The exhibition contains some difficult stories about the many species that are no longer with us, from the dodo to the Tasmanian tiger. But it also tells a story of hope: what can we do to help endangered species?

It will be of special interest to KS2 teachers who are working on ‘Living Things and their Habitats’.

To use the video, we recommend bringing tablets to the Museum and sharing them between small groups of children with an adult. You can load the video via this page, and pause it each time you see the name of a species to allow you time to find it in the exhibition. You can also pause at the ‘Over to you’ questions, as a chance to get the children thinking more deeply about the exhibition’s themes. The video can also be used outside the Museum if needed.

The children of Crab Lane would love to know what you think of their video! Let us know  by adding a comment below.

If you would like to visit ‘Extinction or Survival?’ you can do so for free, but please let us know you are coming by completing the booking enquiry form on our website. This helps ensure a great experience for you and for the other schools visiting our (very busy!) museum that day. You might also want to consider our popular KS2 session ‘Habitats and You’.

The story behind the video …

Every year, Kids in Museums ‘Takeover Day’ invites children into meaningful roles in museums and galleries. As our ‘Extinction or Survival?’ exhibition was due to open in September 2016, we thought it would be great if some children could create a really useful resource for other schools visiting the exhibition.

Using  contacts through the wonderful Schools Network Choir, we found two Year 3 teachers from Crab Lane who were really excited to do something a bit different with their classes that term.

We met up and planned an amazing series of activities for the kids: first, both classes came separately to visit the museum, to research the exhibition and to learn what makes a great tour. We all practised saying in big loud voices, “WELCOME TO MANCHESTER MUSEUM!!!”

Then, back in school, the children worked in small groups with their teachers to devise their own tours. This means that the tours are all the children’s own words – amazing.

In the meantime, staff at the Museum were busy arranging loads of great activities for Takeover Day itself. Almost every department was involved, from conservation and collections to marketing, volunteers and even the Vivarium team!

368c259d-4466-4d5e-ad31-f54c4674b335On 18 November – a cold and snowy day – all 60 kids descended on the Museum for a pretty full-on day! All the children gave their tours LIVE for members of the  public. This was incredibly brave but they had lovely clear voices and even took questions from the audience! They were also total pros being filmed by Steve from the Museum.

As well as their tours, the kids made a giant rainforest collage, helped clean objects in the conservation studios, went behind the scenes in the Entomology stores, and welcomed visitors.

At the very end of the day, all the children said they would love to work in a museum when they grow up. We can’t wait!

Manchester Museum would like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the children, teachers and other staff involved in making the project such a success. We hope you enjoy their video!

Using Collections to Write Poems: a Museum Staff Workshop by Helen Clare

Our Poet-in-Residence, Helen Clare, invited Museum staff to engage in a workshop to help them to create their own poem.  She shared with us the techniques she has used in creating her own poetry, which included the creation of ‘poemlets’ that we blogged about earlier this year. The activity also demonstrates that these techniques can be shared with visitors to facilitate using the collection as inspiration for creative writing.

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Helen on Manchester Gallery sharing her poem writing techniques with staff

Using this poemlet technique as a starting point staff were asked to find 3 or 4 objects that inspired them on from our Manchester Gallery and then use a line from their resulting poemlets to develop a longer rhyming poem. In the spirit of sharing, here’s three of my poemlets and the resulting poem I developed using various lines from each.

Once upon a time in Manchester,
Sharp and clean but only now;
A giant cat sauntered here.  – Lion’s Tooth

Illegal, bad and guilty,
A thing of beauty: look at me!
Some things were not made for blood. – Dagger

Spices, smells, so many options built over time.
Fill me, use me, breathe in my tangy scent.
Cultures clashing: a pinch of spice for everyone. – Spice Rack

Poem: Culture Clash
Some things are not made for blood,
Sharp and clean, now used for good.
The owner, once a feared man, lost in history, all but gone.
Cultures clashing: a pinch of spice for everyone.

A thing of beauty: look at me.
Come slowly closer, what might you see?
A forgotten daughter, parents and abandoned son,
Cultures clashing: a pinch of spice for everyone.

I have to say, for a Monday morning activity I am surprisingly pleased with my effort given that we only had around 40 minutes to spend on our poems. The techniques are easy enough to suggest to visitors as an activity, and we got to hear some of Helen’s Museum-inspired poetry, which is always a treat.

It can be daunting [to write poetry] but actually it was quite inspiring. It was a safe environment and Helen was very encouraging. To start out the week creating something was lovely.” – feedback from staff member.

helen-on-lc

Staff share some of their poemlets on Living Cultures

The instructions for the staff workshop can be found on Helen’s blog, but you don’t have to be a member of staff to have a go yourself. And if you can’t make it to the Museum, check out our Flickr account to see pictures of many of our objects and galleries for inspiration.

Feel free to share your work in our comments section below.


Helen will be showcasing her new schools workshop developed from this Arts Council funded project during the October Half Term.

Juice from Oranges, Rocks from Space
Wed 26 Oct
11.30am – 12.15pm & 1.30-2.15pm
A new poetry performance from Helen Clare, about exhibits from around the museum; where they came from and the journey they’ve made. There will be happy poems, sad poems, gory poems and fun poems – and opportunities for children to join in and create too.

Find out about the giant carved tusk, a moth, bloodworms, a man who was murdered and left to rot in a bog, a Greek God, Stan the T. Rex, and an ancient rock from out of space.

For children aged 8-12 and their parents/carers
Free, book on mcrmuseum.eventbrite.com or 0161 275 2648

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South Asia Inspired Creative Practitioner Wanted

Manchester Museum is proud to be supported by Children and the Arts for our final year of our Start programme funding. Our Art of Identity project ran successful in 2013-14 and in 2014-15 with a number of fantastic Creative Practitioners helping over 450 pupils in five different Secondary schools and three Primary schools to explore the topic of ‘identity’ and produce professional pieces of artwork that have been displayed in the Musuem.

MMSouthAsiaThis year, Art of Identity will expand to partner with up to ten Secondary schools in Manchester and will be linked with Manchester Museum’s exciting Capital Redevelopment Courtyard Project. This will involve the development of a permanent South Asia Gallery at Manchester Museum in partnership with The British Museum.

As a result we are looking for Creative Practitioners who have a link to South Asia or who are inspired by this part of the world to develop and deliver two workshops to all of the pupils involved in the project (c.250 KS3 pupils) – one at the Museum and another at each of the partner schools.

If you are interested, or know someone who might be, take a look at our Creative Practitioner Brief and apply before Monday 5th September at 10am.

 

Creating a School-Museum Comic

During the end of the Summer Term we were delighted to work with Cedar Mount Academy on a HEFCE National Networks for Collaborative Outreach (NNCO) Funded project. This funding allowed us to engage with a new, external partner to work with. We decided to embed the project within the Literacy framework by teaching pupils about story structure so we approached The Society of Authors Children and Illustrators Group who were able to recommend one of their amazing Writers and Illustrators: Shoo Rayner.

Cedar Mount w Shoo

Shoo Rayner sharing a story with Cedar Mount pupils

Shoo has written and illustrated hundreds of children’s books and when we told him that we wanted to create a collaborative pupil-led comic  strip he was more than up for the challenge. With Shoo on board we then organised a planning day with Cedar Mount Academy’s tutors to decide on how best to prepare the chosen pupils for their task.

It was important for us to try and find a technique of sharing the basics of story structure across multiple levels, as we wanted to involve a cross section of pupils from the whole of Year 7. This is because one of our legacy aims is to create a teacher resource to demonstrate how this approach could be utilised in the classroom, using museum collections as a prompt.

With 20 pupils identified we spent a day planning an action-packed visit to the Museum that would see them learn about story structure (using Romeo & Juliet and Harry Potter as examples), explore the collection, choose potential characters for their stories and, finally, work closely with Shoo to produce two short comic strip stories that he could then illustrate over the summer.

Cedar Mount

Cedar Mount Academy pupils with Stan the T-Rex

The pupils visited the Museum on Friday 8th July and had a lot of fun coming up with a whole series of fantastic ideas for what our Museum specimens could get up to! To say they only spent four hours with us they were brilliantly creative and having Shoo facilitate their ideas in preparation to illustrate them was a great motivator. As a thank you for all their hard work each pupil was gifted a book to read over the summer to encourage them to read outside of school.

The final illustrated stories will be printed up and create a pocket-sized comic that we hope to share with other school children that visit the Museum in 2016. In September we’ll also be asking the pupils about the stories in the books they were gifted in the hopes that learning about story structure has given them a means to summarise stories and potentially given them a scaffold to create their own stories too.

Watch this space for our reveal of the final comic book!
In the meantime, have a look at this video from Shoo’s YouTube page to hear more about the project and see one of the stories he’s been working on…

 

Interpretation from Re-Creation: Clarendon Sixth Form Photography Display

We are proud to present our annual photography display from one of our partners – Clarendon Sixth Form – called “Interpretation from Re-Creation”.

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As usual, all of the students were given a tour of various sections of the Museum stores by our fabulous curators and had chance to explore the Museum’s galleries and find elements that sparked their interest. From there, they took their inspiration to develop a shot that would be developed in the dark room to produce a striking black and white image for display in the Museum.

Every year the students’ work never fails to impress; especially when they take one aspect of the Museum’s vast collection and communicate a statement about it in just one image. We certainly set them a challenging brief, but the students often react to it with considered thought and verve. What’s great about doing this project annually is that despite certain students identifying similar areas of the collection year after year their images are always unique and take a slightly different approach: demonstrating how imaginative and individual they all are as photographers.

Not only that, but the display also allows us to share with the public the work that we do with schools and colleges in the Learning Team. It’s a great example of a collaborative partnership that benefits the students’ skill development and provides a productive outcome for us to demonstrate how powerful the Museum’s collection can be.

You can view their pictures below, but it would be much better to see the exhibition for real. Why not come to the Museum over the next couple of weeks? The students’ work will be up in our Alhambra space (off the Link bridge on Floor 1) over the Easter holidays.

 

 

 

Museum-inspired computer game characters

Before the festive break, we were delighted to support a Games Development project called ‘Chimera’, undertaken by first year Level 3 BTEC students at Preston’s College. Their brief called for a creature to be designed for use in a video game. The creature needed to have some biological basis in reality to create the illusion of something both familiar and at the same time, completely unique.

To help their design process the students visited Manchester Museum and spent the day sketching, collecting reference photography and taking part in an artist-led session using Museum specimens.

After a lot of development work back at college, the students came back to the Museum and presented their final designs to Museum staff to gain feedback. It was fascinating hearing how the designs had been created and how the visit to the Museum had inspired the students.

The project in conjunction with Manchester Museum was extremely valuable for our students. We were given access to the wide array of exhibitions on offer, had help from experts in their respective fields and we finalised our project by having our students present their work in front of a panel at the Museum. The experience has helped contextualise our students’ learning and we received constructive and supportive feedback from museum staff. The students enjoyed the challenge of the project and our staff were very grateful for such professionalism and enthusiasm from the museum staff.” – Graphics Tutor

Here are their design results:

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Creative Practitioner Opportunity: Extended

What do these portraits tell us about ancient people?

What do these portraits tell us about ancient people?

Exciting news! We are extending our closing date for Creative Practitioners to apply to work with us  and up to six partner schools on our Art of Identity project. The opportunity is  part of our third year partnership with Children and the Arts who are funding Manchester Museum as part of their Start programme.

We are looking for Artists  to deliver our project outcome of a piece of artwork that demonstrates the collective identity of each partner school using a particular artistic tenchique. Two Practitioners will work with all the pupils involved, and will be required to deliver a workshop at the Museum and another workshop in each school. Project work will be taking place in either the Spring or Summer Terms and there will be a celebration event at the Museum in 2016 to showcase the work.

Partner schools in this project are:
Droyslden Academy
Stretford Grammar School
Derby High School will be working with three of their feeder Primary schools.

If you missed it the first time around, don’t miss your chance now! Take a look at our Creative Practitioner Brief, with details on how to apply.  The new closing date for applications is Friday 16th October at 5pm.

 

Creative Practitioner Opportunity for Art of Identity Project

What do these portraits tell us about ancient people?

What do these portraits tell us about ancient people?

We’re pleased to announce that we have an exciting opportunity for two Creative Practitioners to work with the Museum and up to six partner schools on our Art of Identity project.

This fantastic opportunity is the third year of our partnership with Children and the Arts who are funding Manchester Museum as part of their Start programme.

We are searching for two Creative Practitioners to help us deliver our project outcome of a piece of artwork that demonstrates the collective identity of each partner school. Both Practitioners will work with all pupils involved, and will be required to deliver a workshop at the Museum and another workshop in each school. Project work will be taking place in either the Spring or Summer Terms and there will be a celebration event at the Museum in 2016 to showcase the work.

Partner schools in this project are:
Droyslden Academy
Stretford Grammar School
Derby High School will be working with three of their feeder Primary schools.

If you’re interested, take a look at our Creative Practitioner Brief, which will provide more details on how to apply.  Closing date for applications is Friday 9th October at 12pm.

Any queries or enquiries please contact Cat Lumb.

Opportunity for Creative Practitioner

What do these portraits tell us about ancient people?

One of the Greco-Roman Portraits

We are pleased to announce that we are recruiting for three Creative Practitioners in order to continue with our successful Art of Identity Project.

This fantastic opportunity is thanks to funding from  The Prince’s Foundation for Children and the Arts who have recently agreed to fund Manchester Museum for a second year as part of their Start programme.

We are searching for three Creative Practitioners to help us deliver our project outcome of a physical or digital piece of artwork from each partner school on the topic of Identity. Project work will be taking place in either the Spring or Summer Terms and there will be a celebration event at the Museum to showcase the work.

If you would like to apply, take a look at our Creative Practitioner Brief, which will provide more details on how to apply.  Closing date for applications is Wednesday 3rd September at 5pm.

Any queries or inquiries please contact Cat Lumb.

If you are interested in seeing some of the work produced from our first year you can visit the Museum to see the students’ work which is displayed in our reception area until September 5th.

The Art of Identity 2014 Display of this year's student work

The Art of Identity 2014
Display of this year’s student work

 

Manchester Museum Camp

DSC_7073On Friday 13 June 2014 the Museum welcomed a group of young adults from the Charity Pure Innovations – who support people with a disability and disadvantaged groups to lead better lives.

The group have all completed their Bronze Duke of Edinburgh Award and are now embarking on their Duke of Edinburgh, Silver Award.

Some members of the group had never camped away from home or with their peers before.

As part of their award the adventurous, excited young adults, arrived at the Museum at 7 pm on the eve of a full moon to sleep overnight in the Museum.

On arrival they set up camp, and got acquainted with their surroundings.

They enjoyed and participated in a series of activities from torch lit tours, to building pyramids, to handling ancient Egyptian artefacts and taking digital photographs of their favourite exhibits.

The group had bundles of energy and excitement, however when it was time for lights out, they all slept soundly until 7am in the morning.

At the end of their overnight visit they met Adam Bland, our Vivarium Assistant who gave them a tour of the Museum’s Vivarium (Live Animals gallery) and introduced the group to some of the Museum’s animals, including snakes, tree frogs and chameleon.

Find out more about their experience at Pure Innovations blog:

http://www.pureinnovations.co.uk/fun-at-duke-of-edinburgh-camp-at-manchester-museum/

We look forward to seeing the participants at the Museum again soon.

Vicky Grant, Family Programme Coordinator