Explaining the fourth dimension to children

This often comes up in class when we’re talking about volume and area and Dr Who fans are always especially keen to know. My effort to explain the dimensions is to try to link it to English as follows:

One dimensional characters are just a line, a name or a signature. You don’t get much sense of the person.

Two dimensional characters are much better. You can get a 2D photo of these and imagine what they’re like. You can see expressions on their faces and decide whether they look mean, happy, funny or kind.

Three dimensional characters are better still. You can pinch them, punch them, first-of-the-month them and see how big their noses are if you walk around them.

All of these characters are still, though, Like Madame Tussaud’s figures, they don’t move. So better than all of these are four-dimensional characters. You can spend time with these characters, have midnight feasts with the,, go on holiday with them and when you throw a stinkbomb at them they will chase after you.

Couple of School Projects

There are a couple of mini-projects I thought I’d share.


The first is the FPS Zoo. Most of our Year 6 have finished exams so this is an experiment to tie in various cross-curricular themes in (hopefully) a fun way. The idea is to make a zoo full of made-up animals. Science will be looking at classifications, evolution and the like; art will be looking at life drawings of animals; geography will be looking at climates and wildlife; history will be looking at the history of exploration and animals in captivity; PSHE will be looking at endangered species and IT will be looking at presenting all this information. The site is in countdown mode with a couple of examples to show the children what could be done but I’m looking forward to seeing what they come up with.


The second is a tool for morning registrations. It’s still in development but you can see the beginnings here. Every morning there are a number of notices I always put up on the Whiteboard. These are basically general points of interest to spark some conversations (born on this day, this day in history, in the news and the like) and school messages (homeworks dues in, school concert dates etc). So I thought I’d try to automate it using some RSS feeds and Wikipedia.

Would love any feedback on either!