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Just good ideas


Creativity is about good lesson ideas

Gavin Sterry has sent two interesting PowerPoint presentations which he has used with GCSE students; the first activity is for pupils to create a TV interview about coastal erosion; the second is an animation of the Holderness Coast. 

These PowerPoint slides can be used as backdrops projected onto the whiteboard for a KS4 coasts role-play activity. The instructions for the activity are as follows: 
Assign one of the following roles to each group of 3 or 4 pupils: 
Local councillor (slide 2 Town Hall backdrop)
Insurance company (slide 3 Office backdrop) 
University professor (slide 4 University backdrop)
Civil engineer (slide 5 Building site backdrop) 
Resident (slide 6 High St backdrop)
The pupils must then prepare for a TV interview in which they will have to explain their views on coastal erosion. Pupils in each group must also think up at least one question for each other group of actors. The questions to ask other groups must be formulated from the point of view of the actor they represent initially, but once they have a question for each group, this may develop. Clearly the idea can be adapted very simply for other applications. The original idea for these slides came from a colleague in the history department, Miss Sally-Ann Nicklin.

Holderness Coast cliff slumping animation 

Water Cycle lesson

This is an active lesson on the hydrological cycle for Y7 or Y8, it is a role play based on the journey of a water molecule. The resources are all contained in this Publisher file. Thank you to Kuldip Birdi from Newbold Community School, Chesterfield, Derbyshire. There is a good Water Cycle animation here

Wild Weather: Hurricanes

Dan Denker, formerly Cannock Chase High School, but now Head of Geography at King Edward VI Girls' School in Handsworth has sent these resources for a lesson on hurricanes, it works best using the Wild Weather DVD on digital projector in combination with PowerPoint and could easily be transformed for interactive whiteboard. 

Lesson Plan                            A Question of Weather (PowerPoint)
Extreme Weather starter          How are these images linked (PPT) Cause and Effect grid               Banana activity

Have you got the energy?

p6130308.jpg (678543 bytes)These resources relate to a series of lessons for Year 9 on Energy, using 3 of the thinking hats . All the resources, commentary, music and photos are included apart from the Power Point as the images used are from the Animation Factory. Marie Hart, Head of Humanities, Head of Geography, AST, Barnwell School, Hertfordshire.

Commentary for teachers      Instructions for pupils
Group allocation                   Pre lesson slip
Graphic organiser 1              Graphic organiser 2
Voting slip                           The classroom (image)
Music track

GB1.jpg (113370 bytes)Alleyne's High School, Stone - Pretend Real Purpose and Audience

Bob Jones has sent us this work from a more able year 9 pupil.  Bob uses the web to support extending more able pupils.   
The full story & downloadable file here!


wpe1.gif (12848 bytes)A more recent piece of work from the same unit, this is a PowerPoint presentation Divided Britain, by 2 Y9 pupils at Alleynes High, in Stone. 

 Musical geography of tourism

What about music to stimulate creativity? Sarah Todd, Melissa Gardner and Sally Heppenstall at Stanchester School in Somerset make you smile again.

They have some  groovy lesson ideas using music - Here is a lesson idea and resources that we have used for a lesson inspired by the movie 51 First Dates (the theme tune is the Beach Boys 'Wouldn't it be nice)! This lesson plan is used to show how we are currently team teaching - Further information is in an article in Teaching Geography about Team Teaching this year (we have a room devoted to this).

They use a lot of lyrics and music to teach Geography. They do a Eurovision Weather Song Contest (peer assessment), a song to describe the way Delta's are formed (inspired by Barry Manilow 'Her name was Lola') and a Christmas Refugee Song (this produced beautiful lyrics and songs from Year 9 - again it was peer assessed). It seems to go down well. For coastal erosion they use the mnemonic CASH and dance/sing to the tune of YMCA (Year 11). They are UFA fellows and trying to meet the needs of all learners - music appeals to so many!

 Communicating Geography

What a brilliant project to get more geography in the ICT curriculum and what potential for geographers...Chris Durbin

'The project I am now working on involves schools swapping CDs with recordings of pupils talking about their lives/ areas they live in etc. It is in many ways a development of the Database Discovery Project. The pupils record a 3 or 4 minute video talking about themselves and their lives and this is put on a CD and swapped with another school. This has enormous potential in terms of purposeful interaction between pupils from different cultures. You will realise the citizenship benefits.

In Swanshurst, where I am now head of ICT, we are going to get our Yr 8 pupils to use TAG cameras to record information about themselves, our technical staff will then put the video films on to CD. This is a bit like video conferencing but the video material is recorded not live. ( recorded TV is always better than live! )

The Head of ICT in the Chase School in Malvern has agreed to swap CDs with Swanshurst. I am looking for other schools to participate. Swanshurst school has 70%+ Asian pupils The Chase School is almost 100% white. The idea of swapping CDs is to break down cultural barriers/ improve understanding between different cultures.

I would be extremely pleased if you know of a school which might like to participate.'

Brian Thomas, Swanshurst School, Birmingham

Swanshurst Birmingham

South AfricaA great part of this site is the work Guy Shears and the geography department has been doing in South Africa with their link school Ntafufu as part of a Link Community Development's Global Teacher Programme visit; Contrasts in South Africa shows rural/urban contrasts in accessible way for all ages, plus contrasts within the urban area. The site also promotes Geography teachers use of video lessons when on holiday.

newsite.gif (147 bytes)Weather and climate creativity

Thanks to Sue Sturman for this unit of work which combines ICT work with creative activity a combination of teaching sound geography with some creative tasks.

There are some word files and some publisher files. Most are only small. Right click on the link and save target as.

newsite.gif (147 bytes)Planners of the future

This is a grade 12 activity from South Africa which uses clip art as the tools for designing a plan for a city. It has very clear assessment criteria.

I would like someone to have a go at it adapt for UK schools. Download it by right clicking on the picture and 'save target as'

Thanks to John Alexander, The International School of Hout Bay ( Cape Town) in South Africa. Their web page is http://www.iscthoutbay.org.za/


newsite.gif (147 bytes)Earthquake planning

Thanks to Ian Langrish and the year 9 pupil at Tiffin School, Kingston-upon-Thames who sent this very artistic leaflet for warning people about Earthquakes.

How do we ensure quality geography with creativity? In this case it certainly has. It is interesting that the pupil has combined drawing with ICT

Chris Durbin

Exploding volcanoes and geography detectives

dscf0001.jpg (80983 bytes) dscf0002.jpg (91094 bytes) dscf0019.jpg (86485 bytes)

Iceland has been the inspiration for many a lesson. This last week we have been making exploding volcanoes as a response to some things we looked  on our trip (see enclosed photos). I have also taught a series of lessons entitled ' Becoming Geography Detectives' using the Iceland photos. Pupils were given different pieces of evidence they had to collate and work out as much as possible about the country. Included questioning skills, looking for detailed evidence and presenting their ideas. That probably makes no sense but it worked so well. A lesson where they managed to become Geographers rather than just learn the subject. Jo Hazell, Head of Geography, St Bartholomew's School, Newbury

This is what Jo said about it:I split the class into groups and gave them an Iceland photo on a particular theme. Having discussed some of the important qualities of good group work (looks like/ sounds like) and the skills of good geography detectives (a good geography detective is/has....), I then got them using questioning boards for to generate questions about their photo (some interesting results!). The lesson then progressed to collecting evidence from a variety of resources and questioning other groups until they had to each present (as a detective would) a summary of their evidence and main findings (With prizes for best detective work). Sounds bizarre I know, but it worked really well and they were hooked! I was impressed with the questions they generated (a part of the Geography levels I always struggle with) and with the things they pieced together. I didn't need to teach them a great deal, they were able to work a lot of things out from the evidence.

Decision making - is creativity

This factory location exercise is designed to get young people thinking about geography - location and therefore geography matters. 

Download Design a factory

This activity from Steve Gibbons of Sandbach School is available for you to experiment with. Any other creative decision making exercises out there?

Webcams, Weather and the World

Tony Cassidy has offered two ways to use webcams for out of class activities using the web.  Have you any further ideas

Download these word documents:

Weather around the UK allows young people to examine the weather at different sites across the UK

Webcams around the world allows young people to look at places they might like to visit and why.  WHY NOT is as important as why!

World Sporting patterns for more able students

Steve Smiths independent learning  approach at King Edward VII School in Chelmsford, students investigate world sport.

Download and have a look at these:

World tennis map and data 350mb
World athletes map and data 170mb
Male Olympic Medal winners 130mb
Female Olympic Medal winners 130mb

Here are the instruction and assessment  sheets

Sporting fever offers other ideas for you.

Madeley Maps Creativity 

Gill Butterfield of Madeley High School, Newcastle-under-Lyme, has with year 7 pupils on how the world is represented and how different types on information are displayed on maps.  They are given a free hand to do what they like.  The outcomes here are wonderful and they are not all from the brightest pupils.

Click on the wonderful cartoon map of the world to find out more!

Don't go chasing waterfalls -make themLaura-Thompson.jpg (45836 bytes)!
Jean Boyling from King Edward VI School, Lichfield every year gives her students the opportunity to create models of waterfalls.

Why not give students the opportunity to be creative in geography.  It will help them understand it better.

Read more about it!

Independent enquiries - applying your knowledge and understanding of climate change

Gareth Stockton, offers this resource which is about the Pacific, a world away from the UK but only a few metres above sea level

  Who will drown the Marshall Islands? (MSWord document)
The Marshall Islands Word Mat? (MSWord document)

This role play is about argument based on evidence. The pupils prepare a case which explains the plight of the coral atoll nation if sea level rises. They research independently with the teacher guiding, questioning and focussing the pupil on quality.  Pupils need to develop understanding of Pacific Islands and their geography. They need to look at the relationship between global climate change and localities. There is literacy support that could be adapted for lower ability pupils. The word mat encourages them to use key terms.  

wspage1.jpg (218321 bytes) Edgecliff High School - World Sport - Decision making and route planning

John Sharkey has developed some excellent map skills and decision making  in conjunction with the QCA unit of work called World Sport.
The full story & downloadable files here!

Sporting fever offers other ideas for you.

Liaison in Stone!
Geography teachers from schools in the Stone pyramid, meet regularly to mutually support each other and plan a geography curriculum from the age of 4 to 19, overcoming some of the barriers traditionally associated with progression across the phases. Annually they have an event based around the GA's Geography Action Week. See here to share with their latest event Stone by the Sea!

Don't forget Geographical Poetry Corner



This page last updated 03 April 2012