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Geography: Canals and Rivers. Geography Canals and Rivers. Key Use the symbols below to quick reference areas of the unit.  Activity outline  Resources  Differentiation  Helpers/ Learning Support  Curriculum and Objectives. Resources  Quick links to lesson resources.

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Geography Canals and Rivers

Key

Use the symbols below to quick reference areas of the unit.

Activity outline

Resources

 Differentiation

Helpers/ Learning Support

Curriculum and Objectives

Resources 

Quick links to lesson resources.

 Riddle worksheet

 Worksheet ‘different types of canal cargo’

 Laminated ‘Spot the difference’ sheets

 Locks PowerPoint

 Lock diagram instructions

 Lock levels sheet

 Bang Box cards

 Prize winner worksheet

Unit Overview

This unit is all about learning canal terminology, getting to grips with what canals are and how they differ from rivers. As a major component of this students will come to understand how locks work and what they are for. This includes an opportunity to operate a lock

Curriculum and Objectives 

    • Objectives
  • Recognise that canals are long and were used to transport cargo
  • Identify how the canal has changed through time.
  • Recognise some environmental damage along the canal.
  • Suggest reasons why looking after the local environment is important and how it can be done.
  • Explain what the difference between a canal and a river is
  • Explain how canal locks work.
      • Outcomes
  • State where the canal goes to and what it was originally used for
  • Identify old and new things along the canal
  • Spot the differences in canal use in old and new pictures
  • Spot litter along the canal that is potentially hazardous to animals / wildlife and say why
  • Answer questions about the difference between a canal and a river
  • Draw an annotated diagram that explains how a lock works from an instruction sheet
  • Give a level to other peoples work on canal locks.
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Geography Canals and Rivers

Lesson 1 - Before Your Trip.

 Objectives Recognise that canals are long and were used to transport cargo.

Outcomes State where the canal goes to and what it was originally used for.

Starters

Your Experiences (10 mins)

All students start standing up. Students should sit down if they have never been on a boat, ship or ferry before. Students should then sit down if they have never been on a river or canal boat before. Students should then sit down if they have never been on a canal boat before. Students should then sit down if they have never been on the Grand Union Canal before. When you find only 2 or 3 students standing you can ask them to tell the class about their experiences.

Main Activities

Riddle Race (10 mins)

Students must decode the riddle on the worksheet as quickly as possible and be the first in the class to stand up and read it out. The statement reads ‘The Grand Union Canal runs from Birmingham to London and was used before railways to carry cargo between the two cities.’

 Resources - Worksheet ‘decode message

Canal Cargo (15 mins)

 Students complete the worksheet ‘different types of canal cargo’ in small groups (2 or 3). They must say where they think it comes from, what it is used for and where it might be going to. Teacher then compares this with an answered version while students improve their work by adding to it and correcting it.

 Resources - Worksheet ‘different types of canal cargo’

How Long Did it Take? (20 mins)

Some distances are given between towns and a description of the speed of the boats. Students try to calculate how long it takes the boats to travel to and from different locations.

 This activity is quite advance and will require a the class to read and think carefully. To simplify the activity, either add the working out stages for the students or work through the exercise in groups or as a whole class.

 Resources - ‘How long did it take?’ + answers

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Geography Canals and Rivers

Lesson 1 - Before Your Trip.

Plenaries

Changes (5 mins)

 Ask the students why canals aren’t used to carry cargo today. Draw out the idea that they are slow and the long distances involved cant be covered very fast. New forms of transport like trains and proper tarmac roads are faster.

 Students who understand that the cargo travels a long way and very slowly will have understood how long canals are and will be some way to understanding that canals change.

Short Story (5mins)

Students plan a short story by writing brief paragraph plan s. The story is about a make believe journey on a narrow boat travelling from London to Birmingham with a load of cargo.

Homework's

Short Story (25mins)

Students write a short story from their brief paragraph plans which they have already made. The story is about a make believe journey on a narrow boat travelling from London to Birmingham with a load of cargo.

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Geography Canals and Rivers

Lesson 2 - During Your Trip.

Starters

Safety and Clap and Brace Games (10 mins)

Students are given a brief list of safety rules and play a couple of simple games to practice being quiet and sitting down game for emergencies.

Observation (20 mins)

Students go out on the deck and look for things that are old (50+ years) and things that are new.

 Resources- Clipboards pencils and paper.

Main Activities

Spot the Difference (20 mins)

 Students get given two pictures in groups and are asked to look at them. The pictures show the same place today and in Victorian times. The students are asked to spot the similarities and differences and write them down. They use dry wipe pens and post its to stick to the sheets. They then feed back to the group. They then feed back to the group.

 Resources - Laminated ‘Spot the difference’ sheets, dry wipe markers, post it notes, pencil.

 Helpers/LSA’s will need to work with students to make sure they think about how the canal has changed beyond physical factors. The way the canal is used differently is clearly depicted in most of the photos. Try to get the students to tell you this.

What is a canal? (10 mins)

 Students answer true or false using red and green cards to a series of questions

 Resources - Red and green cards

Canals and Rivers Game (10 mins)

 A brief chat about the difference between canals and rivers is had. Students listen to short ‘I’ statement sand stand up if it describes a canal, sit down if it’s a river and kneel if its both.

Locks PowerPoint (5 mins)

 Students watch a PowerPoint presentation and discuss the lock and how it works.

 Resources - Locks PowerPoint

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Geography Canals and Rivers

Lesson 2 - During Your Trip.

Main activities

Using a Lock (10 mins)

 Students help to operate the lock while others watch

 Helpers are needed here. Two helpers and the teacher take 3 students each. All 12 people disembark before the lock. They walk up to the lock and one team cross the bridge. The gates are then opened by the students if they aren’t already. Line the students up with their backs resting on the gate and get them to push with their legs to move the gate. The teams then close the gates once the boat has entered the lock. The team with the teacher take the windlass and take turn opening and closing sluice gates. Once the boat has levelled and the sluice gates closed the helper teams can open the other gates to allow exit of the boat. If at the top of a lock students should board before the boat moves off. If travelling down then students can disembark in the lock but must return to the boat after it has exited the lock. See Risk Assessment Before Running this Activity

Lock Diagrams (25 mins)

 Students make a diagram of a lock from instructions and must annotate it to explain how it works.

 Lock diagram instructions, pencils, paper

 Groups will need extensive help deciding how to lay out their work. Encourage them to leave titles and words until after their diagrams are done and leave colouring until the last 5 mins.

Looking at other peoples work (10 mins)

 Using the lock levels sheet students work out how good other students work is and write the best thing about it on a post it note. Students then look at another students work and say if they agree with the post it level and if not why not. Students then return to their own work and try to give themselves a target to make it better. This target can then be met by completing the activity as a homework or extension.

 Lock levels sheet, pencils, post it notes

Litter Spotting (10 mins)

 Students look at a PowerPoint with photos of litter problems on the canal. They then go and see if they can spot some litter that may be harmful. They must write down what it is and how it could be harmful. Students then feedback by suggesting ways in which they could help.

 As an extension to this students could design Litter posters or even TV adverts.

 Litter PowerPoint, pencils, paper

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Geography Canals and Rivers

Lesson 2 - During Your Trip.

Plenaries

Bang Box

 Students draw cards from a box. The must read the word on the box and explain what the word means or is. The words are related to the canals. If the students draw a bang card they can shout Bang.

Resources - Bang Box Cards

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Geography Canals and Rivers

Lesson 3 - After Your Trip.

Starters

Recapping locks (10 mins)

 Recap how locks work with the PowerPoint, asking questions about what comes next and what things are called.

Resources - Locks PowerPoint

Main activities

Lock Models (40 mins)

 Students use card and boxes etc to make a lock with gates that open and sluice. They can also make a model canal boat to demonstrate their model. Watertight models are obviously not an option here but a good imagination will do.

 Teachers should look out for models that show a clear change in height between gates and sluice gates that control the water level at the right heights. These show a good understanding of how a lock works.

Resources - Card/boxes glue scissors etc

Plenaries

Prize winners (10 mins)

 Each team gets a rosette from the prize-winner worksheet. They must award it to the group that has done best at what the rosette says. Rosettes say, Most real looking lock, sturdy building award, best moving parts.

Resources - prize winner worksheet

Homework's

Improving your lock models diagrams (20 mins)

Either finish making the lock models or attempt to make a new lock diagram with improvements based on prior learning and feedback.