More than meets the eye… There is more to our local area than first meets the eye! Sharon Witt April 2010
Session outline This session provides ideas for looking at a locality from different perspectives and aims to encourage teachers and pupils to explore and deepen their existing local geographies through a range of creative and sensory activities.
Why teach children about the local area? • Fosters children’s curiosity and fascination with places • Widens children’s horizons • Develops spatial awareness • Helps develop their sense of scale • Helps children recognise the relevance of the rest of the world to themselves • Opportunities to develop knowledge, understanding and skills of key geographical concepts • Challenges bias, stereotyping and emphasises commonality and diversity of human experience • Supports and develops children’s own sense of place and sense of identity Catling, S. (2002) Placing Places, Sheffield: Geographical Association,p. 7.
Local area studies can contribute to: • Community Cohesion • Learning Outside the Classroom • Primary Review • Personalised learning • Sustainable Schools • Climate Change • Children’s Geographies • Futures perspectives • Active, informed local/global citizens • Place and community based education
Why place based education in the local community ? • Relevant • Authentic • Based on real life • A vehicle for making connections and linking learning. • Purposeful • Meaningful • Enjoyable • Exciting • Engaging Sobel, D. ( 2005) Place based Education Connecting classrooms and communities , Great Barrington:MA ,The Orion Society
Exploring children’s personal geographies Aim: • To recognise and celebrate children’s personal geographies; • To explore children’s individual responses and attachment to local places; Martin calls for the use of children’s everyday experiences or “personal geographies” as a basis for curriculum development “The pupils in your classrooms will all have their own experiences to draw upon and it is important to elicit these for use as starting points” Martin, F. ( 2006) Everyday Geography Primary Geographer Autumn 2006,p.7.
This is Ben Cruachan and there is a lovely view of Ben Cruachan from my Gran’s house and she only lives a few miles away from the mountain .I like to watch the clouds move over the top of the mountain – it is very calming. Scrapbooking happy spots
Geodoodling!Geo-doodle prompts included: • Photos from the local area • GoogleWorld views • World music • Landscape art • Webcam streaming • Sound clips from the local area • Newspaper articles relating to global issues • Artefacts • Scents • Visits to the locality - observing / smelling / listening • Reflecting on stories/picture books with a geographical theme. With thanks to Jo Sudbury and the children of Bishops Waltham Junior School
Geo doodling With thanks to Jo Sudbury and the children of Bishops Waltham Junior School
What places are you connected to ? • Past • Friends • Places visited locally • Holidays • Activities • Friends • Places visited with school
Make those links!Paper Chain Geography Exploring children’s geographies- local to global / Past, present and future
Geographical Detection in the local area - includes: Raising Questions Enquiry Investigation Problem-solving decision making analysing / synthesising SENSORY EXPERIENCES
"Christopher Robin Leads an Expotition to the North Pole" • Christopher Robin, Pooh, and their friends head out in search of the North Pole. When Pooh finds a long pole lying beside a stream, Christopher Robin announces that their quest is over. • Another potential source for map making
What do Geographers do?- Provide a context for the children’s work
Hooking the children’s interest • Mobile phone message… • Local are mystery to solve • Adventures… • Quests… • In search of … • Journeys… • Voyages of discovery… • Treasure hunts… • Location Scout in the area for film producer • Working on behalf of the local tourist board
Good geographical detective work could include: Pictures / Photographs Sound maps Children’s Feelings Local people’s feelings Writing Sketches Collecting noises via a Dictaphone Collecting textures Field sketches Surveys e.g. carrier bag survey, traffic, land use Counting Measuring Maps – journey sticks, journey strings , messy maps , my walks Questionnaire
Travel with a different view … • To look through rose – tinted specs • To see the area with “ a glass half empty “ attitude • To consider the area from the perspective of another person: • Pensioner, • Mum with a push chair , • Person in a wheel chair, • Teenager • Visitor • Toddler
Activity 2 – What is this place like? • Look at the photographs in groups and try to imagine what it would be like to be in this place? • What would you be able to hear, see, touch and smell? • What is this place like? • Do you like this place ? • Would you like to live in this area? • How do you feel about this place? Collect data using an environmental quality survey
Local Area Top Trumps • Use data generated by environmental quality survey to create own Top Trumps game • Based on first hand multi sensory experiences of the local area. • Categories negotiated with the children • Ownership of a game and their learning
http://www.geograph.org.uk/ • Take a walk • Take photographs • Upload photographs for your local area to Geograph
Class 3W ‘s cool wall ! Categories : • Sub- zero! • Cool! • Uncool! • Seriously Uncool ! Place your local place photographs on the wall ! What places would impress…? The class can decide the categories … Idea from workshop run by Solent Architecture and Design Centre
From a creative Biodiversity course run by Gordon McClellan at East Meon Sustainability Centre on 13th March 2009
From a creative Biodiversity course run by Gordon McClellan at East Meon Sustainability Centre on 13th March 2009 The way the work is presented makes the subject engaging to the children
From a creative Biodiversity course run by Gordon McClellan at East Meon Sustainability Centre on 13th March 2009 • Create a story board about an event in the locality • Celebrate the children’s experiences in their local area.
From a creative Biodiversity course run by Gordon McClellan at East Meon Sustainability Centre on 13th March 2009 Making plate puppets of features in the locality so children can relate/ recall events from their point of view . This puppet is of a dry stone wall !
“Local focus has the power to engage students academically, pairing real- world relationships with intellectual rigor( sic) , while promoting genuine citizenship and preparing people to respect and live well in any community they choose “ Rural School and Community Trust 2005 in Smith and Sobel (2010) p. 23.
Bibliography • Catling, S. (2002) Placing Places, Sheffield: Geographical Association; • Martin, F. ( 2006) Everyday Geography Primary Geographer, Autumn 2006,pp4-7; • Smith, G.A. and Sobel, D. (2010) Place and Community – Based Education, New York: Routledge • Sobel, D. ( 2005) Place based Education Connecting classrooms and communities , Great Barrington: MA The Orion Society.