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Geography - An alien point of view

What it's all about

A lot of my humanities planning starts with the phrase: "The children walk into the classroom and ." because it works on so many levels, writes Chris Fenton.

Merging Year 3 (P3) science and geography objectives through an Earth theme allows me to introduce a new character to the classroom. The children enter the room and discover glitter (space dust) everywhere and that a spaceship appears to have landed (charcoal scrapings in a circle on a desk). Next to it is a note in a plastic cylinder, covered in goo.

The letter was from Zog, who claimed his planet (Gog) was much better than Earth: more unusual animals, better weather, more stunning landscapes. He challenged the class to prove him wrong.

The children were indignant. After identifying where our planet fits in our solar system and the unique features that make it habitable, they split into groups to discover wild and interesting facts to prove him wrong. They then filed a report to send back to Gog.

As the class learned about Earth's unique geographical features they exhibited a growing sense of pride. But Zog also asked why he could sometimes see large black spots in the ocean and why the "white bits" at each end of the planet were getting smaller.

They learned about man-made disasters and their impact. They understood the uniqueness of our planet and saw man's tragic ecological footprint - and they worked it all out for themselves.

What else?

Try ToriRuth89 `s slideshow of natural and man-made disasters, such as tsunamis and the 2005 London bombings to stimulate class discussion. Equip pupils with the skills to survive disaster with a resource pack from ActGlobalRED.

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