Curriculum - Special Needs - Lesson Plan - Poles apart

16th July 2010 at 01:00
Get intergalactic for a geography topic on landscapes and ice worlds that compares scenes from planet Hoth in Star Wars with Earth

What the lesson is about

This looks at ice worlds as part of a geography topic on how landscapes featured in the Star Wars series relate to landscapes on Earth. Subsequent lessons can look at deserts, jungles, oceans and forests. It is aimed at key stage 2 pupils with autistic spectrum disorders, emotional and behavioural disorders, speech and language difficulties, specific learning difficulties and dyslexia.

Aims: pupils will:

- identify different landscapes;

- produce an information leaflet on ice worlds.

Getting started

You will need a copy of Star Wars Episode V: The Empire Strikes Back and a DVD of the Planet Earth TV series. You will also need to put together a PowerPoint on the Arctic and Antarctic and a selection of pictures and facts on the polar regions.

Show the pupils the scene at the beginning of The Empire Strikes Back featuring the snow planet Hoth. Ask pupils to identify the type of landscape. Ask them to brainstorm what they know about snow and ice landscapes. Do we have any of these landscapes on Earth?

Show the Planet Earth episode on ice worlds (episode six). Ask the pupils to make notes on some of the most important facts such as temperatures, thickness of the ice, snowfall and so on. For less able pupils, you may need to write out a selection of facts and ask them to choose those they think are correctmost important.

Ask the children which parts of Earth are mainly covered in snow and ice. Establish that this is the Arctic and Antarctic, and then show a PowerPoint on the polar regions, including pictures and key facts.

Taking it further

Explain that the pupils are going to produce information leaflets, either by hand or on the computer. One will be on ice worlds, the other on planet Hoth from Star Wars. Give the pupils copies of the PowerPoint and of key facts and pictures. Higher-ability pupils can use these to write their own leaflets; lower-ability pupils can match the pictures to the facts and cut and paste them to make their leaflets.

Once they have completed the leaflets, ask each pupil to read them out to the class. Have they all got the same facts? Do they have facts others do not have? What else could they have included?

Where to find it

The lesson plan, plus plans for an introductory lesson on landscapes and subsequent lessons on deserts, jungles, oceans and forests, was originally uploaded by Fosse Way School and can be found at lesson-plan.

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