Game, set and map

18th February 2005 at 00:00
A pack of geography cards offers interesting opportunities to pep up lessons, says Ian Selmes

Hog Cards: Geog Hog

By John Griffiths

Crown House Publishing pound;12.99

Tel: 01267 211 345

Email: books@crownhouse.co.uk

www.crownhouse.co.uk

There was a gaming tradition in geography teaching which has often been displaced by a more utilitarian use of textbooks and specifications, although the thinking skills approaches have made some impact again in recent years. Hog Cards are a potentially exciting appraoch to learning, classifying and spatial awareness.

The pack of 52 cards covers 52 countries. Each has a map side with national flag, currency and continent. The flip side contains physical, human and environmental statistics.

Through card games such as rummy, pupils may collect sets of continents or countries with similar characteristics - size, population and so on, according to the teacher's classificatory purpose.

Country cards could be ranked on the various data. The maps might be used to locate countries or to create a spatial map from the cards.

By causing pupils to justify their sets or classifications, critical thinking and discussion can be added to the fun. Used selectively, this gaming approach can stimulate thought-provoking geographical learning and build a strong knowledge base.

Pupils of all ages can benefit, and the cards are flexible in the ways they might be applied in a classroom.

Whether they are robust enough to stand up to pupil use is another matter.

Ian Selmes teaches geography at Oakham School, Rutland

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