Geography display

17th June 2005 at 01:00
I always ensure that displays for geography are learning resources, not just wallpaper. First, I make the subject matter and materials topical, so when Year 9 and AS classes were studying tectonics in January, newspaper articles and diagrams on the Asian tsunami - some brought in by pupils - were included. Models and other pupil work were added later, helping to develop ownership. Once classes moved on with their studies, the display changed. When next year's pupils study the topic we'll make a new display.

The display is structured and accessible to pupils, with clear print size and vocabulary. Materials are at pupil height and include diagrams, images, text and a linked website. There is always some challenging labelling, with answers hidden behind flaps for immediate reinforcement. I also plan how to use the display in lessons - eg a satellite image of the UK and its surrounding seas. Above it sits the question in large print:

"What is the geographical feature shown by the red area on this thermographic image?" Pupils lift the flap to uncover the answer: "The warm ocean current known as the North Atlantic drift, an extension of the Gulf Stream. The warmth is blown onto the West of Europe (and so the UK) making our climate in winter much warmer than other places of the same latitude."

Ian Selmes Geographygeology teacher, Oakham School, Rutland

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