Geography: My dream lesson - Lessons of island life

23rd December 2011 at 00:00
I've just finished Lord of the Flies and it got me thinking: if health and safety were of no concern, and parents wouldn't mind, what better way of teaching about communal geography than dropping my Year 6 (P6) class onto a desert island with a list of activities for a couple of weeks, writes Chris Fenton

They would see the water cycle in action, from the mountain in the middle to the stream running down it and back to the sea. They could consider the elements living things need to survive - shelter, food, water, heat - and then search the local environment to find them.

They could ascertain where in the world they were by map reading and considering the climate. They could further their map-reading skills by creating a scale model of the island, plotting the various landmarks, sending out parties of children to complete fieldwork exercises, sketching what they saw and reporting back to the rest of the class.

And just think about the weather patterns they would encounter! They could link materials and their properties to the geographical study of weather patterns to find the perfect vessel for collecting rainwater. To keep a record of events, the children could describe their environments in journals using selected geographical terms. They could compare their island to home, detailing the things they miss and the things they don't.

As time went by they could give their island a name, develop their own language and elect a leader. Opposing parties would emerge, they would wear war paint .

Where to find it

Try Teacher's TV "On Location" resources for lesson ideas and materials on orienteering and map skills.

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