Of human bonds

21st September 2001 at 01:00
PHOTO OPPORTUNITIES MATHS. Oxfam pound;12.50. YOUR WORLD, MY WORLD. Photo pack pound;17.50. WAKE UP WORLD! CD-Rom, Teacher Notes and Activity Book pound;39 +VAT pub. Single user, triple format: PCMacAcorn. Oxfam (to order: 01202 712933) in partnership with Anglia Multimedia (0161 827 2927)

These excellent materials will help teachers insinuate the Personal, Social and Health Education and Citizenship curriculum into the real world of school from key stage 1 well into KS2.

Photo Opportunities Maths, a package of high-quality shots on glossy A4 paper, will exercise the essential skills of visual literacy. These images of children playing tug-of-war in a dusty village street, women in a fruit market, artisans and artistry, cooking utensils and grain from around the world are beautiful in their simplicity. They raise issues around the common human bond of sustainability and quality of life, while offering potent source material for discussion of human diversity. The accompanying activity book focuses on the mathematical potential for exploring quantity, classification, measures and more from secondary and guided firsthand experiences.

The Your World, My World photopack is another beautiful study of humanity, capturing a wide range of emotional expression, relationships, everyday chores and experiences. The accompanying guidance provides an outstanding set of stimuli for work that moves gradually from the exploration of self to a sense of community and wider connections and responsibilities across the planet. The 50-page booklet is crammed with essential facts about life in different places and at different ages and stages. The result strips away many stereotypes and myths to expose the real similarities and differences of experience between different communities.

Wake Up World! provides a tour of the curriculum through the eyes of six children from around the world. Complementing the other materials reviewed above, the CD-Rom offers individual or small group opportunities to explore the issues of lifestyles and personal responsibility from a development education perspective.

The visual images are excellent and Tony Robinson's voice-over provides a reassuring guide through the different families' stories. There is also a structured series of counting games, which reinforces mathematical language while raising interesting comparisons between different lifestyles.

The booklet's mapping of content to the national curriculum offers a useful reassurance of objectives covered. There is helpful guidance for classroom strategies to get the most out of the materials and a host of worksheets alongside recorded or discussion extension activities.

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