What country will you be today? Getting pupils into shape helps them learn about the world around them, says Paula Richardson
Are you keen to enable children to develop a sense of place using a world map, but are a bit short of ideas? This lesson involves children choosing to represent a country and arranging themselves as a human map.
It is an activity suitable for a variety of age groups, but any previous experience of looking at world maps is helpful.
You need a large space to allow children to spread out, and an atlas or globe to check on locations (I use Keystart World Atlas, third edition, from Collins-Longman Atlases).
Take the class into the playground or hall. Ask them to think of a country but keep it to themselves. Tell them you will be Antarctica (or the North Pole) and position yourself in front of them.
Ask them to arrange themselves as a human map using your location as the guide. Indicate the boundaries of the map on the floor. Ask a few to name their country and then ask if anyone wants to reposition themselves.
This is a great activity enjoyed by all the children. Frequent small activities such as this help children to progress in developing a sense of place in the world around them.
It's a fun lesson that can be easily adapted for a variety of ages - younger children can choose continents, seas and oceans
Paula Richardson is an independent geography adviser from Redhill, Surrey.