India in action;Review;Primary

27th March 1998 at 00:00
THENGAPALLI. By Hampshire County CouncilHampshire Development Education Centre pound;26.5O From Hampshire County Council, Education, The Castle, Winchester SO23 8UG

This cross-curricular key stage 2 study pack looks at the environmental movement that started in the village of Kesharpur in the Indian state of Orissa and now involves more than 300 settlements. Community action has reversed environmental decline caused by deforestation.

This pack is a cornucopia of high-quality resources. There is a teacher's booklet; a locality study pack which focuses mainly on geography; a sustaining environments pack which focuses on English, drama, music, dance and religious education; 105 (yes, 105) colour photographs; an A3 colour village map; and an audio cassette. There is also a Web site which gives brief details of village life.

Activities are varied and stimulating. There are ideas for group work; sound trails using the audio cassette; card sorting exercises; and practical activities, such as exploring the effects of rainfall on soil.

With so much to choose from, the teacher's booklet rightly considers routes through the pack. One school's medium-term plans are published in full. Programmes of study references are given, but as a single list; had the curriculum plans andor activities been annotated with these references it would be easier to track coverage.

Many teachers will want to find a place for Thengapalli in the new curriculum despite the downgrading of the foundation subjects. They, and their pupils, will benefit from doing so.

Keith Grimwade is general adviser for geography in Cambridgeshire

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