A fun exercise for doing six-figure grid references and symbols is to use the classroom as a grid square. I find it works best with above-average Year 7 classes. Pupils should have a preparatory lesson on four and six-figure grid references.
I adjust the classroom furniture to ensure the middle rows cover the half-way point of the square. The pupils are then given the four-figure grid reference of the classroom. I reveal six-figure co-ordinates on the OHP one by one with the "victims" standing when they recognise "their" location. They soon catch on and some work out their location themselves. I use myself as a roving-point within the square in order to cover all points. I find pupils tend to help each other work it out.
I then give out map symbol cards and let them use the key from their Ordnance Survey maps. Volunteers stand and display their cards and, on a sheet with all their names on, they fill in "Joe's map symbol is - ", and "Kirsty's symbol is - ". You can renumber the square or use compass directions, for example: "Matthew's railway station is south-east of Lisa's church with a tower."
Mike Conlon, head of year, St Wilfrid's Catholic High School, Sefton, Merseyside
We pay pound;50 for your best 'Teacher to Teacher' tips Email up to 300 words to email@example.com or write to TESTeacher, The TES, Admiral House, 66-68 East Smithfield, London E1W 1BX. Please include your job title, school and LEA