Photographic evidence

17th June 2005 at 01:00
Keith Grimwade looks at a resource pack about the British Isles

Look at This Primary Teacher Guidance By Peter Bloomfield

Secondary Teacher Guidance By Stuart Thompson Chris Kington Publishing Pounds 47.50 each

Look at This is a resource pack of four big books of photographs, 12 A5 photographs and three full colour posters, accompanied by either a primary or a secondary teacher resource book. Its aim is to explore place in photographs, which it does through a range of stimulating and creative teaching ideas.

The photographs, by Harry Cory Wright, are simply stunning. The four volumes, Strand, Flora, Burn, Chipshop, cover the coastline of the Outer Hebrides, the flora of the British coastline, the River Burn in Norfolk and photographs from the seafront. The sense of place from such images is what geography is about. However, people do not feature in any of the photographs, so the teacher has to make the link with human activity (of which there is plenty of evidence). Younger pupils, for example, will find it easier to connect with Chipshop.

The teacher books are full of inspiring ideas. The primary book provides excellent stimulus questions to prompt description, investigation, thinking and vision. Activities are creative and there are links with the national curriculum and additional resources.

There is a session plan for each volume, although in all but one it is for key stage 2. The secondary book presents a range of activities grouped under three headings: geography and literacy; using labels and frames with photographs; and using art and drama with photographs. It includes a useful range of extension ideas.

The question of how to use these materials with a whole class remains. Both resource books make suggestions, and photocopying or scanning the images to use on a school network is encouraged, as long as pupils have access to the originals.

Look at This will take a little thought and time to build into a scheme of work but if you want to teach stimulating and interesting geography it will be time well spent.

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