24th March 2000 at 00:00
BARNABY BEAR GOES TO DUBLIN. (Big book and glove puppet). By Elaine Jackson. Geographical Association. Book, pound;18 (pound;12 to GA members). Puppet, pound;8 (pound;6 to GA members). From the GA, tel: 0114 296 0088

If you have toyed with using cross-curricular texts as part of your Literacy Hour, only to reject it as too difficult and time-consuming (hard enough sourcing suitable texts for English objectives, let alone trying to hit geography, history or science ones), be thankful to the Geographical Association for pioneering what could turn out to be a fruitful new role for it, as well as an example to other subject associations.

In the first of what is promised to be a series of new big books from the GA, Elaine Jackson develops an idea that first appeared in Unit of QCA's geography scheme of work for key stages 1 and 2 entitled Where in the world is Barnaby Bear? The story of Barnaby's visit to Dublin is told through photographs, cartoons, maps and music, raising endless points of discussion in the directions of science, technology, history, health education and citizenship, to be explored or passed over according to you and your children's interests and needs.

Geographical enquiry of course is central and exploited in the teacher's notes, but links are also made to text, sentence and word level work; phonics, spelling, writing, vocabulary work and more. Genuinely usable at key stage 1 and 2, this is a rich resource indeed.

Laurie Rousham teaches at Broke Hall Community Primary School in Ipswich.

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