Celebrate United Nations Day on October 24 by bringing some global awareness to your classroom. We prod and twirl some of the latest offerings.
* Top of the worlds
1. Discovery 251 globe Philip's Globes pound;59.99 Diameter: 30cm Accessories: Crayons,blue plastic base.
Clear labelling, good bold colours, light weight and a satisfying smooth wipe-clean and scratch-proof surface make the Discovery 251 a perfect accessory for teaching key stage 2 children. It sits atop a basic base which gives a wobbly rather than smooth spin, but then that means fewer moving parts to break. Not cheap, but definitely worth the extra cash.
2. Royal National Institute for the Blind Tactile globe
Accessories: black base
This two-tone globe from the RNIB has been given Millennium Product status for its innovative design. It has pull-off continents raised by 3mm, and the Equator and lines of longitude and latitude are also raised. The continents and oceans are marked out in Braille and bold text, and extra pull-off sections with physical and political details can be bought separately. The globe is on the heavy side for young children, but the pull-off continents are satisfyingly chunky.
3. Inflatable globe
Accessories: repair kit, suspension loop
On the plus side, this inflatable sphere looks good and feels like it will survive a good bashing. And as an added bonus, you can hang it from the ceiling for decoration. But for a globe said to be suitable for children aged six upwards, the labels are difficult to read. From tip to toe the UK is 3cm long, but the names of 26 cities are printed around it. Young children are really going to struggle to read such tiny print, let alone work out where the ndividual cities are located. On the other hand, this option is relatively cheap and is fine for the basic identification of countries and continents.
4. Crayola globe
Accessories: Activity guide, blue plastic base
At first glance this one looks a bit bare and the markings seem random, but it is an excellent starter globe with some interactivity. The continents are marked, but there are only a few countries and very few cities to be seen. The Crayola globe comes into its own with the activity guide, which has information on animals, places of interest and resources relating to all the continents. The guide includes re-usable stickers with pictures relating to the text that can be stuck on appropriate parts of the globe.
5. Adventurer globe
Accessories: Plastic half-meridian, black base
On aesthetics alone, this one gets my vote. Not one to use in front of a whole class, but handy for individual and small group use. Despite its size, it is uncluttered and the use of bright colours makes it extremely attractive. The Adventurer is a little too easy to separate from its stand, but it makes an excellent desktop companion.
Prices include VAT. All the globes, except for the RNIB's, can be purchased from Latitude, which offers a 10 per cent discount to schools. Tel: 01707 663 090E-mail: email@example.com Website: latitudemapsandglobes.co.ukLatitude also supplies the booklet Maps with Latitude which includes research findings on the most effective ways to teach geography at primary and secondary level. Price pound;7.50 (pound;5 for Geographic Association members).The RNIB Globe is available from RNIB customer services.Tel: 0345 023153. Website: www.rnib.org.uk