Ted's teaching tips;The Big Picture;Features amp; Arts

19th November 1999 at 00:00
We are so used to seeing people from ground level that this picture offers a chance, literally, to look down on ourselves.

View from above

Where do you think this is (Iceland) and what are the people doing (bathing in a geothermically heated lake)? What is different about a view from above? Do we look like ants? Does it give a better, or just a different picture of how we live.


What provides our energy (gas, electricity, oil, food)? What is "renewable energy" (from sources such as the sun, wind, rivers, hot springs)? Why is it important (burning fuels produces potentially harmful gases, such as sulphur dioxide, carbon dioxide, nitrogen oxide, causing acid rain and contributing to the "greenhouse effect"; also oil, natural gas, uranium and others may run out)?

Geothermal energy

What is geothermal energy (heat from the earth) and how is it produced (not from the centre of the earth, as children often believe, but rather from volcanic activity, molten magma, in the mantle, the region between the crust and the core)?


What would your classroom look like from the ceiling? Paint a picture of your house, street, school, or town as seen from above. Imagine you are a Martian about to land on earth. Write about what you would think is happening as you look down on a football game, a traffic jam, a seaside resort, a horse and rider, or a field full of poppies.

Ted Wragg is professor of education at the University of Exeter

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