Curiosity Kits

So, Jen got me thinking about ravioli of all things, which led me to thinking about judging books by their covers and how everyday objects can hide stories.  To me, growing up in the Welsh Valleys, I had no idea what was inside these pasta treats! This got me thinking about my suitcase:

This may seem like a battered old suitcase, but it can be full of wonder.  Many scoff at the idea of ‘feely’ boxes, but I like to take this bad boy into a lesson when introducing a new place.  This needn’t be an exotic location, last time I filled it full of stuff I’d have in Brighton.

Or a walk in Wales, a visit to Goa, anything really. Ice axe, bus ticket, tent, riot shield, gum shield, fleece comfortable old man shoes.
I get the objects out and let the class explore them – it could be fifty maps.  The idea is for them to discuss the environment and use their geographical vocabulary  to describe the place in terms of:
//feel
//touch
//smell
//taste
//sound
The writing that comes out of this is exceptional.  If students can talk and question like a geographer, their writing develops along side.
By the end of the lesson I share an image or video of the place – it’s always surprising how accurately most of the class get.
So, how do you add mystery and develop curiosity about a place?

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