At the moment I’m teaching development to Year 9. I’m without the kit required to produce the RSA Style Animations but still wanted to allow students to explore a country in depth, specifically working out reasons for it’s position in the LDC-MEDC continuum. So, armed with access to an ICT suite (something I haven’t had to worry about for five years) I decided to use Gapminder to start the process. Follow these steps:
- Students select a country to look at. Tick the Box.
- Take the country back to 1800, ensure that the ‘Trails’ box is ticked and press ‘Play.’
- Watch the pattern.
- Grab the screen and import into PowerPoint.
- Annotate the trail, picking up key changes in the GDP and Life Expectancy.
I found that this provides a really useful guide to targeting the research – so some quick work on valid search terms allowed the classes to quickly find useful information and data. Furthermore, time spent on pointless research because of a poor country choice is minimised. For example, the USA doesn’t really have that interesting a track. I also like Greece’s track below, with the recent decline in GDP: