Google Earth, Neogeography and Travel Books

A good return to work today. Hit Year7 with the new Stonehenge lesson based on Noel’s work on the RGS site. Thought I;d combine a number if ideas including talking about neogeography (Noel) and a few tips picked up during Ollie’s SAGT session.

The PPT above accompanies the lesson and is also available on the department blog. The lesson sequence went something like:

  • Pupils used an OS map extract of Stonehenge to write down 3 features about the location. Map skills have been done away with by my department – and it was interesting to see that most of the class were able to interpret the map, without a key. I’m very glad that we have decided not to teach a ‘Map Skills’ unit this year!!
  • The learning objectives were shared using the Smoke Signal API.
  • Pupils then used the Photos and Wikipedia layers in Google Maps. As GE isn’t up and running on the network yet this was a great way to explore the area. Pupils also explored the terrain function. A discussion then followed ‘What was the best way to find out information about Stonehenge?’ This worked really well as none of the pupils taught today had ever been there – most hadn’t even known that Stonehenge existed! I used the word neogeography and pupils seemed to be comfortable with this. I also used a number of personal examples of where I have used these applications in planning expeditions – pupils then thought about what they could use them for.
  • I then read three extracts from travel guides. Pupils had to imagine what they would see at Stonehenge based on the information so far.
  • After showing the photos from Noel’s Flickr account we had a fun 5 minutes talking about reactions.
  • The main task was to produce a comic strip of a visit to Stonehenge.

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