Geography

Geography

In the subject of Geography at Key Stage 3, pupils study both the natural and the built environment. They explore the part they can play in shaping and protecting the environment around them. The human aspect of geography also looks at society. Pupils explore their own personal space and the way societies differ globally.

For further details see Statutory Requirement for Geography and Non Statutory Guidance for Geography.

Key Elements

The Key Elements are a way to connect learning in Geography to Learning for Life and Work.

The Key Elements that Geography contributes to more fully are:

  • Personal Understanding;
  • Citizenship;
  • Cultural Understanding;
  • Employability; and
  • Education for Sustainable Development.

Contacts

For more information on Geography contact:

Kathryn Gilbert
kgilbert@ccea.org.uk
(028) 9026 1200 ext. 2632

Resources

To illustrate how you can use some of the key elements and skills and capabilities in Key Stage 3 Geography lessons, click on the links below for lesson plans and resources.

Lesson Idea: Mapwork

Where I Live?

This is a two lesson series that teaches a sense of place as well as map work skills and sustainability.

Lesson 1: What is Special about Where I Live?

Lesson Overview

Mapwork - Lesson 1: What is Special about Where I Live? 815 KB - Uploaded 22-06-2018

In this lesson, pupils gain an understanding of their local area and its key features. They develop map work skills and an understanding of sustainability. You can use this to develop from the map work skills unit that pupils study during Key Stage 3 Geography.

Cross-Curricular Skills

  • Communication; and
  • Using ICT.

Key Elements

  • Personal Understanding.

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

  • Working with Others;
  • Managing Information; and
  • Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making.

Links to other subjects

  • ICT: This lesson explores ICT skills in Geographic Information Systems (GIS).

Learning Intentions

Pupils learn to:

  • consider the key features of the area around their school (Managing Information); and
  • draw a labelled sketch map using map work skills (Being Creative).

Introduction

Using the PowerPoint presentation, outline the learning intentions for the lesson. As a starter activity, discuss the local area of the school. Show your pupils a map of the school area. Look at a Google map of the school’s area. Zoom in and out to set the location in context. Ensure that your pupils can identify the local landmarks.

Using Google maps try to pin on some of the key places using the pin icon. You can alternate between different modes to show map view and satellite view, adding layers such as roads, terrain or traffic.

This is a great opportunity to discuss GIS and the career opportunities developing for geographers using ICT.

Ask your pupils to name things around the school that they think are distinctive or important. Encourage them to pin these on the interactive map.

Main

Discuss what a sketch map is and show examples to the class.

Ask each pupil to draw a sketch map for the area they live in, centring the map on their home and drawing a rough sketch of the key features. The map does not have to be to scale. Show your pupils a manageable area on screen. Encourage them to start with a frame in their books and then to draw an accurate sketch map of the key features.

Make sure that your pupils add a title, key, an arrow indicating north and a scale. Highlight that this as a requirement for all maps. Tell your pupils that this skill will be important if they continue to GCSE and A level study.

Ask your pupils to use the 5, 4, 3, 2, 1 Active Learning Activity to produce a map (not to scale) showing what is important about the area.

Encourage your pupils to present their maps clearly on an A3 sheet. The maps must make sense to someone else. They should include a title and a key. Then, ask your pupils to add:

  • 5 places that are important to them, labelled clearly;
  • 4 symbols showing important human and/or physical features in your area;
  • 3 different colours representing different types of land use;
  • 2 potential risks or hazards, clearly labelled; and
  • 1 feature of the area or place they would like to change.

Conclusion

To encourage peer assessment, ask your pupils to gather in groups of four to look at each other's maps. Encourage them to use Two Stars and a Wish to find two good things about the maps and onearea that could be improved.

Lesson 2: Improving the Area I Live in

Lesson Overview

Mapwork - Lesson 2: Improving the Area I Live in 765 KB - Uploaded 22-06-2018

In this lesson, pupils follow on from their study of the local area and its key features. They develop decision-making and presentation skills as they plan improvements to the areas where they live.

Key Elements

  • Sustainable Development.

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

  • Working with Others;
  • Managing Information; and
  • Thinking Skills, Problem Solving and Decision-Making.

Learning Intentions

Pupils learn to:

  • consider sustainable solutions for the area around their school (Problem Solving); and
  • present their ideas to the class (Working with Others).

Introduction

Begin the lesson by explaining the term sustainable development so that pupils understand the concept.

As a starter activity, encourage your pupils to discuss the local area of the school. Show them a map of the school area using Google maps. Consider areas near the school that could be improved, for example wasteland or derelict properties.

Ask the class to identify five areas that need improvement. Then, write them on the whiteboard, highlighting the reasons they have chosen these areas.

Main

The main part of this lesson involves working in five groups. Allocate each group an area that needs improvement.

Encourage each group to suggest something new for the area and name who would benefit. Use Slide 7 to encourage critical thinking about their ideas and reflection on what they may need to alter. Ensure that they consider possible difficulties and people who may be negatively affected by their changes. After this analysis, ask your pupils to reflect on their ideas and make adjustments, if needed.

Conclusion

Ask each group to present their suggested ideas to the class. Then encourage the class to vote on whether they think it would be a sustainable idea. As a plenary, encourage your pupils to define the term sustainable. Then ask them to play the role of sustainable development manager for their local council, suggesting a plan for the area. They could complete this in class or you could set it as a homework, depending on time restraints.

Lesson Idea: Renewable Energy

Renewing our Energy Choices

This is a two lesson series about renewable energy and the decision-making involved in locating a new wind farm.

Lesson 1: Sustainable Energy

Lesson Overview

Renewing our Energy Choices - Lesson 1: Sustainable Energy 511 KB - Uploaded 22-06-2018

In this lesson, pupils gain an understanding of energy choices and different types of renewable and non-renewable energy sources. By completing the tasks, they develop analytical skills to set out the advantages and disadvantages of different energy sources. They develop creative skills in their method of presenting their work to the class.

Cross-Curricular Skills

  • Communication.

Key Elements

  • Sustainable Development.

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

  • Working with Others; 
  • Managing Information; and
  • Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making.

Learning Intentions

Pupils learn to:

  • understand what renewable and non-renewable energy is;
  • identify the advantages and disadvantages of our energy choices; and
  • consider groups for and against wind energy.

Introduction

As a starter activity, ask your pupils to record as many sources of energy they can name by creating a spider diagram in their notebooks. Encourage them to define the terms renewable and non-renewable energy. Then ask them to categorise their ideas, colour coding them into renewable and non-renewable.

This lesson links to the CCEA STEMworks activities.

Ask the class to work in small groups to prepare a mind map on A3 paper. The mind map should show renewable and non-renewable energy examples and an advantage and disadvantage of each energy choice. Encourage the groups to include pictures and make their mind maps colourful and easy to understand.

Source pictures of detailed mind maps to show the class. This will give them ideas about how to make this detailed enough. Ask each group to show their ideas to the rest of class. If there is time, ask the class to vote for their favourite.

Conclusion

Change the direction of the lesson to focus on wind energy. Ask the class to think of reasons why people may be for and against it. This will feed into Lesson 2. For homework, ask the class to come up with three groups of people who would be for wind energy and three who might be against it in their local area.

Lesson 2: Locating a Wind Farm

Lesson Overview

Renewing our Energy Choices - Lesson 2: Locating a Wind Farm 363 KB - Uploaded 22-06-2018

In this lesson, pupils gain an understanding of wind energy and the key requirements for an effective wind farm site. As they carry out the tasks they develop decision-making skills and begin to deepen their understanding of the concept of sustainability.

Cross-Curricular Skills

  • Communication.

Key Elements

  • Sustainable Development.

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

  • Working with Others; 
  • Managing Information; and
  • Thinking Skills, Problem Solving and Decision Making.

Learning Intentions

Pupils are learning to:

  • understand what wind energy is;
  • identify the advantages and disadvantages possible wind farm sites; and
  • consider which site would be best from a choice of five possible locations.

This lesson links to the CCEA STEMworks activities

Introduction

Begin the lesson with an open discussion on wind farms and what they are. You could watch a video clip, for example the video on www.windni.com or refer to a local wind farm that pupils may be familiar with.

Discuss the factors that would make a good location for a wind farm: access to windy conditions, access to a road network, not close to settlements, avoiding protected areas and suitable relief avoiding steep contours. Talk through the reasoning behind these factors and why they matter.

Main

Ask your pupils to work in small groups. Give each group an Ordnance Survey map of a local area with five suggested sites for a wind farm. Try to choose a variety of options, including hills, valleys, built up areas, a protected area or away from roads. This works best if there are at least two viable options, so there is more scope for pupils to justify their choice and it is a more challenging activity. Ask the class to rate each site on the following five factors:

  1. availability of land;
  2. suitability of wind;
  3. distance from settlements;
  4. distance from protected areas; and
  5. ease of access.

Ask your pupils to create a table in their notebooks, similar to the example on Slide 5, to allow easy comparison of scores. The lowest score should be the most suitable location.

Conclusion

Ask each group to announce which site they chose with two points to justify why they chose it. Then use the questions on Slide 7 to encourage debate. Set the class a homework challenge: Wind energy is nothing but hot air: discuss this statement. Depending on your pupils’ level of ability, their responses could be in the form of a simple written answer or a speech, which they can deliver to the class in the next lesson.

Lesson Idea: Migration

Lesson Overview

Migration - What are the issues? 921 KB - Uploaded 22-06-2018

In this lesson, pupils consider the issue of migration. Pupils may already have views based on what they see in the media and press or personal experience. This lesson should open up the issue for discussion and debate. The aim is to create a more informed understanding of what migration is, the benefits and problems it can bring and the reason it is such a complex issue for governments to manage.

Cross-Curricular Skills

  • Communication.

Key Elements

  • Cultural Understanding;
  • Citizenship; and
  • Media and Ethical Awareness.

Thinking Skills and Personal Capabilities

  • Working with Others; 
  • Thinking, Problem Solving and Decision Making; and
  • Managing Information.

Links to other subjects

  • English: Ask your pupils to complete a piece of writing from the migrant’s viewpoint or that of locals in the destination country; and
  • History: Make a link to the historic relations between the countries involved and why there is political unrest.

Learning Intentions

Pupils are learning:

  • what migration means;
  • the benefits and the problems linked to migration; and
  • about the difficulty in resolving the migration issue.

Resources

Card sort for Migration lesson 101 KB - Uploaded 22-06-2018

Introduction

Use a PowerPoint presentation to outline the learning intentions. Start a discussion by asking your pupils to write down their definition of migration and listen to a few sample answers. Then, ask the class to write the correct definition from the PowerPoint presentation in their books.

Main

Ask your pupils, in pairs, to create a spider diagram of ideas about why people migrate. Then, using the PowerPoint Slide 5 as a guide, encourage them to colour code their reasons into Economic, Social, Environmental and Political categories.

Focus on migration from Syria to Greece. Ask your pupils to say what they know already from news sources. Encourage your pupils to look at the pictures on Slide 7 and discuss the dangers of travelling across the Mediterranean in open boats.

Ask the class to work in groups of three. Give each group an envelope containing the benefits and problems cards. Allow time for your pupils to sort these cards into two categories: benefits or problems. Then, ask them to check their answers with Slide 9.

Use questions on Slide 10 to start a discussion on managing the migration issue.

Conclusion

As a homework task, ask your pupils to create two diary entries: one of a Greek child watching the boats arrive and one of a Syrian child arriving in Greece.

Encourage your pupils to see both perspectives.

Active Learning Ideas for Geography

Hot Seating

A pupil, teacher or guest speaker sits on the hot seat and answers questions from the class.

Examples for lessons:

  • Migration topic: refugee
  • Ecosystems topic: Kayapo tribe member

Post-it Brainstorm

Ask your pupils to write key words or ideas on Post-its in response to a given topic or question. Then, ask them to place these on the board or wall. Encourage your pupils to read them and sort them into groups with common themes.

Examples for lessons:

  • Globalisation
  • Climate change
  • Coastal protection

Mind Maps

Pupils can use these to record ideas in a free flowing way, using key words, images, symbols and colours and making links between a wide range of related ideas.

Examples for lessons:

  • Why people live near volcanoes
  • Choosing the best site for a new shopping centre

Think, Pair, Share

Give your pupils a question or problem to think about individually. Ask them to form pairs to compare ideas and agree an answer that they can share with the class.

Examples for lessons:

  • Where will we build coastal protection on a stretch of coast?
  • How many is too many? (population)

Consequence Wheel

Ask your pupils to decide on an issue to explore. Draw a circle and then write the issue in the centre. Then, ask your class to think of as many direct consequences as possible. Encourage them to sort the consequences into short term or long term, colour coding them as positive or negative. As an alternative, give each pupil a consequence and ask them to place themselves in the consequence line.

Examples for lessons:

  • Extreme weather case study
  • Earthquake in California

Hot Air Balloon

Give each pupil a picture of a hot air balloon. Then, ask them a series of questions about an issue. Who needs to be in the balloon? What needs to be in place for the project to be successful? What is holding it back? What will make it fly at great speed? What might blow the balloon off course?

Examples for lessons:

  • Development of an out of town shopping complex

Using photographs

Use photos to explain a point.
Give the photos captions. Explain why you used that caption.
Create collages.
Layers of influence: ask your pupils to answer different questions about the photo. What is the issue? Who is involved? Who is excluded? How do the people feel? What actions are needed?

Examples for lessons:

  • Aftermath of an earthquake
  • Migrants fleeing war

Mime

Give individual pupils a role or character and ask them to demonstrate, without speaking, an action or actions that represent that role or character. Ask the rest of the class to guess the role or character.

Examples for lessons:

  • Primary, secondary or tertiary jobs
  • Tourism jobs

5 Ways

To encourage deeper and more critical thinking, ask your pupils Why? about an issue they are studying. Do this at least five times to encourage them to think more deeply about the issue and their responses to the question. This process encourages them to unpack complex issues and get to the root of the issue.

Examples for lessons:

  • Migration
  • Development gap

Role Play

Give each pupil a character or role relating to a simple scenario. Ask them to think about what their character would do, feel and think in a given situation. After five minutes preparation, ask your pupils to act out the scenario for the rest of the class. This can be a group or individual activity.

Examples for lessons:

  • Cutting down the rainforest
  • Building a new coastal golf resort

Each one teach one

Write key ideas or facts about a topic on individual cards. Give each pupil a card and ask them to teach the fact to their partner or group. Encourage them to use illustrations and mimes. Question the group to see how effectively they have learned the facts.

Examples for lessons:

  • Types of rainfall
  • Plate tectonics

Ecoworld Ecoworld

Explore sustainability issues through Eco's immersive 3D game and Eco Topics.  Ecoworld aims to develop young people’s awareness and understanding of the implications for the individual, society, the economy and environment in the areas of energy, transport, waste, food and water.

Using Mathematics across the Curriculum Using Mathematics across the Curriculum

Using Mathematics across the Curriculum Applying Mathematical Concepts to Real-World Examples (Units of Work)

Useful Links

Please review all links to judge their suitability before using them with your class.

All Geographical topics

BBC Bitesize Key Stage 3 bbc.co.uk

Teach it Geography teachitgeography.co.uk

Countries

Fact Monster factmonster.com

CIA The World Factbook cia.gov

Cities / GIS - Compare data on multiple cities

Urban Observatory urbanobservatory.org

Destinations

Video footage: Travel by Drone travelbydrone.com

Photographic imagery: NASA earthobservatory.nasa.gov

Weather

Weather base weatherbase.com

Met office metoffice.gov.uk

Tectonics

U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) usgs.gov

Population

Office for National Statistics ons.gov.uk

Environmental issues

Keep NI Beautiful keepnorthernirelandbeautiful.org

Tourism

Tourism NI tourismni.com