Geography Lesson Idea: Mapwork

Geography Lesson Idea: Mapwork

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

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.

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.

Related Stages

Areas of Learning

Geography