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Evaluating sources of information and Creating a graphic novel about Stonehenge. Updated.

Another post inspired by an excellent resource produced by Noel Jenkins.  We’ve used Stonehenge as a Year 7 assessment for the past four years as the issues continue to be relevant.  The issue also provides an opportunity for our classes to apply the skills learned throughout the ‘Amazing Places’ unit.  We get students to create a graphic novel of a journey from Portsmouth to Stonehenge.

A graphic novel requires carefully developed literacy skills and the ability to select information from a story. As this YouTube clip found by Jo demonstrates:

I’ve put these resources here as the first lesson allows students to evaluate photographs (through a Flickr slideshow), OS maps, website information and other forms of digital mapping including Google Earth. 

We consider this lesson to be one of the most important in the first term of Year 7 as it focuses on the crucial geographical skill of interpreting maps.  Do your schemes of work and lessons provide opportunities for young people to critically evaluate their sources of information or do you present per-selected sources as ‘fact’?

Once the class have explored all of the available information, including the Google Earth resources available on Noel’s site, it’s time to create a graphic novel.  The assessment task and level criteria are contained toward the end of the slideshare above (this only contains key slides from the lesson).

The slides above (thanks to Jo Debens) leads the students through the process.  This task has been changed from a simple ‘Comic Strip’ as we found the work wasn’t of sufficient quality.  Whether the shift of emphasis allows students to communicate with more depth will be seen in the next two weeks.

Essentially, once each student has selected the information they wish to use, they follow the process above.  We set no limits on the method of creation, and find that many of the better examples over the past four years have been hand drawn.  One lesson to remember though is that the students should create the story long-hand first, and select / create the images last.

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