Skip to main content

Simple lesson ideas: Getting maths into geography.

Many people feel that it’s easy to link to literacy in their subject, but not maths.  Personally, I think that’s a bonkers position and to do with the misconceptions of what maths is.  Maths has a large problem solving  and puzzle element and a very diverse discipline, which makes it ripe for subverting into many lessons.  I also worry that many teachers may not tackle maths within class as their own confidence is lacking.  This mindset can rub off on young people which is a problem.  This isn't about Ofsted criteria but ensuring that our kids understand stuff like how much they'd get ripped off by  Of course, maths should only be linked to when it's appropriate and is no different from any other teaching and learning tool / strategy / method.  As my school has a whole-school maths focus this year, I am thinking about how to get more problem solving / puzzle maths into lessons more and more.  I also like talking about geography as I feel like I know what I'm talking about....

Here is a starter I used with Year 7.  They could resize the triangles, rotate them and change them to any type of triangle they liked. Using four triangles reinforced the four countries of the United Kingdom too.  Students doodled in the back of their books.  I preferred this method over given them laminated shapes as it underlined the fact that there was no right answer and encouraged experimentation.  In classic style, some kids were chosen at random to scribble their creations on the board.  The outline map provided a visual scaffold.

2013-11-08 10.07.01

I was pleased with how the activity went, and it also reinforced the skills of sketch mapping.  This could be easily adapted - continents, countries...

For completeness, the lesson then headed outside to use our senses to identify weather variables, a consideration of where we can get weather information from (from phone apps to our own weather stations) and then one of my favourite activities - playing the BBC Weather forecast on silent and getting the students to identify the features of a good forecast and trying to write the script.  The lesson then considered the storm (more on this in a future lesson) and allowed the class to create their own 30 second descriptions of the prevailing weather conditions to develop literacy.  You can find a description here that references FotoBabble.

I have to say that I know how spoilt I was in terms of access to technology (especially handheld devices) at my last place, so the activities have to be adapted.  This isn't a bad thing, but does make sharing the outcomes more troublesome.


Popular posts from this blog

#GAConf22: A paradigm shift for anti-racist, decolonised teaching and inclusion

 " You can't start a fire,  You can't start a fire without a spark" Bruce Springsteen.  Well, it's been a fair while since I felt the motivation or the need to blog. Whilst not a story for now, over the past five years I've danced along the knife edge and, often, the call of the abyss has been both tempting and compelling. Certainly, my failing in both my personal and professional life have been numerous. But. This is not about me, but the people that have (re)ignited the spark to the fire in my soul. I realise that this is from the perspective of a privileged, white, middle class male view. I even have a beard. I am scared of getting it wrong on this topic. Teach me if I am wrong, it is from the position of a learner. I was looking forward to the GA Conference this year, the first face to face since 2019. I have to say that Alan , as president, and the Geographical Association's team did a fantastic job at being inclusive. The hybrid format allowed peopl

What makes a learning experience profound? Personal reflections and possible implications for classroom practice.

I have recently begun a Leadership Pathways journey.  As part of the first core day, we were asked to reflect on a profound learning experience. This got me thinking about how many profound learning experiences I have both been involved in, and how many I have been able to give to others.  Our group came up with a huge long list, but these are my five. Emotional Connected Demanding Reflective Collaborative As always, these are personal thoughts and quite mixed up.  I put them here so that I can look back on them (plus they’d get lost inside my world-cup-free brain) 1. Emotional I can’t think of a time where deep learning hasn’t engaged my emotions.  From being awe inspired to that tingle feeling when a student gets a light bulb moment.  From this-is-the-happiest-day-ever, to I-think-I’m-about-to die.  How often do we engage the emotions of those we teach?  Here, I would argue that having a safe learning environment is not always conducive to profound

Trust and support our school leaders, the role of the governing body in the Covid times

One of the roles that I love is being the Chair of a Governing Body.  The aim of this post is to share what we are doing, as a Board, during these difficult time.  I will refrain from commenting on the role of the Government, DfE and local authority as I intend for this to be both a positive and useful post. What is clear is that governing bodies have a crucial part to play. I am grateful both to the brilliant Clerk and the National Governance Association whose Covid advice pages are fantastic. Firstly; from the outset, the brilliant leadership team that I work with have my unwavering and public support. Regardless. As this is a fast evolving crisis, often with pages of advice, guideline and directives to decipher and digest on a daily basis. As such, the role of governing bodies is twofold: 1.  to prioritise the providing of support to the Headteacher and all colleagues in the school, and 2. to allow them to get on with operational matters and decision making. The role of