Friday, 21 December 2007

A little Animoto video

Downloads available now !

Wednesday, 19 December 2007

Nice feedback and some nice images...

Thanks to Mrs. Clarke for passing on some good feedback about the lessons on LANDSCAPES so far.
We have been getting some interesting poems in from you when asked about how you 'view' or imagine landscapes to be. We'll be showcasing more of your work in the New Year.
Thanks also to my friend Simon for telling me about the work of Josef Hoflehner, who is a photographer of LANDSCAPES. He has a particular style of photography which takes the key elements of a landscape. Check out his FROZEN HISTORY site for more sets of images, including the eponymous Frozen History set which has images of the hut used by Sir Ernest Shackleton on his Antarctic expeditions. The one below is from the snowscapes series, and is an example of the images. Check them out. He has an exhibition on in London at the moment.
Image Copyright: Josef Hoflehner "Early Snow"

I'm dreaming of a White Christmas....

Tuesday, 18 December 2007

Landscapes in Animation


While you're watching the Christmas TV, or staring at your Christmas cards - how are the landscapes depicted ?
What is a 'typical'' Christmas landscape ? What are its elements ?
How realistic is it as a landscape ?

Click the image above for a larger version, from the classic Tom Jerry "The Night Before Christmas" from the Quimby era (the only real T&J !)

Monday, 17 December 2007

How do you look at landscapes ?

We each look at a landscape in a particular way.
A geographer will have a particular view, a geologist another, a botanist another, a developer another, a hydrologist another, a walker another... etc...

Part of the study of landscapes should be an attempt to explain to students that this particular issue is one that they need to appreciate: that we all have our own internal landscapes which inform our views on the external landscapes that we encounter.

Sometimes landscapes are what we imagine.

Robert MacFarlane in "Mountains of the Mind" talks about how our cultural perceptions, emotional baggage, thoughts and ideas create a landscape as surely as geology has shaped it."

When conservationists bring imagination to landscapes they call it 'opportunity mapping': looking at landscapes not in terms of what is there, but what MIGHT be.

Sunday, 2 December 2007

Cyclone Sidr Resources

BANGLADESH - Cyclone Sidr Resources

Tony Cassidy spent the October half term of this year in Bangladesh.
As part of his travels, he was asked to create a resource.
The week after he arrived back in England, CYCLONE SIDR hit Bangladesh: the worst cyclone since 1991.

Details of the CYCLONE can be seen on the BBC NEWS site, and there is a very detailed article from the DAILY TELEGRAPH here.

Lesson Ideas Resources
1 Rationale- why study this event?Formation of the Cyclone Sidr.

Cyclone protection in Bangladesh.

PowerPoint with linked video and embedded animation.Student worksheet about the formation of the cyclone.
2 Causes, Impacts & Responses. PowerPoint introducing classification task.Student worksheet-classification task.
3 How quickly will Bangladesh cover? PowerPoint comparing development statistics of the U.K. and Bangladesh.Student response worksheet.
4,5,6 Levelled assessment. Students to produce a PowerPoint storyboard about the cyclone for B.B.C. news 24.Task worksheet.

Assessment criteria.

Outline PowerPoint.

The resources are a hefty 26Mb download.

If you use the resources, please make a donation to the OXFAM DISASTER RELIEF FUND. Click the link below, or the logo at the top of this post.



Image: Simon Hathaway

When teaching about landscapes, you need to have access to a range of images, to bring the landscape into the classroom.
My first port of call is FLICKR, which has over 1 billion images, many of them 'geotagged' by location.
Also try the following: (some of these will be blocked by school / LA filters)

Sunday, 18 November 2007

Enquiry Learning for new KS3

All of the titles in the new KS3 toolkit feature an ENQUIRY question as a focus for the unit.
It would also make sense (as some colleagues do) to have an enquiry question as the basis for every lesson. I think that idea has some legs... Pity that my energy levels don't...

David Rogers, a colleague on the GA Secondary Phase Committee has produced a very useful resource on teaching using ENQUIRY.
This presents some excellent ideas for using Enquiry as a basis for lessons which I intend to develop a little more into my KS3 thinking...

Check it out, and then tell David how useful you found it...
This also has a place in the new KS3 planning support conferences I think...

Try to think of some other LANDSCAPE based enquiry questions - it's not difficult..

Thursday, 20 September 2007

"Warm bath TV"

It's a Sunday evening, there is rain pattering against the window, and the coal fire is well in...
You turn on the TV to see someone walking across a mountain ridge, with a helicopter providing a sweeping panoramic shot of the landscape. The presenter: it could be a geographer, could be a TV gardener, could be one half of a former comedy duo, could be a hairy stand-up comedian, could be a jobbing character actor...

They're doing the 'hard work' so you don't have to...

Thanks to Sky+, YouTube, DVD players in laptops and Interactive boards with VHS inputs, it's easier than ever to bring a bit of the outside into your classroom....

Here are some of the suggestions for TV programmes which would provide a bit of colour to your teaching on landscapes, and perhaps make a point about the value, scale and importance of landscapes to students who are unfamiliar with the real world.

Series 1, 2 or 3
Nick Crane, Neil Oliver and team...

Several tours round the coast, taking in geography, history, anthropology and industrial change.

There is a link here with the OPEN UNIVERSITY, who have produced some materials to accompany the series, although the freebies have apparently run out.
A good section on INTRODUCING MAPS is worth looking at.
Also some good flash INTERACTIVES, such as "Postcards from the Future"

Nicholas Crane has then gone on to make some GREAT BRITISH JOURNEYS. This was a very good series, particularly the journeys of H V Morton through Scotland.
Website has details of all the journeys and a nice INTERACTIVE MAP

Griff Rhys Jones travelling from Scottish Highlands to Yorkshire and beyond...
Never saw him have a go at the In Pinn...

A recent addition, where people voted for their favourite view following 12 short things which suggested which views they should like the best.

The winner was WASTWATER.
Wonder how many of those who voted for it had seen it for real ?

John Craven and team... This long running series always has items of relevance to geographers, particular where the rural and urban combine. The website features information and weblinks related to the most recent edition.

There is now a BBC magazine which is set to be published monthly.The first issue which I bought has some interesting features...

Alan Titchmarsh
A useful feature of this series were the programmes which made up the last 10 minutes of each episode, showing how the


Produced with Iain Stewart, who was also responsible for earlier programmes with a focus on tectonics and geology.

MICHAEL PALIN'S JOURNEYS: the PALIN's TRAVELS website is a key resource
Around the World in 80 Days, Full Circle, Pole to Pole, Himalaya, Sahara, New Europe

New Zealand - complete with rather nice John McCusker music.

Also occasional specials:

Simon Reeve
A forthcoming series follows a journey along the Tropic of Capricorn.

Bruce Parry

This has a splendid website which covers landscapes which are more foreign than UK based, but what emerges is the close relationship that the groups Parry stays with have with their environment.

Most of these series have books to accompany them.
All of them have some geography which might be useful, or the ideal first few minutes to hook in the students...

This is not an exhaustive list. Are there any others that I have missed ? Which are your favourites ? Add a comment below....

Coming next - some suggested books for teaching about landscapes...

Again, if there are any that are your favourites please let me know by adding a comment below...

Wednesday, 29 August 2007

Welcome to the blog...

This blog emerges from a major project that I have spent time on this summer: a new Scheme of Work and resource package for teaching geography through an exploration of LANDSCAPES and what they mean for us, and how we interact with them.
I will post further ideas on SOURCES of information, WEBLINKS which you'll find useful, and my own TRAVELS and IMAGES.

One particular focus will be on the use of writing by some of my favourite authors, who share their experiences of landscapes. Teaching should be about continuous development and extending our own knowledge, and pedagogy.

To finish, a quote from Robert MacFarlane's "Wild Places" book.

"I think imagination needs a precise geography"

I will try to provide both in my blog postings...