I teach a small class on a Thursday afternoon. My brief is to teach them life skills with a particular emphasis on numeracy. I get them in a computer lab and we have done lots of interesting things over the past few months – I must get round to writing about more of them!
For today’s lesson I was trying to look at rounding numbers, direction and distance. As with all my lessons (must be the Geography Teacher in me!) I can never help trying to introduce place.
Here’s what we did:
Students opened Google Earth and a Word Document (technology).
In the Word Document we created a table similar to the one below. We had a discussion about famous landmarks (natural or human) and tried to get one from each continent (place). They could also pick some of their own.
The next job was to complete the table. Using The Google Earth ruler tool, the students worked independently to fly between MusselburghGrammar School and the various landmarks (place). Once the ruler line was drawn between the two points the students toggled between kilometres and miles to fill in the table (numeracy). But they had to round to the nearest number for both measurements (numeracy).
Here's a quick video showing you how to do this if you don't know how:
Next they had to zoom out of Google Earth to get a feeling of direction (place and direction), so they could fill in their third column. The fourth column was left blank for the time being.
It was fascinating to watch the class explore the various places as they completed their tables.
Next, they had to pick one of the landmarks or a landmark of their own choosing and explore it (place). The main task was to take a picture of it using the ‘print screen’ button. They were asked to record the orientation that the photograph was taken in (numeracy).
We then used the Motivational Poster Generator of Big Huge Labs (technology) to make some impressive posters (thanks to the on-line geography community for this idea).
- The main picture was their landmark screenshot.
- The title was the name of the land mark
- Line 1: A brief descriptive summary of the place (literacy)
- Line 2: the distance and direction from MGS
- Line 3: the photo credit and photograph orientation
Here is some of the work they produced: