In my first year of teaching I had an autistic student in my geography class who was fascinated by Star Wars. At lunch times his favorite activity was typing the names of star wars characters into my computer as long lists – it must have cost the department a fortune to print the lists out!
Luckily I’ve always quite liked Star Wars and we were often able to chat for hours over the original films.
Getting him interested in geography was of course a different matter…One day I had a brain wave and taught the Standard Grade Climate Regions Unit in the style of the Star Wars planets - I spent hours adapting the unit...
The Tundra became Hoth (the ice planet), Hot Deserts became Tatooine (where Jabba the Hut was from) and the Rainforest became Dagobah (Yoda’s home).
It worked brilliantly and the rest of the class enjoyed it as well. Although, I have to admit, the next unit on industry was a bit more problematic to get the class motivated for!
Anyway, I was reminded and was laughing about the experience today when I came across this website (via lifehacker) that allows you enter a location and then it sucks in the yahoo weather data and works out what Star Wars planet it would be most like.
Probably not particularly accurate but I wish I had this in my classroom toolbox when I started teaching – it would have been great fun!