I was booked in to be observed teaching a low ability year 7 class. The topic of the lesson was UK population patterns. I’ve taught the topic many times over the last few years but had never come up with a way to make it distinctly ‘active’. Usually it has involved discussing population distribution in the classroom, demonstrating sparse and dense population densities and looking at a few maps to describe and find reasons for the patterns.
I’d set similar tasks to those I carried out in the past but created more choice, challenge and engagement.
There were cards sorts instead of a powerpoint, worksheets instead of well a powerpoint… I’m sure you get how it’s been carried out before.
I started by creating 3 levels of task, identified by a spice grading.
(please note I do not own the copyright of the maps used, they were in resources I’d used at a previous school and I’ve taken them out of the versions you can download)
I’ve used spice rating many a time before but thought I’d add some intrigue to the task by placing the card sort materials into takeaway cartons. And yes, it worked, the students were eager to engage with the tasks in order to open their carton.
In each container there were cards suited to the task set on the worksheet.
Level 3 (spice rating 1) – cards to sort into sparse or dense
Level 4 (spice rating 2) – cards to sort into those relevant to London or the Scottish Highlands
Level 5 (spice rating 3) – 4 location cards and both picture and text cards to help explain why there would be a sparse or dense population.
The opportunity to write on the tables with a white board pen I imagine helped make the activity engaging.
I used for the first time WAGOLL (what a good one looks like) to demonstrate to the students what I would be looking for as part of the level 5 card sort task. It helped them to focus on what my expectations were and how they should go about it. Will definitely use WAGOLL again.
The feedback from the lesson was very positive (judged Outstanding, even though I don’t like gradings).
You can download my resources below.
I’ve take images out but you can easily replace them.
Hope the resources are of use.