Mrs Humanities

Because I'm married to the job.


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Mrs Humanities explores… How the fight against climate change is more than just school strikes and protests.

Yesterday as a number of my students chose to discuss the school strikes on climate change with me, I decided it was time to talk to them about how the fight against climate change goes far beyond policy change. That politicians, governments and world leaders aren’t the only ones that need to take action.

Starting the Discussion

When student’s asked me my thoughts I decided it was time to talk to them about behavioural change. I asked many of them to consider the actions they take to fight climate change. Many of them had little to say except we recycle.

We discussed the benefits of raising awareness through protests and strikes and that through such action we can ask for change, but it also requires us to change.

As a Geographer I teach the science, the evidence and the impacts. We touch on ecological footprints throughout and consider ways to reduce ours, we explore in detail mitigation and adaptation methods too. But I’ve forgotten to put taking action into my curriculum design.

Helpless

Often I think young people feel helpless when it comes to global issues. They have little say in the matters that will concern them in the future. Take the EU referendum for instance, I’ve worked in two schools during the entire process from proposal to now, both very different contexts. However, the EU referendum intrigued the students and engaged them in politics. I remember the day the results were announced and it was all many of my students talked about for the rest of the day; many disappointed, a few pleased others just unsure. But what they understood was that their futures were influenced by the decisions of others and that they had no say in the matter. They felt angered by this. Many of my current students feel the same way.

But acting on climate change is something they can do. We need to empower young people to see that dealing with world issues isn’t beyond their control. If they want to see change in the world, they mustn’t be apathetic about it. Small changes make a big difference. Our choices influence decisions being made my others. For instance, if we start to boycott instead of supporting polluting brands, they will eventually change their ways.

Behavioural Change

Prior to training to teach I worked for several months with Global Action Plan on their EcoTeams project.

EcoTeams originated in the Netherlands in the 1990s and since then over 150,000 people have participated worldwide.

An EcoTeam is a group of householders who get together once a month over a five- to six-month period to follow a step-by-step process of manageable actions on sustainable living. Team members measure their household’s environmental impact, share their experiences and agree together on practical lasting changes.

NSMC
Source: https://www.thensmc.com/resources/showcase/ecoteams

The project involved providing workshops to EcoTeam leaders that would then set up EcoTeams in their local area. The idea being that each team would take weekly changes to their behaviour with the ultimate aim of reducing resource consumption, their ecological footprints and their environmentally detrimental behaviours.

Reflecting on the climate strikes has got me thinking about how we as teachers, school leaders and adults can support young people in changing behaviours, attitudes and ultimately influence policymakers.

Going Forward

Working in an International Baccalaureate schools means we provide opportunities for ‘Creativity, activity, service’ within the diploma and at KS4. We’ve introduced the community project to year 9’s this year and students started to explore ways of taking action in their school community.

Whilst there are plenty of extra-curricular opportunities. This has got me thinking about how to develop this into the curriculum right from year 7.

At present we are teach about energy resources in the UK and within the topic they learn about the UK’s energy mix, the pros and cons of renewables, nuclear and fossil fuels, we explore and debate fracking and consider how the UK could become a ‘Zero Carbon Britain‘. I’m now considering how we can develop activism and behavioural change into this unit.

How do you develop student actions on global issues? Would love to here more on what others are doing, feel free to leave a comment.


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Resource – Geography in the News Reading Review Sheet

During a lesson with one of my year 13 classes recently, it became apparent that I often ask “did you see in the news…?” after my students highlighted the fact that I regularly ask it and they always say “nope”.

It got me thinking about how I can get them to engage with current affairs, especially as so much of it is relevant to the IB Geography course particularly the higher level topics. This morning it came to me! As part of their revision process I’m going to get them to find, read and review news articles that link to the content they have covered. They will then share their findings with the class in order to develop discussion and a review of their prior learning. In particular I want them to be able to see the bigger picture of how much of the content links.

In order to help facilitate this process I’ve created this resource sheet.

It got me thinking about how I can engage other year groups in reading around the subject, especially as there are a number of students that excel in Geography every year and I encourage to read and watch the news to be able to draw upon other examples in their work.

I therefore decided to make a similar sheet for MYP (Key Stage 3) to use for Geography as a stand alone subject, for Individuals and Societies as a discipline and for IB Environmental Systems and Societies. For MYP I’m thinking I might set it as one homework per unit of inquiry.

I’ve made a further version which is more general and can be used with any year group.

To download editable version and a PDF, click here.

Hope you find them of use.


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Resource – Alaskan Oil Hexagon Task



As part of the current GCSE specification we explore the opportunities and challenges associated with development. Our case study is on Alaska so we take a look at developing tourism and oil extraction.

In this lesson we look at the opportunities and challenges associated with the exploitation of Alaskan oil reserves.

We start with a bit of background information on Alaska’s remaining oil reserves, the history of exploitation and the development of the Trans-Alaskan Pipeline.

Students then use the textbook resources and their own research to complete the hexagon thinking task as outlined in the instructions below.

The aim of the task is to make students understand the challenges and opportunities associated with oil extraction as well as the interconnections between the different elements shown on the cards.

I show students a range of clips in addition to the background information I provide including some of the following

Past views – 2002

To download the hexagon sheet, click here.


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Resource – UK Climate Inquiry

Teaching about weather and climate is probably one of my favourite topics to teach in Geography. I love the relevance, I love the theory and I love exploring the data surrounding it. To help my students understand the climate of the UK, the differences and the influences I created this UK Climate Inquiry.

Students are provided with a task sheet individually and a resource pack in groups.

The resource pack contains
– Climate data for 6 locations in the UK from the Met Office
– Precipitation and temperature maps for the UK from the Met Office
– Air mass diagram
– Factors affecting climate cheat sheet

Students are also provided with 4 climate graph templates to reduce the time spent creating climate graphs so they can focus on developing their understanding of the theory.

The task requires students to explore a range of resources to help them to understand how the climate of the UK varies and the factors that influence our climate.

Stage 1

Students start off by making predictions on the following using their prior knowledge

  • Which areas of the UK do you think get the most rainfall? Why do you think this?
  • Which areas of the UK do you think have the highest temperatures? Why do you think this?
  • What do you think affects an areas rainfall and temperature?

They then use the resources provided in the group pack to fill in the two tables.

Stage 2

Next they select 4 out of the 6 locations provided. Using an atlas students have to work out where the named locations can be found. Choosing one location to represent each section of the UK (North East, North West, South East, South West). To stretch and challenge students there is also a central location to encourage comparison between coastal and inland areas.

Stage 3

Next students create climate graphs for each of their chosen locations using the Met Office data found here.

I provide the students with climate graph templates so they spend less time deciphering how to set up their climate graph and more time analysing them. To stretch and challenge I do encourage students to create a climate graph of their own for the central location.

Stage 4

The next stage involves data analysis and interpretation. Students are required to describe the patterns they see for each section of the UK and offer reasons using the resources provided.

Stage 5

Finally students write a conclusion in their book to bring together their findings on how and why the climate of the UK varies.

Stretch and Challenge

For students that excel in the task, they are encouraged to compare central and coastal areas by creating their own climate graph for Sutton Bonnington. After doing so, they then compare the characteristics with the other locations, using the factors affecting climate cheat sheet to explain the differences.

If you’d like the resources, download it here.

Hope you can make use of the resource.
Best wishes,


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Mrs Humanities shares… the 10 most viewed posts of 2018

2018 was quite an incredible year for me, it went from being offered a book deal to appearing on BBC Breakfast. In 2016, when I went through depression and a breakdown, I could barely envisage a future in teaching, to be able to use the experience to help others has been life changing for me. But I’m not here to talk about that but you can read more in my review of 2018 here.

What I am sharing in this post are the top 5 most viewed posts of 2018. They were bloomin’ popular. So here goes…

1 // Resource – GCSE Case Study and Exam Question Revision Booklet

In this post I shared a revision booklet to facilitate student independence in the revision process. Designed for AQA Geography but easily adaptable for other specifications.

The booklet provided students with a list of case studies, templates to summarise the case studies and exam questions to apply the content. With over 5,000 downloads of the booklet, I hope it’s helped students (and teachers) across the country.

2 // Resource – How to Revise in Geography

Creeping in just behind was the ‘How to Revise in Geography’ guide. Inspired by Greg Thornton’s post on How do we revise for history? which I recommended in my post on Mrs Humanities shares… 5 Epic History Revision Resources I decided to make a resource for my Geography students. It clearly hasn’t just been of benefit to my students, with almost 5,000 downloads of the document I’m hoping it’s been of help to many young people beyond my own classroom and school.

3 // Mrs Humanities shares… 10 Great Geography Revision Resources

I’m starting to see a theme now. Clearly revision has been on the minds of many this year. Perhaps it’s the pressure of accountability measures, maybe the tougher nature of the new 9-1 exams or maybe teachers just want to improve their student’s approach to revision, either way most popular post number 3 was another revision one. This time I shared and highlighted the work of a range of Geography teachers from the Twittersphere including
@teachgeogblog , @Jennnnnn_x , @InternetGeog , @GeoNewbz  and other. Many of these I have made use of in my own classroom.

4 // Zombie Apocalypse Atlas and Map Skills SoW

This one is always a popular post. In it I have shared resources to the scheme of work I produced to develop and embed atlas and map skills through the scenario of a zombie apocalypse. I’ve taught it a couple of times and every time it has been loved by the students.

I’ve seen it (via twitter and emails) used in classrooms across the world, which is incredible. It’s been adapted into other languages (Welsh and Chinese) and has been download over 40,000 times since I first published it back in Autumn 2015.

5 // Resource – Differentiation Strategies CPD

Next up was a resource I produced to support teacher training on differentiation. The presentation provides a variety of tried and tested strategies for differentiation and scaffolding to support and challenge students. You can even download the ready-to-go PowerPoint presentation.

6 // Mrs Humanities shares… 5 Whole Class Feedback Examples

Unsurprisingly the next few most read posts of 2018 are associated with feedback and marking. In this one, I shared 5 examples of whole class feedback to support teachers, departments and schools making the move from marking to feedback.

7 // My Marking and Feedback Toolkit

Since publishing this post in January 2017, it’s been a popular one. In this post I share the strategies that make up my marking and feedback toolkit. I tried and tested a range of strategies over a couple of years to find what worked best for me, my style of teaching and most importantly my students. In that time I changed schools and had to start again with the narrowing down process but it didn’t take me long to find what worked. This post goes on to highlight those 5 strategies.

8 // Mrs Humanities shares… 6 Epic History Revision Resources

Back to revision again, this one shared 6 epic resources for revision in History. I no longer teach history but I do like to keep up with pedagogical developments and resource sharing just in case I ever return to it. This post needs up-dating as I’ve seen many more fantastic resources since I first posted it, that will happen in due course I promise.*

*but please don’t hold me accountable if I do completely forget 🙂

9 // Marking, feedback and DIRT

This is one of my first posts on marking and feedback from way back in June 2015. The area of interest has come along way since then, but it’s a great post for those new to the profession or those being introduced to the idea of #feedbackNOTmarking.

In the post I share a range of strategies I’d tried in order to improve feedback but reduce workload. These then made up part of a CPD session for new and current staff at the school I was working at. The post also provides a downloadable resource with all the strategies included.

10 // Mrs Humanities shares… 10 fantastic displays for the Humanities

The final most popular post of the 10 was this one where I shared 10 fantastic display ideas for Humanities. The post shared 10 great examples of displays I’d come across on Twitter from the likes of @mrsrgeog @sehartsmith @MrJPteach  @EduCaiti and several more.

And that sums up this post on the 10 most popular posts of 2018. Hope you’ve found something of use and inspiration this year. Thank you for the continued support throughout 2018.

Best wishes for 2019.


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Mrs Humanities shares… Simulation Games for Geography

I was recently searching for GIS resources when I came across an old document I had about the use of simulation games in Geography. I haven’t used them for a long while (since my PGCE) so thought I’d take a look at what is out there now and share some useful ones with you. 

Disaster Master

Suitable for Key Stage 2 and 3.

Each disaster starts with a comic strip style introduction before a question is asked and a decision is to be made. Depending on the option chosen, students earn points. 

The game takes students through a range of scenarios and solutions, giving them insight into the hazard and management. 

Stop Disasters

Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.

This game is provided by the UN Office for Disaster Risk Reduction. Through a range of scenarios and levels students develop an understanding of the risks posed by natural hazards.

Students can choose between tsunamis, hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes and floods. 

Once a hazard has been selected players can choose a scenario from numerous regions of the world allowing students to compare countries of different stages of development. 

The game then takes the player through a scenario in which they have to respond through careful planning and preparation. With limited funds students have to consider how to spend the money effectively. 

2050 Energy Calculator

Suitable for Key Stage 4 and 5.

This is an interactive game created by the Department for Energy and Climate Change that allows students to explore scenarios to reduce the UK’s carbon emissions. 

Students explore supply and demand as well as energy security, air quality and costs in this simulation. It provides effective insight into future energy challenges. 

FloodSim

Suitable for Key Stage 3 and 4.

This simulation aims to raise awareness of the issues surrounding flood policy and management. During the game students are put in control of flood policy in the UK for three years. They must decide on how much money to spend on defenses, where to build houses and how to keep the public informed all whilst remaining in budget. 

They are required to weigh up the pros and cons of flood management against the potential impacts. 

Climate Bathtub Simulation 

Suitable for Key Stage 3, 4 and 5.

A very simple interactive simulation game, the climate bathtub simulation teaches several principles regarding the dynamics of the global carbon cycle and climate change. It helps students to understand how changes in carbon dioxide emissions will affect levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

Energy Saving Game

Suitable for Key Stage 2

In this game students explore the home for potential energy efficiency improvements and answer quiz questions to lower a house’s energy use.

Other games I’ve not tried

Fate of the World  – Climate Change Simulation

ElectroCity – Urban Management Game

Eco – Decision making game 

EarthGames


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Resource – Lagos Redevelopment DME

resourceA simple activity that stimulates students abilities to make informed decisions in preparation for AQA Paper 3. Students are given resources on the redevelopment of the waterfront of Lagos in order to make a decision on whether the waterfront redevelopment should take place. After discussion students answer the exam style question.

tasksources

There are a wide range of videos that could be shown to the class alongside the resources to develop their understanding of the redevelopment.

Some suggestions include

EKO ATLANTIC Lagos Nigeria. Whats Inside??

Residents of Nigeria’s floating slum thrive

Lagos: Evicted slum-dwellers demand right to return

Download the resources by clicking below.

download here

 

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – Assessment for Learning Booklet AQA Geography

resourceI’ve previously shared with you all the AfL grids my department and I use with our GCSE students which our students use to assess their understanding of the content before and after the topic. They also enable students to track their progress.

We make use of ‘PPQs’ also known as past paper questions. These are mostly taken from the AQA sample papers but we have also used a number of relevant questions from past papers.

Rather than printing off each set of PPQs as and when required, this year to help our students to become more independent in the learning process I’ve created an assessment for learning booklet.

These booklets contain both the AfL grids and the PPQs which will be completed over the course. Some times PPQs are completed in class, other times for homework.

booklet pages

My plan is that as we cover the content, students can start to answer the PPQs when they are ready to do so. A deadline for submitting the PPQs will be set as we undertake the topic so students have a deadline to work to.

You can download a copy of it by clicking the button below.

download here

Feedback welcomed.

Mrs Humanities

 


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Resource – IBDP Geography Case Study Revision Booklets

resourceAfter the success of the GCSE case study and exam question booklets, I’ve set out making similar resources for my IB students. So far the booklet/s consist of case study template sheets. As more sample papers and exam papers become available I will start adding exam questions to the booklets.

The booklets start by outlining the case studies and examples required by the IB specification.

page 1

And they are then followed by a series of case study template sheets for students to complete as part of the review and revise process.

page 5

page 12

Eventually exam questions will be added for students to apply their knowledge to.

For a copy of the booklets, click the relevant link below.

Paper 1 Option B – Oceans and Coastal Margins
Paper 2 – Unit 1: Changing Population
Paper 2 – Unit 2: Global Climate

In Progress – Whole Course Case Study and Exam Question Booklet

As I complete the others they will be added.

Mrs Humanities


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Resource – Paper 3 Question, Mark Scheme and Answer Advice Match UP

resourceRecently I put together an activity that involved my students looking at AQA paper 3 fieldwork questions, their mark schemes and answer advice. The feedback from the students was resoundingly positive and after some recent requests I thought I’d share it.

The card consisted of 6 questions, 6 mark schemes and 6 answer advice cards.

instructions

cards to cut out.png

cards.jpg

Students were given the set of 6 questions from Paper 3, Section B on fieldwork and were asked to try and work out how many marks the question would be worth. Students were thinking about the command terms and the content of the question, their discussions effective at drawing out the purpose of the question.

Next they tried to match the mark schemes to the question.

cards-2.jpg

Finally they added the answer advice cards.

cards-4.jpg

We then went through the questions, the marks available and discussed how to answer them before finally answering the questions for themselves.

 

To download an editable copy click here below

download here

 

Hope you can find it of use.

Mrs Humanities