Mrs Humanities

teacher . blogger . friend


Teaching and Learning Mission Cards

T&L missions

After creating Learner Secret Mission Cards  I then got a bit excited when I came up with an idea for applying it to Teaching and Learning.

I love a good game (in fact spent several hours yesterday playing board games with the other half) and thought why not add the element of secrecy and challenge to CPD.

So I’d like to introduce to you “Teaching and Learning Missions”.

teacher cardsI’m rather excited about the idea, I know a number of colleagues that would be up for the challenge so can’t wait to invite them to participate with me.

Personally I’d make it an opt in activity, wouldn’t want to force it on people as it would take the fun out of it.

How does it work? 

Quite simple really, secretly deliver a mission to a participating member of staff. They take on the challenge of incorporating the named activity into one or more lessons that week. Read the information sheet below for more guidance.


If you’d like to use my Teaching and Learning Missions cards, you can download a PDF version of the blank cards here and with examples here.

Hope you like this little idea. If you download them and use them, please feedback.


Mrs Humanities



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Humanities in the News – Edition 2

geography resourcesThe last 2 weeks have been interesting both in school and in the news. Pupils have brought up topics such as the Scottish Referendum independently and we have spent a good 15 minutes or so discussing it. It may not be part of the lesson plan but if it develops their interest in the news I’m all for it. Ofsted may not agree.

1// Scotland voted NO!

Following from Edition 1 the Scottish Referendum had an interesting turn out, 55% of the Scottish population that voted decided they wanted to stay in Great Britain. I honestly thought the Yes vote was going to win.

This however I feel sets a precedent for change and many questions for pupils to consider.

How will this outcome affect future elections? With Alex Salmond stepping down from the SNP, who will take his place? Will the SNP remain as Scotland’s largest party?
Will there be greater devolution of power to enable Scotland to implement what Scotland feels in best for them?
Why did 45% of the population that voted want independence so much?
Will the people of Scotland get along in peace or will there be clashes for years to come?
What does this mean for Wales?

Here are some articles that have been published recently that maybe used for dicussion and debate

1.In Record Turnout Demographics Shape Scotland’s Emphatic No Vote –

2. Politicians ponder Scotland’s future –

3. Salmond to quit after Scots vote No –

4. Cameron pledges devolution revolution after no vote –

5. Police separate rival groups in Glasgow –

6. Queen urges referendum ‘respect’ –

Teaching Resources 

Whilst I haven’t found any resources,  I do like the idea of taking photos from these articles and using them as a discussion point with pupils. Encourage the pupils to consider the story of the image, perhaps get them to match images to headlines.

2// 11 Billion People

A new report estimates that the global population could reach 11 billion by 2100. With rapid population growth, exponential urbanisation, overconsumption and dwindling resources the ability to sustain ourselves presents more and more challenges. I love teaching the topic of population change and the challenges it poses but the exam specifications I feel make it so boring. There’s so much to cram in that its difficult to take the topic off on a (relevant) tangent and really explore the issue. In the past I have enjoyed teaching population to KS3, we’ve had the time to explore the problems of overpopulation and the role of a variety of factors in population change such as industrialisation and ageing populations.

Whilst the following articles do not explore population alone I wanted to include them as they would make interesting talking points in relation to population growth and the issues presented by a growing population.

1.  A World With 11 Billion People? New Population Projections Shatter Earlier Estimates –

2. Humans: the real threat to life on Earth –

3. It’s not overpopulation that causes climate change, it’s overconsumption –

4. We need to develop a new urban agenda – let’s start on World Cities Day –

5. Africa’s Population Will Quadruple by 2100. What Does That Mean for its Cities? –

Teaching Resources

There are so many resources on population and population growth, so many to choose from.

My favourite, the Jelly Baby Population Game. A winner all round. I have adjusted it slightly when I’ve used it but this is the original one I’ve adapted. It works well with all learners from Ks2 to Ks5.

There are a selection of ideas on the National Geographic site – Population 7 Billion. I like the idea of the Pasta Population Map. Might try it at some point.

There are an array of resources on the TES,  I like this lesson on Malthus and Boserup.

3// Explosive Eruption

Last one is short and simple, If you haven’t seen the amazing footage of a sonic boom created by the eruption of Mount Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea, watch this clip. It demonstrates the a sonic boom created by a volcanic eruption. Amazing!

1.  “Holy Smokin’ Toledoes…” Volcano Sonic Boom! –

2. Volcanic Sounds –


Hope it’s useful. Please share with friends and colleagues.


Mrs Humanities



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Resources- Scale of Issues

In my experience so far I’ve found that teaching students about the different scales of local, national, international and global to be of great importance.

I’ve found that when the year 7’s arrive in September they tend not to understand the difference, that’s always one of my first steps in the first term. My next step is getting them to locate where they live on different scales. Some of them get this straight away but others can find this concept difficult to comprehend, this is where a visual approach comes in useful. I’ve used Google Earth for this in the past. I’ve started by locating the school, then zoomed out to give a view of the county, followed by a view of the country and  finally a continental view. We’ve then tried it with other examples around the world.

In my previous school I would come back to this often, particularly in the Global Issues. I felt it important that pupils understood that a global issue such as climate change can have impacts on different scales and they would need to refer to the different scales of impacts to achieve the higher levels of KS3.  To help the pupils understand the scale of impact in the first lesson I would carry out this little activity.



It’s a really simple resource that can be adapted to make it relevant to your local area or current events. Basically on each wall I place a scale card: Global, National, Local or Personal, each with a definition.
Each pupil is then given a card with an issue and they must locate themselves around the room. At first I tell the pupils they can not discuss with anyone their card, ideas or opinions.

Once all pupils have located themselves, I get them to ask two other people in their group if they agree or disagree. Often you will find a few move, make note of who they were and ask them later on why they moved.

I ask for a few examples from each group and ask them to justify their decision. I find this can create some debate amongst the class and it’s quite interesting to see how the pupils begin to see the links between some of the issues. The last time I did this activity a lot of the pupils were of the opinion that many of the local and national problems were a result of the global problems. For instance one young lady pointed out that she thought the card which said “There is a low harvest of apples in the UK” was a result of the “Low water levels (drought) in the South East of England” which was overall a result of Global Warming and Climate Change which she had recently studied in Science.

We then discuss the issues and they come up with their own examples to demonstrate their understanding of the different scales. Finally I get the pupils to sort the cards (and themselves) into order from the most important issues to be dealt with to the least important. This creates lots of discussion and debate, a timer is well advised.

Cards to give to individual pupils – Issues Cards

Cards with scale and definitions – Scale Cards

How do you teach different scales in Geography? Share your ideas and links in the comments.

Mrs Humanities

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My Top 3 Geography Resource Sites

geography resourcesThroughout my PGCE and NQT years I spent a great deal of time learning how to teach effectively. During this process a major part involved researching, creating and developing a wide variety of resources. I owe a great deal to the experience of other teachers and there willingness to share their resources with others. r

The resources provided by a large number of the teaching community are essential for new teachers, without inspiration from others I would never have developed my own style of teaching and the array of resources I’ve created as a result. 

Here are my top 3 Geography resource sites to aid the transition into the new academic year. 

1 // Geography Pods
I’ve used, adapted and been inspired by many resources on this site. It’s great. It contains a “vast range of dynamic and effective teaching and learning resources suitable for geography students” in Key Stage 3-5. 

Some of my favourites include Landscapes in a Box, Development and the Geography of my Stuff

2 // Radical Geography

On some of those dark and gloomy days when my personal creativity is hiding in the depths of my brain I’ve turned to this site for inspiration. I’ve used the Pop-Up Drainage Basin many a time with great results. Then there’s the illustrative Richter Scale worksheet great for homework for KS3.Then there is the array of Weather and Climate resources that have inspired many a great lesson. 

3 // Staffordshire Learning Net

This site has not been updated for a long time now but there are an array of resources available. I used and adapted many of the resources throughout my PGCE year my particular favourite was Who killed Chico Mendez? A great resource for teaching about Rainforests Ecosystems or Sustainability. 

One final suggestion is Share Geography. This is recent discovery so I’ve not used, adapted or been inspired by any of the resources yet. However there are many ideas on offer, I’m particularly attracted by the ideas for using lego in the classroom entitled LEGO collaboration. I believe it’s another site provided by Tony Cassidy

Do you have any suggestions for other great resource sites for Geography resources? Share them in the comments below. 

Good luck with the new school year (if your not back already).

Mrs Humanities