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Odblog

A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Cartoon Cavalcade


Categories: Geography General, Advanced Higher, s1 and s2, Environmental Hazard
Trying to put a very busy few weeks behind me and get back to the blog. As a result, this might be a bit of a ramble, so apologies as I try to cram quite a bit in here. More about the title later, first, it's s1. One of the things that has been keeping me busy is an attempt to write a unit on wild weather which has been coming in fits and starts. I didn't want to do a full on weather unit with a wee bit about hurricanes tacked on to the end, as it's my experience that the students prefer more of the latter and less of the former. I know it shouldn't all be about student preference, but I thought there was scope to tip the balance and this was confirmed by a quick question round I conducted with my classes prior to beginning the new topic. I told the s1 we would be studying weather and asked them to think that, if they had one thing they could find out during the topic, what would it be? I got lots of responses about hurricanes and tornadoes, but also, surprisingly, lots wanting to know why we don't get that kind of weather phenomenon and, of course, why it always rains here! I've decided that we can do this through an introduction to weather and climate which then takes us on to the impact of climate on wild weather e.g. summer norms leading to warm water sufficient to trigger tropical storms. There are some excellent resources to use for this topic without re-inventing the wheel, lots from Tony Cassidy, some nice experiments like this one and a load of stuff available on the Abbeyfield blog. I also hadn't seen this singalong before from the GATM site. All will hopefully be used at some point in the coming weeks, so many thanks to the authors.
Speaking of schemes of work, a post by Alan Parkinson, who has often highlighted the potential for using kids animation films in teaching Geography, sparked an idea (here comes the cartoon bit). I am lucky enough to have two young children, which means that I have the perfect excuse to own and watch many of the Pixar films and say that they are really for my kids. I see a real potential to use these in a scheme of work to engage students in Geography in the lower school. Just throwing thoughts together quickly, I can think of changes in retail (Al's Toy Barn in toy story), the impact of transport changes on rural towns (Cars), Desert landscapes from the same film, sustainability (Wall-E), Urban landscapes (The Incredibles), ocean conservation and ocean currents (Finding Nemo) as just a few of the geographical themes covered. David Rogers also expressed an interest and it would be a nice theme to collaborate around. I think it could be a really good way of making some of the themes that students would study later in geography accessible at an earlier age. I hope that this gets off the ground and that there is much more to come here.
Something that the films won't do is help my Advanced Higher understand a nearest neighbour analysis. Fortunately, Ollie Bray will, and I also think this is a technique that several of the students might be able to use in the Geographical Study, particularly those that might be looking at clustering of services and land use patterns. We'll be looking at the dams outside Newton Mearns to see whether these are randomly distributed or not, but there is also scope to do some fieldwork in the school grounds and in particular the woodland area if the weather is nice in future. At the moment, that looks highly unlikely....

1 Comments:

At 10:57 pm, Blogger Mr Rogers said...

Hi Kenny - I hope we definably get this off the ground - I think the next stage is the creation of a wiki or other workspace structured around the Google Doc?

 

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