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Odblog

A weblog designed to share Geography resources with students and colleagues

Sunday, March 03, 2013

Carousel Country Comparison

Apologies for the alliteration in the title, but the alternative post header was even more of a mouthful, a consequence of trying to turn my brain on too late. I'm hoping to use a carousel activity to highlight some of the difficulties in comparing levels of development between countries with my S3 groups. I was thinking back to a successful homework exercise that I used a wee while ago now at my previous school. I've included the Country A/ Country B image below (or above, depending on the way this post comes out) and it's actually the same country in both examples, DR Congo. I'm going to ask students to post their answers to the questions within it on the wall and collect and reflect at the end of the activity.

In the second activity, I'm going to have a number of atlases available. I want the students to really start exploring the full range of information available within it - socio-economic, physical etc and will ask them to consider Kenya, India and Brazil and, using only the atlas, determine which country is likely to be the most developed. This also covers a key curricular outcome using maps and specialised maps.

Thirdly, I want to have an indicators mix and match, where I'll be using the CIA world factbook information on the same three countries and asking students to allocate the figures to the correct location. This should be quite challenging as we have really just covered what we mean by development and why some countries are more developed than others (briefly) but we have already looked at some population indicators. It means that students will also have to think about what the indicators mean before they have been properly explained. However, I still intend to include as part of this task a response to which figures are most meaningful in telling us how developed the countries are and why. This is something we can obviously then use later.

Finally, I'm going to appropriate the old Make Poverty History banner and add the word 'by' to it and give the students some time to add their own suggestions as to how countries can improve standard of living/quality of life within India, Kenya and Brazil based on what they have learned from the previous tasks. The solutions must be realistic and, where possible, cost effective. All of this will then feed in to a homework task where students will compare the United Kingdom and one of the three focus countries by examining development indicators, physical and human factors influencing the level of development in each and possible strategies to narrow the development gap. This will then be brought together at the end of the unit mirroring one of the National 4/5 style of assessments where students will present orally on their comparison. I feel like we are over-assessing at present in S3, which goes against the ethos of the new curriculum a little, so we are really using this for practice and familiarisation rather than potential level setting for S4. Most importantly, students here are getting the opportunity to explore their task beforehand, draw their own conclusions and air their own opinions which will hopefully all make the final task a little bit easier. Any feedback greatly appreciated and any potential to develop the task would be considered, it's all a little rough just now. That's a lot of words and a few too many requests for the first blog in ages ;-)

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