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Young Geographers Project Southborough CE Primary School

The True Story of Little Red Riding Hood – A Geographical Adventure

Age Group: Key stage 1/year 2

Selection of content: Our school has recently invested in equipment for the production and editing of film and video media. I wanted to utilise this technology to provide a fun and rewarding way for young children to explore and present their feelings about aspects of the local environment. The cross-curricular links that this project offered, particularly with ICT and Literacy, were also a huge incentive to use film making.

Teaching & Learning Activities

View the PowerPoint Presentation to find out how Jonathan set about making this film-based geographical unit.

Evaluation

This project was a very successful way of engaging children in a cross-curricular activity which had a focus on geography but also met many other learning targets. It allowed children to focus on a range of geographical skills as well as developing important basic literacy skills. I was able to deliver much of the content through a Literacy unit of study. The project also involved a wide range of ICT skills which were developed during film production and editing.

Although the project took a lot of time we were able to deliver the activities within our usual timetable structure.

The main benefit of the project was that it encouraged children to look at their local environment for a specific geographical purpose. Locations were chosen not just because the children knew them or like them but because they suited the purpose of telling the story. This allowed children to evaluate locations and make judgements about their environmental impact on people’s lives. For example locations with broken glass were highlighted as part of the story. We were able to discuss why some locations have broken glass, how it gets there and what we might do to prevent glass being left around in the future. The link here between Geography and Citizenship was becoming apparent.

The children have been fascinated by the project and the motivation of producing a film has been wonderful to see. It has allowed the children to consider aspects of their local environment and express their views on particular locations with regard to environmental hazards and issues.

They also developed their mapping skills when selecting locations for the film. We used OS maps at 1:50 000 scale to identify specific streets and locations around our school that could be used to tell the story.

Although the narrative is fictional the film points out real hazards in the local environment and gives advice on how these hazards can be avoided. The children have very clear ideas about the locations in the film and what hazards and dangers are involved.

The PowerPoint Presentation about the making of our film includes some quotes from the children about their perceptions of these geographical locations.

Further Development

I would like the children to consider how the locations could be portrayed in a positive way. The narrative focused on dangers and hazards and so we began to only see locations in terms of these negative aspects. We have already begun to consider as a class how we could portray the more positive aspects of our local environment through film.

We have been watching a BBC DVD of Barnaby Bear on his travels to Dublin. We are thinking about our school’s Barnaby Bear starring in a film showing off some of the best places that Southborough has to offer.

I am lucky enough to have a student working with my class at the moment and will work with my more reluctant writers as part of a withdrawal group to produce this next film.

Links

Audacity – free sound editing application.

Background Information about the School

Southborough is a two form entry primary school, situated in a residential area of Southborough, Tunbridge Wells. At Southborough, we have much to celebrate. Our dedicated staff work together, to ensure that every child is valued and supported to achieve their potential. We provide a broad, balanced and creative curriculum. Children have many talents and can achieve success in a variety of ways and through our curriculum we provide opportunities for them to do so. The school places great importance on helping pupils to become caring and responsible people who respect others.

www.southborough.kent.sch.uk

This material was contributed by Jonathon Kersey.

(Added 13.08.08)

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