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EYFS Home role-play area: Landmarks

Why are certain places important?

Introduction

Landmarks are distinctive natural or man-made features of landscapes and places. They might be interesting buildings or key spaces. Children are likely to have some knowledge of key local, national or even international landmarks from television, games, books and their own experiences. In addition, children are likely to have a sense of their own landmarks significant to them, such as a shop or a friend’s house.

 

Links to Understanding the world

  • Frequency and range of experiences increases children’s knowledge and sense of the world around them
  • Explore the natural world, making observations and noticing details
  • Understanding of local community spaces

 

Links to other areas of the EYFS

  • Expressive arts and design: Being imaginative, using creative skills to express ideas through model making and construction.

 

Starting points

You will need:

  • Cardboard boxes of various shapes and sizes
  • Photographs of local landmarks
  • Junk modelling materials
  • Tape, glue and resources to join together materials

 

Activity idea: Landmarks

With a class or small group, show some images of local landmarks or landmarks which your class are likely to have experience of.

Why are these places landmarks? For example: popular; well known; easy to see; unique; might be of historical significance or newly created; or a beautiful natural feature.

Why are landmarks important?

  • Historical or cultural significance
  • Attract visitors to an area
  • Create the image of an area — it is something people think of when they think about that place
  • Landmarks might help people find their way around

Think about landmarks in your school. Are there any places like this in your school that are well known by everyone? Think about personal landmarks; a place can be a special place to you, even if it is not a landmark that people would generally know about.

What kind of features are landmarks? For example: old buildings; tall buildings; castles; bridges; mountains; waterfalls; famous statues; places of worship.

Landmark challenges

Choose a landmark challenge to extend learning:

  • Choose a famous landmark to create as a group, either out of construction materials or using junk modelling. Use a photograph to help you notice and recreate details.
  • Landmarks are often tall buildings. Can you create a model of a tall building from the resources in your classroom?
  • Famous bridges are often landmarks too. Can you create a model of a famous bridge — what materials will you need?
  • Visit a local landmark, ask the children to take photographs to record their visit and use these to recreate the landmark back at school.

Once your landmarks are finished, display them on a floor map of the local area, draw your own map of how the landmarks would connect or use a world map if you have chosen international landmarks.

How to make this successful

  • Where possible, use local landmarks that the children will have first-hand experience of.
  • If you go on a school trip later in the year, notice local landmarks you might see on the way.

Ideas to build on knowledge

  • Notice landmarks in books (fiction or non-fiction) make a display of all the landmarks you find.
  • Make landmark photographs and models a permanent part of your provision to encourage children to revisit vocabulary and experiences.
  • When model making, try not to have a fixed end point in mind. Let children express their ideas about landmarks and value everyone’s model making; give children an opportunity to communicate about what they have made and why.

 

Primary Geography/Teaching Geography/Geography articles

Whiteley, M., Lane, R., Flottmann, C. and Wallis, M. (2023) ‘Country and Place – connecting ancient geographical thinking to engage young learners’, Primary Geography, 110, pp. 18-20.

Bustin, R. (2019) ‘Investigating lived space: ideas for fieldwork’, Teaching Geography, 44, 1, pp. 17-9.

Barlow, A. and Witt, S. (2014) ‘Joy of the little journeys’, Primary Geography, 85, p 30.

 

This Teaching Resource was written for the Geographical Association by Sarah Sprake.

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