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Literacy in Geography

Page history last edited by Mr O'D 13 years, 2 months ago

Sharing some ideas from an in-service I delivered at school recently. Hopefully some use:


One Word. I used this with an s3 class before a piece of creative writing and it got the students thinking out of the box a bit

Classtools. Make the One Word exercise subject specific by firing a bank of geographical names into the random name generator and giving students 60 seconds to summarise. Great period starter

Tony's Facebook template is another great way to encourage summary skills. I have seen an excellent example of a facebook timeline by Russel Tarr which was a brilliant summary of events leading to the Russian Revolution. This could easily be adapted for Geography (link to be inserted)

Write in 140 characters. A nice round robin activity too. Student starts an explanation of e.g. a process or a geographical issue, passes on to another member of the class and so on

Mini Epics. An idea by Bill Boyd, where students again use the skills of summary to write exactly 50 words, no more, no less on a topic

Ban the evil words. An idea from sln (the old version, I think) where students are encouraged to write more eloquently by taking words like 'stuff' out of their vocabulary, for instance

Wordle. Lots of spin offs from this- Try using a wordle of a case study as a word mat for writing extended answers; Dump text from students essays into wordle and let students see if key terms are represented well, but also if they are being repititious in their writing; Use it with a whole class when summarising a text for the main ideas; Use it to collate students individual responses around a question and ask them to present a piece of writing/talk/film etc which represents a whole class view

Using Mobiles. I've used the voice recorder as an alternative to a written response. Students quickly criticise their own expression, depth of response, organisation of response etc more than they do when analysing written work. Can also be used with students who struggle with punctuation, as listening back allows them to hear the natural pauses and stops. Today in class, I also used my phone to record a student story, which we instantly published to posterous. This also has students preparing work for a different audience and purpose. Knowing that the work is going to be online and easily viewable by anyone tends to result in better attention to detail, structure, vocabulary etc

No Comment. This was something that I first heard Rich Allaway mention, and we used this last year when studying development. We were looking at conflict and used a clip without audio of conflict in DR Congo. Students scripted their own narrative to the news report.

Comic Life, Pixton, Comic Brush and Read, Write, Think all allow students to present work which promotes literacy in a style which might appeal to them. I was thinking about graphic novels and how they seem to appeal more to boys. In my experience, boys are often more difficult to encourage in their extended or creative writing. This might be a nice stimulus. I know Noel has presented some cracking work that his students did through Pixton

Using Music. A song lyric is a text just the same as a book, poem etc and we've already created a spotify list of useful subject specific songs- Geography FM - The Music

Collaborative writing. I have used wikis like this one to try to improve students written responses, particularly in exam questions. It doesn't always work, but the great thing is, I get to see all of the changes via e-mail and can use this as a teaching point for the next lesson. I have taken periods aside to let students edit each others responses. They have edited not only the content, but the sentence structure, the vocabulary and more.


Comments (3)

sixfootsy@... said

at 10:07 pm on Nov 25, 2009

Kenny, that is a smashing list my friend, massive thanks for this! A great collection of ideas!

Mr O'D said

at 12:36 am on Nov 26, 2009

Thanks, Simon. Feel free to add, I had 20 minutes to present them, so I'm sure there is a lot more :)

a.parkinson@... said

at 9:43 pm on Nov 26, 2009

Great work Kenny - Yoink !!!

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