On the way to school: En route à l’école

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By Liz Lewistutor and author in geography

Teach children mapping and recalling skills by embedding them into your MFL teaching. Quelle bonne idée!

Illustration of a map of a French town

Plan de Pont St Hélène

Every day, children experience the familiar journey from home to school – and may be asked to recall it in geography lessons as mapping practice. Here, and on the accompanying Plan de Pont St Hélène poster and poster backs, fresh ideas are provided to teach mapping skills using a French element.

The activities will enable children to develop their spatial awareness while they recreate the routes to school of children in a small French town. Thought has been given in constructing the imaginary settlement to restrict the vocabulary to familiar physical and human features, modes of transport, and basic directional language.

Getting started

Recalling the route from home to school offers significant challenge to children and perplexing variability to teachers. Some children live close, others further away; some come by car or bus, others walk with parents. Few, these days, are allowed to find their own way there. Yet personal navigation is considered the best prerequisite for cognitive mapping development.

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