Changing places

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Encourage children to think about ways to better their local area through creative displays

The following four lesson plans relate to the Geography QCA Unit 8 (Improving the environment) and also offers links to Unit 12 (Should the high street be closed to traffic?). While the initial work has a strong geography focus stemming from the area chosen for investigation and the children’s findings, the activities resulting from these aim to use the information creatively through display and drama.

Getting started

  • The class needs to identify an area which shows signs of lack of care. This could be in the immediate locality, such as a park or shopping centre. Whatever area you choose, ensure that the physical parameters of the area to be studied are established so that a clear focus is maintained.
  • Explain that in order to use information it must first be recorded. Ask the children to suggest methods of doing this, such as photography, drawings, paintings, video and/or sound recordings. Once in the area, encourage imaginative ways of using these resources. For example, rather than simply recording traffic noise pollution, children might make a sound recording of themselves (or passers by) saying how they feel when standing next to a noisy road, or what they can smell there. Take close-up photographs of textures, and draw or paint small details as well as general views. It may be possible to collect items from the area such as moss, stones or litter. Record the good, as well as the bad, elements of the area.
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