Geography is about knowing who YOU are, who is AROUND you and HOW YOU RELATE. Do chat about the neighbours and, ideally, if children can sit next to a window while they are doing their home learning, they will start to see the pattern of the day unfold. Who is delivering, who is posting, who is cleaning and what day do the bins get collected? All of these help tell a story about the world and how we all interact with it, even if we are stuck indoors!
Mapping the shapes of the physical world
First: Children need to draw maps and they can be for all sorts of different purposes. Let’s map some shapes and find their story on our street! First of all, go for a shape walk and see how many human-made shapes (mainly straight, angular and diagonal) you see. If you can’t go outside, do this from a different window from the above activities or even better, use Google Streetview to go for a virtual walk! Simply put your postcode in here. Draw these and make a collage like this. Can we remember which shape made what? Spot the physical shapes: rounded, irregular, branching, twisty and twirly and organic: they are growing, changing and developing.
There are some more fun ideas and collages here. Then look closer for rust, decay, rot and see how the physical aspects of our world, the rain, snow, cold and hot or dry weather can also cause changes all around us. Nothing in the world of geography ever stays the same!
Then: Be “Secret Spoil Spotters” agents: Look for how the local environmental conditions are spoiling where we live: who has the most rotted, overgrown, rusted, messy garden, fence or balcony. Where are all the piles of leaves? Are there any leaves? Be careful to whisper, as all secret agents do and don’t upset anyone! Maybe you can discuss: In winter does nature go quiet and humans take over, leaving their litter that spoils things more?
Follow-up: Now, make a Secret Spoil Spotters map. You can make this as a linear map - a bit like a bus or train route in one long line, or as a circuit depending on where you walked to. Or you can draw your street or locality and make a key where you saw different things. If you don’t fancy drawing things, you could always take photos of these and use your skills to crop the photos, if the children are older. Can you tell the story of the map you have drawn? Which are the human and physical features? What rich words (vocabulary) can you add to the map?