Year 9 students created three-dimensional maps as an introduction to GCSE geography and a way of familiarising themselves with key global features.
The students were given an outline of the world and a list of up to 40 features they had to find including rivers, mountains, countries and deserts. They worked in groups to create maps that they embellished with coloured pencils, cardboard mountain ranges and string borders.
Teacher Mr Sean Houghton said: ‘It is good for the students to start looking for these landmarks and learn how to use an atlas to locate them. They earmarked features within Britain, places within Europe and world locations and learned the skill of being able to research where a feature is for themselves. During the next lesson we will look at each other’s maps, check them for accuracy and award a grade by peer assessment.’
Charlotte Boyd worked alongside classmates Marcus Rose, Sara Devine and Daniel Studders. Their map featured mountain ranges denoted by egg cartons. She said: ‘We are using yellow tissue paper to represent deserts, black for the mountains and green as countries. It is quite a challenge because we have two more deserts to find. I didn’t really know the world map so I have learned a lot more about where things are.’
Sam Ford, Ben Coe, Chris Warren and Kenneth Elder highlighted key features using felt symbols with trees representing countries and purple-hued mountain ranges. Sam said: ‘We knew a few of the landmarks but there are quite a lot that you don’t really know about. You hear about countries like Tunisia and Ethiopia, but when you try to look for them on a map you have no idea where they are!’
Head of Geography Mr Bidwell said: ‘It is a creative topic to get the Year 9s to locate deserts and mountains. It is a new topic as part of the preparation for GCSE. One of the things that their exam will require them to know about is the location and name of some extreme environments so this activity is a fun way of locating them and is more exciting than just poring over an atlas.’