Inviting children to design and make their own geographical board game is fun, requires teamwork and requires revision of the topics they have learned recently, which helps them to process the information. This project works well as a week-long engagement, perhaps asking pupils to do some work on it at home, and then at the end, the class can have a gaming session, trying out each other’s creations and learning at the same time.
Help your students to learn placement of countries, counties or cities on a map by having them fill in the detail themselves. Hand out blank maps with just outlines, and ask children to label each part and decorate it accordingly, perhaps with the country’s flag colours, or drawings of things they associate with each country. Alternatively, split the class into groups and give each a section of the map which can then be put together one a large classroom display.
If you have any class outings planned in the near future, bring along some plastic bags and get the children to collect bits and pieces they spot outdoors, like leaves, twigs, shells and such (of course, supervise them well and ensure nobody picks up anything questionable). Then bring them all back to the classroom “Hand out blank maps with just outlines, and ask children to label each part.”and share the materials out so that the students can make pictures and collages. Perhaps you can team up to create a nature display board, and make trees out of twigs and hedgehogs out of pinecones and googly eyes. This allows students to examine the differences between their native environment and those around the world, and discuss the ecological reasons that these differences occur.
Studying natural occurrences and disasters is a perfect chance for this classic crafty project - vinegar and bicarbonate of soda volcanoes. They’re fun and simple to make, and you can make it a little more complex by assigning real volcanoes to groups for them to model their designs on, and even judge likeness and award a small prize to the winning group.
Build a Garden
Bring your class together to make a school garden. There is plenty you can do even if you don’t have any ground to use - just buy a few cheap windowsill seed trays that everyone can help with and enjoy from inside the classroom. Choose some nice flowers and herbs to plant and get everybody involved with planting the seeds and maintaining them. Pick two people per day to water the plants. Then, you can also have them follow the growth of their plants in class and perhaps keep a diary of their germination, and monitor the wildlife that are attracted to the garden.
Arts and crafts aren’t just paper and paints, and there are so many ways you can encourage your students to get creative and take part in projects. Have a good think of how you can make your next geography lesson a little different to the rest. It will be sure to stick in your class’s memory for years to come.
How do you encourage engagement in Geography? Let us know below.