Creating a library to encourage library use!

Happy holidays all!

Seeing as though tomorrow will ensure my head is in an education mindset, at least for a week, thought I would egt some work done today.

The library in my school is small and underused, particularly by those in key stage 4 and 5. This is partly because it is always teeming with smaller children. Therefore I am trying to create a small library in my room from which pupils can lend items. I am hoping that this will encourage them to engage with Geography on a day to day basis and to get on board with actual books, with a potential knock on effect that more than one person would have read the same book so could share ideas, even debate a few issues.

The secondary part of the library is going to be a dvd part. I am well aware that most pupils today will not actually watch that many dvds but the idea with the library is that they can borrow ( age specific) dvds, watch them at lunchtimes in my room, take them home, even watch them with family members, get some discussion going about the Geography behind the films.

I have a reasonably nice collection with the focus, especially with the books, being on difficult texts that may be tricky to get hold of for school age pupils.

Does anyone have any good ideas for them?

Many thanks,



Engaging key stage 3 with competitions

At the moment, subsequent year 7 cohorts have arrived with little knowledge of ever studying Geography and if they have, they have all started with the idea that History is the best option of the Humanities. This annoyed me. Fair enough, telling a talented pupil in year 6 to read about a historical event as an extension activity is easier than telling them to go explore a food web in the school grounds but it does meant that some younger pupils see Geographical extension as basically reading a map!

To counter this and subtlety perpetuate traditional notions of Geographers, I have set up a competition on my door.

One A2 piece of card (free from reprographics), a roll of sticky name tags (free from reprographics), a roll of masking tape(3 for £1 in poundland)and as many inflatable globes(5 for £2 from Amazon) as you can find!

Each week ( or until someone gets it right), I create the outline of a country in masking tape on the door, the first person to guess it correctly wins an inflatable globe ( these have superseded badges as the must-have geographical item this year).

Person who got it, their form and the country go on the sticky labels and stuck to the door for the duration of the next country.

4 weeks in, 3 different year groups have won, teachers are getting involved in the game and people are actively spending more time in the Geography department. Most importantly of all, it is encouraging year 7 pupils to think about Geography and look at where places are in the world!


Using snakes and ladders to elucidate concepts

On twitter and from the most recent GA conference ( that I couldn’t attend! ) it was evident that Geodebs was all over games in the classroom and it inspired me to have a go at making climate change slightly more engaging. The topic is somewhat over done across key stage 3, 4 and 5 and quite often the actual lessons tend to be quite dry so getting some games is was an aim.

I went with a Snakes and Ladders format, got some blockbuster music to open it up and added an evaluative aspect to see what the kids thought was decent about it. The kids enjoyed playing and even suggested some great ideas for development, when I teach it again after half term, I think I will make more of the knowledge that I hope the pupils can take from the game!

See what you think!

climate change the game