tutor2u Geography

Weather Channels

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

The Met office YouTube channel provides an array of videos to enhance leaning and understanding of the myriad of weather topics. Recent weather events, extreme weather events, climate change and how to measure weather are all covered and regularly updated. Definitely worth subscribing to this channel. 

Met office weather

This 

Protecting the Great Barrier Reef

Monday, November 24, 2014

Australia’s Great Barrier Reef is the largest structure on earth made by living creatures and the world’s most extensive coral-reef ecosystem. But, the GBR is under threat. Will 2015 be the year when it finally gets the protection it needs from predators, pollution, climate change and coal dredging? 

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Population Pyramids - The Changing Profile of the World’s Population

A superb short video here from The Economist which describes the changing shape of the world's population pyramid. 

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Wild Weather

On Monday 1st December at 9pm a new three part weather documentary starts on BBC 1. The series is presented by Richard Hammond and the first episode covers wind, the second is about water and the final one is about temperature. The Open University has produced a poster in conjunction with the series and it's free to order here. There are also some really good,simple weather experiments pupils could do at home or in the classroom http://www.open.edu/openlearn/wildweather

Unhealthy oceans

As we use the oceans as a waste site for our growing industrial and commercial waste, impacts on wildlife are becoming increasingly common.

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Starter Activity: Development Spin

Friday, November 21, 2014

This is a high impact starter for introducing development. 

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Wildlife Tourism – has to be a good thing for developing countries, right? Wrong. It’ll end in tears

Wednesday, November 19, 2014

The cattle-tending Masai of the Serengeti plains of Tanzania are under notice to abandon their traditional nomadic lands to make way for tourism. And tourism that shoots the wildlife with something more deadly than cameras. Trophy-hunting – once the pastime of wealthy Americans and Europeans is back on the agenda for the oil-rich super-wealthy of the twenty-first century.

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A Year in the Life of Earth’s CO2

Tuesday, November 18, 2014

An ultra-high-resolution NASA computer model has given scientists a stunning new look at how carbon dioxide in the atmosphere travels around the globe.

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Geography of disease

Monday, November 17, 2014

With Ebola being a major talking point in the news at the moment pupils are fascinated by this issue.  Discussions surrounding  diseases is a great way to focus on the wider geographical impact.

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migration patterns worldwide

Thursday, November 13, 2014

A very topical subject at present is how people move into and from countries. Some great resources for teachers to show how migration patterns vary across the globe are as follows|:

  1. People moving This visualizes the number of people migrating in and out of  individual countries. 

    People Moving

  2. The International Organisation for Migration map shows emigration and immigration to and from countries around the world.

International Organisation for Migration Map

3. Finally the global migration flow map shows how migrations occur on a regional basis. Which regions have the most inward migration and which regions have the most leaving. Click on the image below to visit the interactive chart. 

global migration info

How many Britons does it take to make a sandwich? Not applicable - we need Hungarians to do it!

Wednesday, November 12, 2014

This article in the Daily Mail followed the headline on Monday (10/11/14) that the sandwich supplier to M&S and Tesco had to look to Eastern Europe for workers to staff a new factory. And the reason, apparently, is that British workers are “too lazy”. Of course there is more to it than that but the combination of UK workers' reluctance to do low-paid manual labour and the higher wages Eastern Europeans can expect compared to those in their home countries has lead to the situation that commands such headlines. 

This article is essential reading for any geographers studying migration. Also, this short report from Channel 4 news is a certain worth watching.

Tube tongues: mapping languages at London tube stops

This interactive map showing the most common second languages spoken at London tube stations is fascinating and provides a wealth of information to explore. It was created by Oliver O’Brien who is a researcher in geovisualisation and web mapping at University College London’s geography department. The links with different school geography courses at GCSE and AS/A2 level are many and this map will encourage enquiry amongst students.

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The Geography Teacher Linkedin Discussion Group

Monday, November 10, 2014

Our Geography teacher LinkedIn discussion group is now 'live'!

The aim of the group is to allow Geography teachers to engage, connect and share ideas, best practice, concerns, teaching tips and other teacher related issues with each other.

The Geography Teacher LinkedIn group is carefully monitored and managed so that it remains solely for the use of teachers. You can join the group here

Global Development Game

Friday, November 07, 2014

The Global development Game created by the Guardian is a fantastic fun resource for students of Geography and Economics. Ideal for students who have completed the Development Topic in either subject. 

Click on the map of Africa below to try out the game. 

global development game

Carbon Capture: phasing out fossil fuels whilst burying the evidence

Thursday, November 06, 2014

The recent report on the world’s climate scenario presented a hard-hitting warning that if the nations of the world don’t act swiftly to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, then “severe, pervasive and irreversible damage” can be expected from incontrovertible climate change. The report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) hit headlines around the world. The message: reduce fossil-fuel reliance to less than that from renewables by 2050, and completely by 2100.

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2100 - no more fossil fuels

Monday, November 03, 2014

Our planet is 4.5 billion years old and so the year 2100 is just a geological blink of an eye away. Yet the Intergovernmental panel on climate change believes that our reliance on fossil fuels, that is the burning of coal, oil and gas should all but be phased out by this date.

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How the Global Population Is Changing

Sunday, November 02, 2014

This 90 second videographic from The Economist is a neat way of illustrating some key changes in global population - namely median age and population size and growth.

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Extreme Weather - Drought in São Paulo

The rainy season can’t some soon enough for the inhabitants of São Paulo, but this might only bring short-term relief.

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Extreme Weather - Drought in California

California is in the grip of a three-year drought that is causing widespread damage in the most populous state in the US. 

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Rip currents - Australia’s deadliest natural hazard

Friday, October 31, 2014

As a keen open water swimmer I am more than aware of the dangers that rip currents pose. Rip currents are very strong, narrow channels that can pull swimmers, canoeists, kayakers and surfers away from the shore.

Research on Australia has also revealed that these dangerous ocean currents are the nations deadliest natural hazard - ahead of floods and bushfires.

This short video from the BBC (which can be accessed here) explains why.

Ocean Acidification: Dipping a toe in changing waters.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

The chief UK scientist was reported, this week, expressing serious concern about the the impacts of climate change and carbon emissions on the state of the planet's oceans. Whilst increased air temperatures have generated most discussion, there are significant changes occurring in the seas which, covering 70% of the planet, could be having a widespread impact on complex marine ecosystems that we're only just starting to explore.

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Around the world in 360 degrees - 3 year ‘selfie’

Thursday, October 23, 2014

After graduating from college, Alex Chacon sold everything he owned and traveled around the world. Armed with a GoPro, he documented his adventure in a unique way with 360 degree turns in different locations.

The result is simply stunning

Enjoy

Less Arctic Ice; More Antarctic Ice - What’s Cooking?

Monday, October 20, 2014

Climate change scientists have been puzzling over what is happening at the opposite Poles of the earth. Whilst there has been a recognisable medium-term contraction of summer Arctic sea-ice at the North Pole, the South Pole has been experiencing an increase in sea-ice to record levels this year. 

Attempting to explain this apparent contradiction is guiding climate experts to a deeper understanding of the factors involved in climate change processes and impacts

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Anatomy of an Earthquake

This fascinating six-minute video from the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) guides us through what happens when a seismic hazard deep beneath the Earth's surface meets a vulnerable population above.

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Population pyramids past present and future

Friday, October 17, 2014

Population structures are graphical representations of the population of countries. These structures/pyramids change subject to time and the conditions in a country. The following resources help us to understand how they change.

The below Ted-Ed Talk compares the Population structures of three countries Rwanda, Canada and Japan and how current population trends can predict future populations. 

The following sciencemag resource allows you to chose any two countries in the world and shows the changes in population structure from 1970 to 2050. Population structure changes

The last useful resource for showing how population structures are ever-changing is the World Population Pyramid which shows the entire worlds population and how its structure has shifted through time and how it will change into the future. 

Technology and Development - Mongolian Herders

A hat-tip to Graham Watson who spotted this terrific short video from the World Bank which illustrates quite beautifully how technology can aid development.

In 2005, less than 30% of soum centers (villages) in rural Mongolia had reliable telecommunications. By 2013, 100% has access to modern phone and Internet services. Take a look at how the lives of Mongolian herders have been changed by this. 

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World population simulation

Wednesday, October 08, 2014

A phenomenal resource and must use for the population topic is this world population simulator

Individual statistics for each country can be found by hovering over the country in question. Students can quickly figure out for themselves which areas of the world are adding to world population growth at the fastest and slowest rates. Students can see how rapidly world population increases over the course of a class. The developers have also produced a real time map of births and deaths for the United States and a google chrome extension for easy launch within the classroom. I found this resource in an article at theatlantic.com.


From Factory Floor to Your Wardrobe - The Journey of Your Jeans

Monday, September 22, 2014

This is a great video to illustrate the role of supply chains in supporting a truly global product like a pair of jeans. 

How far does a typical pair of jeans travel before it ends up in your closet -- and at what cost? Reuters tracks the garment supply chain, from factories in Bangladesh to retailers near you.

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Scottish Independence?

Wednesday, September 17, 2014

A nice activity for tomorrow is to distribute the blank map below and ask students to fill in all the countries and to circle the United Kingdom, Britain and the British Isles.

uk-blank.gif (750×956)

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Three’s a crowd? Not on the high street. A look at clustering in UK towns and cities.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Settlement geography is a popular topic at GCSE and it invariably requires an understanding of land use. Furthermore, this part of the topic is often the focus of field work investigations. One interesting feature of many high streets in UK towns and cities is clustering whereby shops or services of similar function are found side-by-side or in close proximity to one another. You may be able to illustrate this phenomenon easily in your local area (and if you can take a group out to see it firsthand then even better) but if you are in the classroom Google Street View is a useful tool.

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California drought visualized

Sunday, September 07, 2014

California is currently experiencing the worst drought in its history. 

This is covered by Tutorschoolfrench with images from Le Monde in France of the drought that has gripped California for the past three years.This is a nice crossover for Geography and French students. They can learn some key French phrases as well as understand the drought.

Slider images showing the impact of the drought are also available on Buzzfeed

Volcano blows its top

Below is a spectacular video captured by tourists  of a volcanic eruption in Papua New Guinea. Holidaymakers in a nearby boat filmed the explosive eruption of Mount Tavurvur on the 29th of August.

Before and after images of the extent of the ashfall are available on the NASA website. Pictures and videos of the eruption are available here Washington Post.

While further details of the Tavurvur volcano and other live volcanoes can be found at:

Volcano live

Designing the ideal geographer!

Monday, September 01, 2014

This is an ideal starter activity for an introductory Geography lesson for Year 10 as they embark on their GCSEs, or even for Year 12 at the very beginning of the AS course. Like so many of the best ideas, it is incredibly simple. Give each student a plain piece of paper and ask them to design the "Ideal Geographer". They should draw an annotated sketch of what they imagine would make the most effective student of the subject: imagination is key and they can/should push the boundaries of reality! By doing this and encouraging feed back you can facilitate an important discussion and students can begin to develop ideas about what it means to "think like a geographer".

For example, their geographer may have the following "adaptations" or devices:

- a range of lenses from wide angle to macro so that issues can be viewed from a variety of scales

- an in-built sound recorder for recording sound-scapes and people's opinions

- a device that turns from a propeller to a drill so they can get above and below ground

- a finger tip made of pH paper to test soils, water etc. 

- a language chip in the brain so they can communicate with people from all over the world

- a time-travel device to assess how things have changed in the past and how they may change in the future

You get the idea... I am sure your students will come up with some weird and wonderful features. So long as they can justify their ideas and the reasons are firmly rooted in Geography, anything goes!

Geography thunks get you thinking

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

I'm trying to get my students to think more deeply about topics, and develop their explanation skills this year. I've been inspired by Ian Gilbert's "The Little Book of Thunks" to come up with some questions that would make good starters or plenaries, and or form a thought provoking classroom display.

1. If geography didn't exist where would we be? 

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Climb every mountain

Wednesday, August 13, 2014

To celebrate geographer Daniel Raven-Ellison climbing the equivalent height of Everest using steps in London's tallest buildings Ordnance Survey has created the step mountain calculator. This tool allows you to type in the number of steps you have climbed and it will calculate the equivalent height in famous buildings and mountains. Using this tool you could create an excellent Geography and P.E cross curricular challenge as pupils could compete as individuals or teams to assail a particular mountain or building over a period of time of your choosing. The calculator website also gives the scale they have used to calculate the number of steps that is equivalent to a particular height and this could be used for pupils to complete some map and numeracy work of their own. Pupils could use your local OS map to find the spot height of a local hill or mountain and then calculate how many steps would be required to climb it.

80 maps that explain the world

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

Maps are a powerful tool for teaching about the world. The Washington Post has published eighty maps (in two posts) that might change our perspective and understanding of the world. Some carefully selected maps from this selection would make an interesting first geography lesson of the year. The maps could stimulate some interesting conversations on what is geography. Pupils could also rank the maps according to various categories, such as most interesting, most surprising, most useful etc. You could also give pupils some of the maps without titles and or keys to see if they can work out what the map shows. This lesson could also lead nicely onto a homework task where pupils find interesting maps of the UK or their local area.

A selection of the maps would also make a high impact and thought provoking display to fill some bare classroom walls at the start of the year and in preparation for the open evening season.

Volcano heat melts roads

Friday, August 01, 2014

The picture below is of one of the roads in Yellowstone National Park melting as a result of a volcanic hotspot. It would make a great starter for a lesson on predicting volcanic activity or super volcanoes. Not only could you ask pupils about what they think is happening in the picture but also get them to imagine they are in charge of the park and what they would do as a result of this event, evacuate or simply repair the road? Why? It could lead into a good discussion on predicting tectonic hazards too.

Geography of events on Twitter #TDF #BRAv#GER

Wednesday, July 09, 2014
  • Teachers can follow @TwitterData on Twitter to see events that are being tweeted about and the locations from which these events are being sent.

  • This can be brought into a fun classroom activity. Teachers can give the date of an event and the location of most tweets and students have to guess the event. 
  • For example on The 6th of July what event had Sheffield/York lighting up in terms of Tweets?
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What is Geography and why does it matter anyway? Summer reading for Year 12s

Wednesday, June 25, 2014

Teachers use this post exam period for their Year 12 sets in various ways; many decide to begin the A2 course with a view to picking up where they left off once term begins again in September. Some will set written work to do over the summer break but whatever you decide to do, encouraging your students to read around the subject is a good idea. The book Why Geography Matters More Than Ever by Harm de Blij (2012, OUP USA) is an excellent book to recommend to anyone studying Geography in the Sixth Form; it is certainly one for your school library.

 

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Now, before and after

One important higher level skill in Geography is for pupils to apply their understanding of processes to describe and explain how places change over time. To encourage pupils to apply their understanding try this task. Firstly show pupils a picture of a scene today (like the one shown below) and ask them to describe it.

Then ask pupils to hypothesise what this place might have looked like five years ago and to explain why they think this.

Finally pose ask pupils to predict how this place might be different in one hundred years time. What is possible and what is probable?

This is a really versatile technique that can be applied to a range of topics, using different time scales to suit. It also provides a great way of extending the more able pupils that you teach by adding even more factors for them to consider. For example how might this place be different in one hundred years time if global warming continues?

Create a fake SMS conversation

Using the new tool from classtools.net you can create fake SMS conversations like the one below. Teachers could create them as starter or plenary activities, asking pupils to add more comments to the conversation. Alternatively, as it is extremely easy to use and conversations can be saved, pupils could create their own. It is a great way of engaging pupils and could be used for a variety of topics.

Drawing the structure of the earth - numeracy and geography

Thursday, June 12, 2014

If you are trying to incorporate more numeracy and problem solving into Geography lessons then this task could be the answer. Knowing the structure of the earth is vital for pupils to understand the theory of plate tectonics but instead of getting them to copy a diagram from a textbook how about getting them to construct their own scale diagram using the instructions shown below. This activity encourages pair work as well as refreshing pupils minds about how scale works.

Behind the scenes of the World Cup

Tuesday, June 10, 2014

The World Cup has brought Brazil to everyone's attention and is a great excuse to teach about this diverse country. The BBC has produced some great resources about Brazil's favelas with maps, photos and case studies about some of the residents http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-latin-america-27635554

Explorable income Inequality

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Some countries are much more unequal than others with regards to income levels between the rich and poor. 

100 years of income inequality from 29 countries has been mapped and is available in the following interactive tool created by Carnegie Mellon University. 

Explorable Income Inequality

This is a useful resource for Geography and Economics teachers and students to explore income inequalities within countries. The tool includes what proportion of all income that flows to the top 1% and 10%. The top 1% and 10% incomes can also be compared to the bottom 90%. For example in graph 1 below we can see the income of the top 1% in the UK is equivalent to the income of greater than 19 people from the remaining 90%. 

Graph 1

We can also compare income between countries. For example I  compared the United States, France and the United Kingdom. We can see from graph 2 that the United States is most unequally distributed, as the top 10% hold a disproportionately high share of incomes at almost 50%. Incomes of the wealthiest 10% in the UK and USA are rising over time compared to the rest of the population. in 2011 the top 10% shared 39% of the income in the UK.  While France's top earners have a much lower share of income and hence there is much less income inequality.  

Graph 2

London Mapped: from hedgehogs to homelessness

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

London is a city of great inequalities and that is why a team at Oxford University has developed the website LondonMapper.org.uk. It is an amazing and growing website including a range of maps showing each borough as a different size depending on its differing values for a range of data sets. Some of the maps that you can look at include, obesity, carbon emissions, homelessness, house prices, crime and hedgehog sightings. These maps are a wonderful visual resource which is continuing to grow.

Worldwide online quizzes

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The Geographical Association has some great online quizzes for your students. They can test their knowledge on cities, oceans, map skills, countries to name a few topics. Once they have completed a quiz there are downloadable certificates featuring their scores to be printed out.

http://worldwise.geography.org.uk/loginrequired.asp?for=onlinequizzes

Young Geographer of the Year Competition

Monday, May 12, 2014

The Royal Geographical Society had launched their Young Geographer of the Year Competition. Aimed at 9-18 year olds this year's question is 'How can geography help you?'. This would be great to run as an in school competition with the winners being entered for the national competition. It would be a good way to get pupils to see the value of Geography. For more details see http://www.rgs.org/OurWork/Schools/Competitions.

htm

Responding to Emergencies

Friday, May 09, 2014

CAFOD have produced some useful new resources on how they respond to emergencies http://www.cafod.org.uk/Education/Secondary-schools/Emergencies. There is an introductory film as well as up to date information on the latest emergencies around the world. I particularly like the board game they have created on how to protect a community threatened by a flood. In addition there are resources on Typhoon Haiyan, the Syrian Crisis and rebuilding after the Haiti Earthquake.

Human Geography GCSE Dominoes

Thursday, May 08, 2014

The dominoes activity is often used for revising geographical terminology but when using the game for GCSE revision it can also be used to test case study detail. 

Here are some for human geography topics: 

Population change: POPULATION_DOMINOS.doc

Changing urban environments: URBAN_DOMINOS.doc 

Tourism: TOURISM_DOMINOS.doc 

Feel free to adapt and use!

You can subtly differentiate as you distribute the cards and, if you've got a small set, some students can be given two. I often time them to see how long it takes from start to finish then get them to swap cards around and repeat to see if they can get a quicker time. It's always a popular activity and can be a real confidence booster. Quality of communication is key: both speaking clearly and listening carefully.

Developing links in exam answers

With the GCSE exams rapidly approaching I have been focussing on exam technique with my year 11's. One thing that they seem to struggle with is understanding how to achieve well on the higher mark, longer answer, questions. So we have been talking about developing links and expanding answers. Here is a worksheet I produced to encourage them to create detailed explanations. This technique could easily be applied to any topic.

Powerful visual of Typhoon Haiyan

Tuesday, May 06, 2014

Very powerful video put together by The Telegraph showing the immediate impact of November 2013's Typhoon side by side with images 6 months on. The video highlights the enduring human spirit and how people struggle to rebuild following such a devastating natural disaster.

The article accompanying the video is available here The Telegraph: Haiyan

TeachUNICEF resources

UNICEF's American website has hundreds of resources and lesson plans for Geography teachers and students to use teachUNICEF. Global issues such as economic development, climate change, humanitarian disasters, gender inequality as well as many others are explored. The site can be searched by topic, by grade level and by media type. 

Topics can be narrowed to student age level. teachUNICEFage

Media types include written articles and lesson plans, audio and video lessons. teachUNICEF media

The site also has its own YouTube page youtubeunicef

World Infographic

Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Superb Infographic by London Designer Jack Hagley on the World of 100 people to be found at www.jackhagley.com. Covers population, development and human factors in one neat chart. Followers of this blog might look back to a previous post Minature World which deals with the same theme.

Where have you been a tourist?

Monday, April 28, 2014

The Guardian's website  has a really nice tool that allows you to create a personalised map of where you have been a tourist. It even includes a function that allows to record how many times you have visited a place. This would make a good homework task for pupils, or even a whole class map would make an interesting discussion.

Fracking - 5 minute debate

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

I am teaching a lesson on fracking this week and in planning for it I discovered the Guardian's five minute debate videos. The website has an excellent five minute video debate on the pro's and con's of fracking which I think will make a great plenary combined with a vote at the end of the lesson.

Other geography related topics on the website include nuclear power, migration in developing countries and the impact of cycling on traffic in the UK. These could be used as starters or plenaries, or as inspiration for pupils to create their own five minute debates.

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The Pressure Builds on Chinese Agricultural Sector

Saturday, April 12, 2014

In today's China, over half of the 1.3bn population already live in cities, with millions more expected to join them soon as the Chinese government pursues its policy of mass urbanisation.

A consequence of urbanisation is that China's traditional agrarian sector is not able to feed the domestic population. With less land, increasingly scarce or polluted water and fewer rural workers, the issue of food scarcity is an important threat to China's economic transformation.

One response for China is to increase the amount of imported food. Another is to invest in bigger "commercial" farms. But, as this FT video explains, in the short-term, the pressure remains on traditional farming methods.

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Tourism maps

Tuesday, April 08, 2014

The following maps would be great starter activities for tourism. Firstly ask students to guess what they think would be the countries most visited by tourists and then show them this map to see if they were right.

This could be followed by getting pupils to guess what the most popular tourist attractions are in the world and then compare them to the map below. Lots of opportunities for further analysis and discussion I think.

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SMOG: Saharan dust + air pollution = health warnings

Friday, April 04, 2014

There has been a lot over coverage in recent days about the smog caused by a mixture of air pollution and the arrival of dust from the Sahara Desert. This is an excellent news item to highlight links between several geographical themes, including human and physical topics. Pupils could use this material in AS/A2 essays relating to meteorology, health issues, urbanisation and sustainability. The maps below show the air quality index on 2nd and 3rd April and corresponding health advice to those "at risk" as well the general population.

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Free map

Tuesday, April 01, 2014

The Specialist Travel Consultancy have created a 'Destination Inspiration' map and have about 200 to give away FOR FREE. 

They are ideal for KS3 and beyond and full of interesting facts, quizzes and inspiring ideas for educational adventures around the world.

For more details and to find out how to order yours visit: http://www.thestc.co.uk/blog/article/a2-free-educational-resource-travel-map

Free map

The Specialist Travel Consultancy have created a 'Destination Inspiration' map and have about 200 to give away FOR FREE. 

They are ideal for KS3 and beyond and full of interesting facts, quizzes and inspiring ideas for educational adventures around the world.

For more details and to find out how to order yours visit: http://www.thestc.co.uk/blog/article/a2-free-educational-resource-travel-map

How to read a synoptic chart

Thursday, March 27, 2014

Those studying weather and climate will be familiar with synoptic charts. Students of AQA's A2 Geography course need to know how to interpret synoptic charts for the Unit 4A paper even if they do not study meteorology as a topic. I have found this video very useful in helping to explain the fundamentals of synoptic charts including isobars, air pressure, air masses, fronts and wind speed and direction.

Other videos can be found here including...

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Free resources from Geopacks

These are excellent resources written and designed by Rick Cope (ex-Head of Geography at Backwell School and former director of Castle Head Field Centre in the Lake District) released every couple of months. The most recent is a great tool for studying Keyhaven Marshes (a case study often used in coastal and ecology topics).

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National Geographic 101

Tuesday, March 25, 2014

A must for all Geography teachers is the National Geographic's 101 video library.

National Geographic 101 videos

These videos explain a wide variety of natural phenomenon. Extreme weather events, tectonic and mass movement processes are explained.

This week I'm using landslides 101 as a guide to mass movement processes. landslides 101

Developing better questioning

Friday, March 21, 2014

Questioning can be an excellent way of differentiating and checking progress in a lesson. I have used the image below to help me to frame questions more effectively. As you move to the right and the bottom the types of questions are more challenging and encourage pupils to think more deeply.

I have also shown this image to pupils when asking them to come up with their own questions as a starter or plenary activity.

How sustainable is your smartphone Interactive

Thursday, March 20, 2014

A WOW Geography interactive from the Guardian exploring the positive and negative impacts of smartphones. 

Students can analyse the different components that make up of their phone, where they come from and see the impact on our environment from mining for the precious metals that make up a smartphone. 

On the other hand how the positive improvements in food production, responding to disasters and health are outlined. This is a resource that just keeps giving and covers a broad range of Geographical topics from sustainability, economic Geography, inequality and exploitation. 

A must for all Geography teachers and students. 

How sustainable is your smartphone

Five great apps for fieldwork

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

This week I have been looking at iPad and mobile phone apps to enhance fieldwork. Here are some of the best.

1. Skitch

This free app allows to take and annotate photos and then share them with others.

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Wind speeds around the world

Thursday, March 06, 2014

These maps of wind speed are great. You can scroll across the world to see wind speeds in any part of the world. This would be a good starter for a lesson on weather and really interesting to look at when a hurricane occurs. http://earth.nullschool.net/#current/wind/surface/level/orthographic=-0.45,51.78,2224

Geography as an option

Tuesday, March 04, 2014

As option time approaches it's always helpful to have some promotional materials to hand. These are a couple of really useful videos to show both pupils and parents.

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=JyhSHDGg-cw

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=6Mj8MTWZX4M

Geography of Ukraine

The NY times has put together an excellent map resource to help us understand the Geography of Ukraine and the current crisis in the region.

The maps show the areas of Ukraine which are in favor of the incursion by Russia. They also show the percentage of native Ukrainian speakers as apposed to Russian speakers. While the economic importance of  Ukraine is also visualized through the map of the gas pipelines passing from Russia through Ukraine to Europe. 

Maps of Ukraine

Similarly the BBC has produced an excellent analysis of the Geography of the region.

BBC Ukraine in maps

Map of Crimea showing key locations

Nice idea to get students to develop their own maps of the region using the National Geographic's MapMaker Interactive. 

MapMaker Interactive

Do you know your Algeria from your Angola? Boost your knowledge of location with Brainscape

Sunday, February 23, 2014

We all know that Geography is about a lot more than flags, maps and capital cities. However knowledge of where countries are is important for everyone who is interested about the world; for geographers it is fundamental.

Brainscape is an excellent web tool which allows users to test their knowledge and improve this over a short period of time. Using the tool on Windows allows free but limited content. The free iPad app also offers the following content: African countries, Asian countries and currencies of the world. Other regions can be purchased.

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Sinkholes have been causing havoc recently - but what exactly are they?

There have been many stories about sinkholes opening up recently in the UK and elsewhere, swallowing cars and creating scenes worthy of a sci-fi blockbuster. However, geographers know that these features can be formed through natural processes (such as those occurring in karst landscapes) but their dramatic appearance can also be triggered by human activity. The photograph below is from 2010 and shows a 200ft sink hole that appeared in Guatemala City, killing at least one man when it caused a three-storey building to collapse. Thankfully, those that have appeared in recent months closer to home have not resulted in any deaths but these eerie features have been appearing more frequently of late. The reasons behind this are concerned with both human and physical Geography.

The video below shows footage from both the UK and around the world and gives an overview of the causes of ground collapse.

http://youtu.be/qZpzKuuP9PQ

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GCSE Geography Revision Quizzes - Master Quiz Listing

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Our GCSE Geography teacher team are hard at work creating a comprehensive series of MCQ-based revision quiz to support students. As soon as each revision quiz is ready, we'll add the topic to the list below. 

Are you also taking GCSE History or GCSE English? Then take a look at our revision quiz topics for those subjects too!

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GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Alaskan Oil

This GCSE revision quiz tests your knowledge and understanding of the topic of Alaskan Oil. Each time you take the revision quiz on Alaskan Oil 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Alaskan Oil

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Aid

This GCSE revision quiz is on Aid. Each time you take the revision quiz on Aid 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Aid

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Droughts

This GCSE revision quiz is on droughts. Each time you take the revision quiz on droughts 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Droughts

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Brazil

This GCSE revision quiz is on Brazil. Each time you take the revision quiz on Brazil 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Brazil

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - USA

This GCSE revision quiz is on the USA. Each time you take the revision quiz on the USA 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - USA

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Bangladesh

This GCSE revision quiz is on Bangladesh. Each time you take the revision quiz on Bangladesh 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Bangladesh

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Rocks & Landscape

This GCSE revision quiz is on rocks and landscape. Each time you take the revision quiz on rocks and landscape 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Rocks & Landscape

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Water

This GCSE revision quiz is on water. Each time you take the revision quiz on water 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Water

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Transport

This GCSE revision quiz is on transport. Each time you take the revision quiz on transport 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Transport

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Tourism

This GCSE revision quiz is on tourism. Each time you take the revision quiz on tourism 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Tourism

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Resources

Test your knowledge and understanding of the topic of resources with this GCSE Geography revision quiz. Each time you take the revision quiz on resources 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Resources

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Map Skills

This GCSE revision quiz is on map skills. Each time you take the revision quiz on map skills 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Map Skills

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Industry

This GCSE revision quiz tests your knowledge and understanding of the topic of industry. Each time you take the revision quiz on industry 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Industry

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Globalisation

This GCSE revision quiz tests your knowledge and understanding of the topic of globalisation. Each time you take the revision quiz on globalisation 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Globalisation

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Development

This GCSE revision quiz is on development. Each time you take the revision quiz on development, 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Development

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Climate and Weather

This GCSE revision quiz is on climate and weather. Each time you take the revision quiz on climate and weather, 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Climate and Weather

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Volcanoes

How much do you know about volcanoes? Each time you take the revision quiz on volcanoes, 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch revision quiz on Volcanoes

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Earthquakes

Here is an online quiz which tests knowledge of the basics of earthquakes. Each time you take the revision quiz on earthquakes, 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time!

Launch revision quiz on earthquakes

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Ecosystems

The basics of ecosystems are the subject of this 10-question revision quiz. Each time you take the revision quiz on ecosystems, 10 questions are drawn from our database on the topic - so you get a new quiz every time! 

Launch revision quiz on ecosystems

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Rivers

This GCSE geography quiz looks at the topic of rivers. Each time you take the quiz, ten questions are drawn from our database - so you get a different revision quiz each time to help test your knowledge and understanding of rivers

Launch the revision quiz on rivers

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Coasts

This revision quiz looks at the topic of coasts. Each time you take the quiz, ten questions are drawn from our database on coasts - so you get a different revision quiz each time to help test your knowledge and understanding of coasts.

Launch the revision quiz on coasts

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Deserts and Tundra

This GCSE revision quiz looks at deserts and tundra. Each time you take the quiz, ten questions are drawn from our database on deserts and tundra - so you get a different revision quiz each time to help test your knowledge and understanding of deserts and tundra.

Launch the revision quiz on deserts and tundra

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Farming

This revision quiz covers the topic of farming. Each time you take the quiz, ten questions are drawn from our database on farming - so you get a different revision quiz each time to help test your knowledge and understanding of farming.

Launch the GCSE revision quiz on farming

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Renewable Energy

This GCSE geography quiz looks at the topic of renewable energy. Each time you take the quiz, ten questions are drawn from our database on renewable energy - so you get a different revision quiz each time to help test your knowledge and understanding of renewable energy.

Launch the GCSE Geography revision quiz on renewable energy

GCSE Geography Revision Quiz - Glaciation

This GCSE revision quiz tests knowledge and understanding of glaciation. Each time you take the quiz, ten questions are drawn from our database on glaciation - so you get a different revision quiz each time.

Launch GCSE Geography revision quiz on glaciation

Winchester and its ground breaking flood protection

Friday, February 14, 2014

Winchester has frequently suffered the impacts of flooding in the past. The historic city on the banks of the River Itchen has therefore been preparing for the worst after the recent prolonged heavy rainfall. Firstly, with help from the Environment Agency, fire fighters and the Navy, a 70ft flood protection barrier has been set up to protect an important area of the city centre which includes a primary school and the city's art college. They have also brought in high volume water pumps to move the flood waters away from vulnerable buildings.

In addition though an innovative idea is being trialled to divert water away from the river Itchen itself. Sixty one tonne bags of gravel are being dumped in the river Itchen to slow the flow of the river and divert it into a large holding pond which has been created across an area of water meadows to the north of the city. This should reduce the water levels in the city centre. Depending on the success of the project it could be something that could be used in other places to prevent flood damage in the future.

There is a really useful item on this on tonight's One Show on BBC One (17/02/2014), which will hopefully been on iplayer too shortly.

Snappy ICT starters and plenaries

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Try www.triptico.co.uk for a simple, free, desktop application that allows you to create interactive resources for your classroom. It includes an order sorter; timers and countdowns; group and question selectors; and a useful voting system that turns pupil responses into a pie chart.

Mind map app

Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Below is a mind map created with the iOS app SimpleMind+

This is a free app which allows the user very easily to create a mind map which can be colour coded and manipulated as it is constructed. It has obvious potential for revision but also as a starter to a new topic to assess prior knowledge. The fact that the boxes can be moved around means it is fluid and flexible so students can change their minds or adapt their ideas as they go along.

This would be really effective if students could use a tablet each or in pairs as when projected onto a whiteboard the text is very small. However, students can construct as a class and receive a print out of the finished article - either via Simplemind if you purchase the full version or by taking a screen shot of the iPad.

This free resource is certainly worth exploring.


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