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Teaching activity

Examining a Figure - Where’s the Geography?

Abdurrahman Pérez-McMillan

22nd August 2021

This resource makes a great starter or settler activity and could be used to good effect in the introductory lesson of a new topic or term. Its purpose is to help students analyse images through a geographical lens – drawing as much meaning from them as they can.

The multi-layered approach, starting with an IDEAL analysis of the image, means students have multiple opportunities to engage with the source. At KS4 and 5, this is great practice for this exam skill. At KS3, this would make for a great activity to set the scene in a lesson or as a task at the end of a topic to draw links between previous lessons.

More generally, there is also a great opportunity for retrieval practice with this resource, for example, if the image in the middle was of an urban industrial area (linking to AQA’s GCSE Urban issues and challenges topic) but students were going on to study the role of the service industry in a post-industrial economy that lesson (within The changing economic world topic).

This resource features in our new teacher course to support those delivering AQA GCSE Geography. There’s more information about Teaching Effective Exam Technique (Essential AQA GCSE Geography) here.

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Abdurrahman Pérez-McMillan

Abdurrahman is an experienced teacher and was Head of Geography at two London schools until the end of 2023. As a Geography Consultant for the Harris Federation, he is passionate about excellent Geography teaching and developing pupils into life-long geographers. Abdurrahman is an examiner, resource developer and CPD presenter.

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