Ideas for using the giant World map with secondary school pupils

Ideas for using the giant World MaxiMap floor map with secondary school pupils.

Ann Jones

The main objective of using any map in the series is to provide pupils with a firm bedrock of knowledge upon which they can build further knowledge and skills across a variety of subjects. The giant world map is designed to be used within a classroom or hall and is durable enough to withstand the regular trampling of shod feet; by walking across it pupils can visit areas of the world they have only heard of and relate these areas to their home base. The map should stimulate discussion and observation and lead to the development of conclusions about the world and possibly even its future.

Use of the map should confirm young peoples’ perception of themselves as global citizens and lead them to considerations of their role within it.

Each map in the series represents a considerable investment by a purchasing school and in order to get the best value from its purchase each school should ensure that the map is used regularly across subjects and within the PSD curriculum. The world floor map has been used successfully as an assembly resource and as a base for skills study days; as with any resource clear planning and identification of use to achieve an identified objective is vital.

The value of the MaxiMap is that it is intended to be used proactively by pupils – there are a number of accessory packs available to complement the MaxiMap but teachers will find it possible to create their own accessories to suit their own specific needs. Use of the MaxiMap will constantly throw up new ways of developing it as a resource. It is an approach to learning that has proved useful to pupils but is a method that does not automatically appeal to every teacher as it encourages an informal approach to classroom learning which may be louder than a more formal lesson; however, as long as all pupils are actively engaged and learning then noise level within a classroom should not be a deterrent to employing the MaxiMap. Assessment of what pupils learn can be quickly made in plenary sessions and confirmed in starter sessions in subsequent lessons; perception checks of what pupils know can also be simply made at regular intervals to ensure that their knowledge base is secure. Through use of the MaxiMap pupils should learn about the features of the world – both physical and political ; they should be able to name and locate accurately continents, oceans, seas and major countries and display knowledge of main settlements across the world’s surface; in addition they should be able to relate to topical events, main routes of communication, and be able to understand that events across the world often have hidden links.

Summary of key aims :-

To give a clear knowledge of the key physical features of the Earth and to explain how this knowledge has been accumulated over time through exploration observation and recording.

To develop knowledge of the features of the Earth such as major mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, oceans and seas, deserts and islands. At the same time expanding their vocabulary of geographical terms to describe land and sea areas.

To develop a knowledge of human aspects of the world; to identify different peoples and examine their living environments, traditions and cultures giving respect to each and recognising their benefits to the world as well as the disadvantages they may face in today’s world society.

To provide a base for coherent questioning which allows both individuals and groups to extend their knowledge through the completion of set tasks. To encourage an acceptance by pupils that all questions have value and all answers – even wrong ones – can push our knowledge base further.

To give pupils confidence in their knowledge by encouraging presentations based on individual experience or research which will enhance the entire teaching groups experience.

In order to use the World MaxiMap effectively it is useful to have within the classroom a world globe and a reliable atlas. Pupils will be familiar with both these resources but may not have used them before; their involvement with the map energises pupil use of both .

The teaching activities suggested in this leaflet state the purpose of each activity and how to pursue it. It cannot be over emphasised that there must be a clear learning outcome in order for any activity to have value, the MaxiMap should be used to stimulate and develop not simply entertain pupils. Extension activities often materialise from the findings and interests of pupils and these can often lead to the development of cross curricular themes which in turn reinforce skills and learning.

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