Our School and Local Area
The Park

Through a series of lively activities children will build upon their knowledge of parks in their local area. With the help of Steve Backshall they will explore features of parks and develop their geographical skills. Children will make a park model and present their research and findings in a park exhibition!

Session 1 Children playing in the park

Objectives

Geography

  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical features.
  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds and the key human and physical features of its surrounding environment.

English

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching and Activities

Steve Backshall introduces the sessions and the class challenge: To research their local park and how to improve it! Children begin by examining the painting Children in the Park by Paul Dupuy, exploring the features of parks and their likes and dislikes.

Teaching Support
To describe how they feel about places and describe some features of their local park

Children will:

  • Explore what they like and dislike about their local park.
  • Describe human and physical features inside their local park.
  • Use drama improvisation to express their opinions.

You Will Need

  • Backpack containing expedition items
  • Labels
  • Toy microphone
  • Digital camera

Session 2 Let's go to the park - field work

Objectives

Geography

  • Use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language, e.g. near and far, left and right, to describe the location of features and routes on a map.

English

  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes, including for expressing feelings.

Teaching and Activities

Visit the local park. Start with a scavenger hunt, use maps, compass points and directional language to explore the grounds. Make a vox-pop video and test the playground!

Teaching Support
To use geographical vocabulary to describe physical/human features in the local park.

To describe routes using compass directions and directional language.

Children will:

  • Explore their local park and describe its features.
  • Locate the park using maps.
  • Describe and follow journeys within the grounds.
  • Create a vox-pop video surveying the park.

You Will Need

  • Research packs containing: clip-board, plain paper, crayons, pencils, map of the park (one per child or one between two)
  • Video-enabled devices
  • A long roll of string, chalk or natural materials to make the arrow trail

Session 3 Park maps

Objectives

Geography

  • Use simple compass directions and locational and directional language to describe the location of features and routes on a map.
  • Use aerial photographs and plan perspectives to recognise landmarks and basic human and physical features.
  • Use simple fieldwork and observational skills to study the geography of their school and its grounds.

Teaching and Activities

Children get to grips with maps! Steve teaches children about map symbols and keys. Children make a map of their local park and help a toy find some treasure!

Teaching Support
To use geographical language to describe aerial views and modern maps and identify features.

Children will:

  • Use aerial photographs/modern maps to identify human and physical features.
  • Create a park map using a symbols, a key and describe features/routes.
  • Make observations about where things are located and describe what places are like.

You Will Need

  • Different maps
  • Aerial shots of the local park and grounds using Google Earth or Gov.uk weblink
  • Download onto your computer the touch trail map from session 2
  • Compass and toy
  • Print the children's digital photographs of park features
  • The children's egg cartons and rubbings.
  • Glue, tape and a large roll of paper

Session 4 Improving the park

Objectives

Geography

  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to: key physical and human features.

Design and Technology

  • Generate, develop, model and communicate their ideas through talking, drawing, templates, mock-ups and, where appropriate, information and communication technology.
  • Select from and use a range of tools and equipment to perform practical tasks.

English

  • Articulate and justify answers, arguments and opinions.

Teaching and Activities

Children will use straws, cardboard, wool and tape to make human/physical features for a park model.

Teaching Support
To assemble, join and combine materials using a variety of materials, research into park features.

Children will:

  • Assemble and join components to make realistic models of playground equipment.
  • Create physical and human features for a model park using art materials.
  • Research popular parks and decide upon how to improve their local park.

You Will Need

  • Vox-pop videos from session 2
  • Park leaflets
  • Materials for creating playground models

Session 5 Park exhibition

Objectives

Geography

  • Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to: key physical/human features.
  • Use simple compass directions and locational and directional language.
  • Describe the location of features and routes on a map.

English

  • Participate in discussions, presentations, performances, role play, improvisations and debates.

Teaching and Activities

Children will present their research and work Steve Backshall style- with enthusiasm! They will think about how they can campaign to change an aspect of their local park.

Teaching Support
To review research gained so far, discuss the work produced and how to present in different mediums.

Children will:

  • Describe and relay to others key information from their research.
  • Summarise the work they have produced and choose how to present this.

Provided Resources

  • Letter from Steve Backshall about creating a park exhibition
  • Activity ideas for the exhibition
  • Letter of congratulations from Steve Backshall

You Will Need

  • All items for display
  • Tables
  • Display paper
  • labels for display
  • Toy microphones
  • The vox-pop video clips