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Modern Europe
Italy

Travel to Italy to take in the alpine scenery and enjoy a mountain trek through the many mountain ranges that Italy boasts. Take a trip back in time to CE 79 and the fateful day that Mt Vesuvius blew her top. Investigate the mysterious draw of the volcanoes of southern Italy for settlement - would you take the risk and live in the shadow of a live volcano?

Session 1 The mountain medleys of Italy

Objectives

Geography

  • Locate Italy on a map and concentrate on its environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, and major cities.
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region in Italy.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical and human geography.
  • Use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.

English

  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes.
  • Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.

Teaching and Activities

Become mountain detectives and discover the various mountain ranges to be found in Italy; from the Alps and Dolomites in the north to the Apennine Mountains that stretch down Italy’s boot. Create a tourist brochure, encouraging visitors to take a mountain tour of Italy.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To become mountain detectives and investigate and identify the geography of the mountain areas of Italy.
  • To create a ‘Mountains of Italy’ tourist brochure.

Children will:

  • Use maps to identify Italian mountain ranges.
  • Become mountain detectives and investigate and identify the human and physical geography of the mountain areas of Italy, including volcanoes.
  • Create a ‘Mountains of Italy’ tourist brochure.

You Will Need

  • Maps
  • Atlases

Session 2 Experiencing Pompeii

Objectives

Geography

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region in Italy.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical and human geography.

History

  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

English

  • Give well-structured descriptions, explanations and narratives for different purposes.
  • Retrieve, record and present information from non-fiction.
  • Extend pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language through public speaking, performance and debate.

Teaching and Activities

Take a trip back in time to CE 79 and experience the last epic eruption of Mount Vesuvius from the eyes of Pliny the Younger. Provide a news piece for the BBC as a Newsround reporter, explaining the historical story and geography behind the eruption.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To find out about the geography behind volcanoes through video.
  • To retell the eruption of Vesuvius in CE 79 and identify ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ information sources.
  • To record a report explaining the historical events and geography of Vesuvius.

Children will:

  • Experience the eruption of Vesuvius in CE 79 through a drama and videos.
  • Explore the geography behind volcanoes through video.
  • Be able to identify primary and secondary sources of historical information.
  • Record a Newsround report explaining the events and geography of CE 79.

You Will Need

  • Video recording equipment

Session 3 The geography of the Mt Vesuvius region

Objectives

Geography

  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region in Italy.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical and human geography.

History

  • Construct informed responses that involve thoughtful selection and organisation of relevant historical information.
  • Understand how our knowledge of the past is constructed from a range of sources.

Teaching and Activities

Create your own Mt Vesuvius Lego diorama, including colour coded flag labels, identifying historical and geographical information.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To model a diorama including geographical features.
  • To distinguish between primary and secondary sources of information.

Children will:

  • Make a diorama out of Lego or Duplo of Mt Vesuvius that includes key physical and human geographical features.
  • Create historical and geographical flag labels for the Mt Vesuvius diorama.
  • Recognise ‘primary’ and ‘secondary’ sources of historical information.

Provided Resources

  • UNESCO Heritage Site challenge
  • Coloured ‘flag label’ paper with examples

You Will Need

  • Plenty of Lego or Duplo
  • A range of extra diorama materials

Session 4 The human geography of volcanic regions

Objectives

Geography

  • Locate Italy on a map and concentrate on its environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, and major cities.
  • Understand geographical similarities and differences through the study of human and physical geography of a region in Italy.
  • Describe and understand key aspects of physical and human geography; use maps, atlases, globes and digital/computer mapping to locate countries and describe features studied.

English

  • Extend pupils’ confidence, enjoyment and mastery of language through public speaking, performance and debate.

Teaching and Activities

Create a risk assessment for living in the shadow of an active volcano - look at Mt Etna on Sicily, alongside Mt Vesuvius and identify patterns of settlement and land use over the past few hundred years.

Teaching Outcomes:

  • To identify the key human geographical features of a volcano and its surrounding area.
  • Take part in a debate on whether to live by a volcano or not.

Children will:

  • Experience Mt Etna’s eruptions through video resources.
  • Identify key human geographical features of a volcano and its surrounding area.
  • Create a risk assessment for living in the shadow of Mt Etna or Vesuvius.
  • Take part in a debate about living in the shadow of a volcano.

You Will Need

You do not need any particular resources for this session.