Tuesday, February 12, 2019

Using illustrations for teaching and learning about migrant experiences



House of Illustration and Positive Negatives are delighted to invite educators to a very special Teachers’ Twilight Event to celebrate the launch of our brand new teaching resources for Key Stages 2, 3 and 4.

These new resources use illustration techniques for teaching and learning about this important subject. Packed with both inspiration and practical guidance, these cross-curricular resources are completely free to download and ready to use in the classroom.

House of Illustration will launch our KS2 resources, packed with guidance notes, a choice of activities, step-by-step instructions and a slideshow, while Positive Negatives launches their own resources for KS3 and KS4, built around comics and short animations.

These complementary projects address the experiences of unaccompanied young asylum seekers, the dangerous journeys to Europe being undertaken by refugees and the lives of undocumented young people in the UK.

We provide information and activities to explore citizenship, creativity and critical thinking.

Join us for an inspiring evening in the gallery at our special exhibition Journeys Drawn: Illustration from the Refugee Crisis.

The event will feature talks from House of Illustration, Positive Negatives, artist Karrie Fransman and teachers with first-hand experience of using these approaches in the classroom.

Take the opportunity to network with a free drink in hand and gain ideas and inspiration from fellow teachers and education professionals.

I'll hopefully see you there.
I have a copy of Eoin Colfer's book, and also Olivier Kugler's recent book, as well as others such as My name is Not Refugee, and Malala's recent book too.

Sunday, February 10, 2019

An Englishman (and Geographer) in New York

I'm heading for New York, for the first time, during the Easter break.

I've got a few guide books from colleagues, and advice from people who've been before, and got a hotel booked. We'll be there for quite a few days, and will of course be hitting the usual places you would expect: Top of the Rock, Ground Zero, Staten Island ferry etc.

There's some plans for architecture, film locations, walking the High Line, taking in a show and some psychogeographical wanderings.

Does anyone have any suggestions for things that I definitely should not miss as a geographer?

The Central Park erratics and r├┤che moutonnee are on the list of course, as well as the many urban highlights.

Image by Ella Parkinson, edited using Prisma app.

London National Park City crowdfunder

There has been a great deal of progress on Daniel Raven Ellison's campaign for London to become a National Park City.

 This will be launching in July, and Daniel has started a Crowdfunding campaign to ensure that as many Londoners as possible know about it. Why not support the project with a small donation.

Monday, January 28, 2019

Food Choices

Food choices are important...
Intensive or organic?
To eat meat or not?

Watch the film below, and read this accompanying piece from the Guardian which takes this a step further, and explores the importance of intensive farming and our potential food gap, which was flagged up by the World Economic Forum.

Sunday, January 27, 2019

Mark Steel's In Town

Mark Steel has been touring the country for quite a few years now, doing his 'In Town' shows. He does a lot of research, and wanders around the town, and then does a show where he gently explores some of the local culture, including quotes from bulletin boards and online discussions. A sort of cultural geography / sense of place type approach to a comedy show.


King's Lynn was the subject of a recent show.
As a resident of the town for ten years, and having spent twenty years working there and teaching a few thousand of its residents, I know all the references here, and was amused to hear someone shout out "this is West Norfolk" when Mark referred to King's Lynn as being in North Norfolk... as he pointed out - if you go North from Lynn you end up in the sea, so that must make it fairly north within the county... also plenty on the rabbits of Hardwick Roundabout and a passable accent...

Listen to the show here.

Some more clips and bits from previous series here, and I guess you could find out whether he'd been to your local area, and search BBC Sounds for more.

Saturday, January 19, 2019

Libby App

I came across a reference to this app last week and have used it every day since. If you have a library card you need to enter your card details into the app and hopefully your library service is accessible from the app. I know that not all areas of the country are featured. I am lucky that in Norfolk, a library card lets you borrow and return books to and from any Norfolk library, and not just in your own particular town. The Forum in Norwich is a wonderful library with a massive range of books and other media, and I can access that via this app and download up to 6 books to the app and onto my phone.


My journeys to and from work this week were accompanied by Alan Garner's 'The Owl Service', and I now have 'Stig of the Dump' lined up for next week.

Tuesday, January 8, 2019

UN Year of Indigenous Languages



United Nation has announced 2019 as the International Year of Indigenous Languages. 
These are vital to indigenous communities.


I'm keen to connect with other teachers to do something around this in 2019, so reaching out to overseas colleagues, particularly those who might be in the Arctic area. 

I was particularly taken by Romesh Ranganathan's visit to Nunavut, which was shown over the Christmas period, and made a point of exploring the cultural strengths of the community, and the importance of the language and traditions such as singing and dancing.

I know that there is a real link between language and the landscape, and it is this I would be keen to pursue, partly based on my interest in the writings of Hugh Brody and Barry Lopez.




Friday, January 4, 2019

Brexit and the full English

An article in the Independent on the likely impact of Brexit on the full English breakfast.
One for our geography of food unit potentially...

Weddell Sea Expedition 2019

I've blogged about the Weddell Sea Expedition before, and it's now underway, and has been getting quite a lot of coverage as well. It was on today's ITV Local news.

The Agulhas II is the vessel which is heading for the Larsen C ice shelf to explore the huge berg which broke off last year, and carry out other research, with an additional aim of trying to get to the area where Shackleton's ship 'Endurance' sank.

Follow the expedition's Twitter feed here.

Visit the expedition's website.

The RGS has created some really excellent resources to accompany the exhibition. These include maps, lesson resources, videos and other media. An impressive effort.

I've also got some copies of the posters which are being sent to all schools by the RGS-IBG.

Image: copyright SPRI and other expedition partners - sourced from Facebook conversation


And if you're interested in this sort of thing, you need to visit the Ice Flows Game website, which explores the physics of ice shelves. Download my resources while you're there :)

Saturday, December 22, 2018

See you in 2019

I'm going to take my traditional Christmas blogging break, and be back in the New Year, unless there are some events that I can't avoid blogging about... I've just had four days on the coast - lovely to be one of the few occupied vans on the site this week - got some further time away organised, and also some writing time, and plenty of family stuff planned... and my birthday too.

As usual, here's a Christmas illustration from one of my favourite artists: Ronald Lampitt.
And here's an extra one this year... a very apt cartoon...

Have a good one!

Thanks everyone for reading the blog this year.

Tuesday, December 18, 2018

Golden Sands - new DME and other resources

Thanks to Anthony Bennett over at Internet Geography for the excellent images and drone footage of the Golden Sands resort near Withernsea which have been shared over the last few weeks.
I am familiar with Withernsea, as my first ever teaching experience was in the school there during my PGCE.


These are all worth exploring, and the students loved them in the last week of term, when we explored coastal erosion as part of the conclusion to our Adventure Landscapes unit.
Visit the website, or follow on Twitter to see more...


And to make the most of these images, you can now obtain a DME which provides a range of activities for AQA GCSE Geography in particular, including questions, images and activities.

Withernsea DME 1

There is a £5 discount until Christmas Eve. See it described here.


Finally, if you go to the shop you will see details of CPD / fieldwork events that Anthony is running early in the New Year.


Saturday, December 15, 2018

Christian Marclay's 'The Clock'

A few weekends ago, I went down to an all-night showing of Christian Marclay's 'The Clock' at Tate Modern. It is a difficult thing to explain, and the reality is different from what you expect, but if you are ever in a place where it is showing, it is worth getting in to see some of the film, although you probably won't watch all of it in one go.

The film lasts 24 hours, and features scenes from hundreds of films where a clock is visible or the time is referenced in the dialogue.

Details of the Tate exhibition  are here.
Here's a PODCAST on the making of the film


And here's what you see when you go inside...

Audience watching The Clock

Friday, December 14, 2018

Kanji of the Year


A Kanji is an adopted Chinese visual character which is used in the Japanese writing system.
The Kanji of the Year for 2018 has been announced: šüŻ, pronounced wazawai or sai, meaning “disaster” or “misfortune.”
The Japan Kanji Aptitude Foundation each December announces a “kanji of the year,” selected by popular vote to encapsulate the year that was. Members of the public send in votes by postal mail, an official website, or voting boxes, selecting a single character and often appending an explanation for the choice. This year’s top pick, wazawai, referred to the multitude of natural disasters that afflicted the archipelago during 2018—serious earthquakes in Osaka, Hokkaid┼Ź, and Shimane Prefectures, a string of typhoons that battered the nation’s shores, torrential rains causing landslides and flooding, and the record-setting heat of summer. “As we look ahead to the coming year,” noted the JKAF press release, “many are hoping that the new imperial reign will bring with it a lower number of disasters to deal with.”
I think this looks like an erupting volcano, plus a flood or storm....
Source: Nippon.com

Wednesday, December 12, 2018

Ice Flows Game Teacher Pack now available

A good day today, as we finally launch a resource that has been in the pipeline for over a year, and has been tweaked and improved over the last year or so. I've blogged about it here before.

Here's some text from the official press-release.

The Ice Flows teacher resources pack provides a range of resources and suggested lesson plans built around playing Ice Flows game.   The learning outcomes relate to an understanding of the interactions between ice sheets and climate, and the resulting impact of changes in ice sheets on global sea level.  The resources include explainer videos, some skeleton PowerPoints to use as a basis for lessons, plus added extras such as a Spotify playlist.

The resources are aimed at pupils in KS3 in UK Schools, but the main resources are generic enough to be used with any curriculum or age. We also provide information on how the game could be used in line with the UK curriculum for older pupils.

The resources were created in partnership with the Geographical Association, written by Alan Parkinson, Consultant to the Geographical Association, and Anne Le Brocq, Senior Lecturer at the University of Exeter.  The game “Ice Flows” was developed by Dr. Anne Le Brocq at the University of Exeter in collaboration with Inhouse Visuals and Questionable Quality.  Funding was provided by the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) through a research grant led by the British Antarctic Survey.

The 2nd version of the website has also been launched, and we've also added a series of instructional videos which help relate the game to the science that underpins it. If you haven't seen it before (or even if you have) head over to the Ice Flows Game website to take a look.







A new page has now been added to the website.
This includes the link for you to be able to download the teaching pack and associated resources.




Any feedback welcome.
Thanks to students from King's Ely Junior who have helped with their feedback when playing the game, and using some of the earlier versions of the resources.

Thanks also to those teachers who came along to the workshop that Anne and I ran at the GA Conference in April 2018