Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Special crabby ale...

For Cromer festival...

I'll have a half please...

Very flat, Norfolk... allegedly

Jennifer Watts posted on her blog about a nice collaborative effort which she has set up...
She had just finished a book "50 writers on 50 states", where the USA was described in a range of different 'voices'... and thought that this might usefully be adapted for the UK, and ask lots of people to

If anyone is reading this and would like to get involved in writing a short chapter, around 3-5 A4 pages on a county they know well in the UK, please get in touch. Chapters could typically include things you value about the county: places, highlights, traditions, changes, features found in the county that maybe overlooked, or just how you feel about the county, what does it mean to you, and why?

I've volunteered to write the chapter on Norfolk.
I'll base some of it on the session that I put together for the GA Norfolk branch when I was the president of the Norfolk branch in 2010 - this had lots of ideas for teaching about Norfolk and the way that the county was described...

Thursday, May 26, 2011

I dreamed of David again...

I blogged a few weeks ago about the success of David Rogers: the Chair of the GA's Secondary Committee in the Jamie Oliver Dream Teachers competition on YouTube...
You can watch his £10 000 winning video below - it's now been seen over 13000 times !



Also listen to him from earlier today on BBC Radio SOLENT - via Audioboo....

Listen!

David is off to Google London today for an awards ceremony so have a good day David....

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Food Geographies

GA subscribers to Teaching Geography have the chance to use a really well put together unit of work which has been written by Suzie Farmer.
It is called "Planning for Progression: making sense of famine and feast" and explores issues of food production.
There are downloadable documents on the GA website which accompany the article.

BBC report earlier this week looked at the contents of an FAO report also identified the shocking figure that a third of the world's food is wasted...

Image: Alan Parkinson


Click to download Tim Hess's excellent GA Conference presentation on the water that is involved in food production too.

http://geography.org.uk/download/GA_Conf11Hess.pdf (PDF download)

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

What I bought at the supermarket...

For a food-related project I'm planning...
Everything I bought on my last trip to the supermarket.... (I went to Waitrose on this occasion, but normally go a lot more down-market...)


Could be used to explore issues like:

- sourcing: local or worldwide
- production methods: freedom foods, organic, Red Tractor, PGI
- packaging
- health: convenience or home cooking ingredients
- seasonality (they were bought in May... which of them are "out of season")

Other ideas, please add them below...

Oh, and I forgot the kitchen roll...

Saturday, May 14, 2011

South Downs National Park

All schools that lie within the newly designated South Downs National Park will soon receive an education pack which was put together by the Geographical Association.
It features a range of activities to explore the geography of the National Park, and the idea of landscape as a palimpsest...
It matches nicely with some of the ideas in my KS3 Toolkit: "Look at it this Way", which is available from the GA's online shop.

The pack will also be available to download from the South Downs website from Monday 16th of May....

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Geography Media Blog

The Geography Media blog is a new discovery for me via Tony Battista....

Some really interesting posts broadly in the area of geography and culture...

The blog is written by Ben Cotton an AST from St. Katherine's school in Bristol, and is involved in the new RGS-IBG Bristol network.
A quick browse has revealed a number of really interesting and stylishly presented ideas... also approve of the Jonsi and Alex clips :)

Sunday, May 8, 2011

MyFarm - National Trust project...

My Farm is an ambitious project that has been announced by the National Trust within the last week (this blog post was ready on the day but has been sitting in draft for a while), and has been getting quite a lot of press and media coverage.
It extends the idea of virtual farming with very popular online games like Farmville (which has tens of millions of players) to an actual farm, part of the Wimpole Hall estate near Cambridge. I have been to the farm myself some years ago when my kids were much smaller...
The website provides some background detail as to how the scheme is going to work. The National Trust are looking for 10 000 people to invest £30 in the scheme, which will allow them to take some decisions relating to the farm. They will vote on a range of issues relating to the management of the farm, although given its organic status and location, there are obviously going to be limits as to what those decisions might be...
I am tempted to go for it, and may well do so in the next few days if I can get £30 together from somewhere....
Here's a map of part of the estate where the farm is located.


All a long way from the old Herefordshire farm game of the late great Vincent Tidswell....

The virtual farmers come from a range of backgrounds judging by the messages that are already appearing on the forum site that goes with it...


The £30 to take part could perhaps be raised by a teaching group / year group, or even taken from a departmental budget as an investment in curriculum engagement.

There are already some farmers who are geography teachers such as this person here:


There is a YouTube video here, one of several from the MY FARM CHANNEL which sets the scene for the first few decisions which will be made once the virtual farmers have been recruited...



A similar sounding project (by name) is FROM MY FARM which provides information about seasonal produce for consumers...

This links through in turn to the BRING BACK SUNDAYS website and campaign which is aimed at getting us eating a Sunday roast again. 

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Cultural Diversity Examination context...

The pre-release material for the Edexcel 'A' level specification for the June exam has now been released. These are questions for an exam for UK students aged 16-18. One of the options is called "The World of Cultural Diversity" and I have blogged about it before...


Here is the question for this year: the second part will involve the students in doing some research.



Explore the concept of cultural diversity and varying views about globalisation‘s impact on cultures and their diversity.
Research the contrasting influences of globalisation on cultural diversity at a range of locations and scales.
Over at the Edexcel GCE Ning that I set up (moderated membership) there is plenty of opportunity for discussion on these themes, but if any readers have suggestions for appropriate places for those researching this question, you can add them below as comments....
Thanks in advance

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

GeoCurrents



GeoCurrents is a newish blog (to me at least) which is run by Stanford University Senior Lecturer Martin W. Lewis. It's updated very frequently with new articles, and is starting to get some discussion going among its visitors. Professor. Lewis is also co-author of two of the leading geography textbooks used in the USA, and GeoCurrents is where he spends his writing time in between textbook revisions. 


Worth a look..