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Geography

for those new to teaching the subject

Contents
About this resource The Geography syllabus 710 Cross curriculum content Becoming familiar with the Geography syllabus 710 Timing and teaching the Geography 710 syllabus Geographical tools For your reflection Some Geography basics Maps and mapping Weather and climate Designing an assessment task Organisations to contact for assistance with resources, teacher professional learning and excursions General websites for teaching and learning activities Online resources for maps and mapping skills General teaching and learning resources Online resources Stage 4 Teaching and Learning Exchange Online resources Stage 5 Teaching and Learning Exchange 3 3 4 5 6 7 10 11 12 18 29 35 36 37 38 38 39

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

About this resource


This resource is designed to help teachers new to teaching Geography with teaching Geography Years 710. This involves gaining an understanding of: the syllabus and its requirements what geography is questions asked by geographers tools required to study geography designing assessment tasks professional organisations who offer assistance and resources ideas and online resources to assist you in the teaching of Geography and the tools of Geography. The information in this resource is not designed to cover all of the subject matter or tools/skills, but to get you started on the basics including worksheets and a comprehensive list of online resources. Feel free to use any of the information and graphics in this resource in developing your teaching resources.

The Geography syllabus 710


Aim of the syllabus
To stimulate students enjoyment of and interest in the interaction of the physical and human environments.

Rationale
There are two key dimensions that form the basis of the study of all content: The spatial dimension: where things are and why they are there. The ecological dimension: how humans interact with environments. A study of Geography builds on students prior learning and experience to enable them to explain patterns, evaluate consequences and contribute to management of physical, social, cultural and built environments. (Geography syllabus 710 p. 8)

The tools used in Geography:


Maps. Fieldwork. Graphs and statistics. Photographs.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

Cross curriculum content


Cross curriculum content is integrated throughout the Geography 710 syllabus. It important to note that Geography involves not just learning about things and how to do things, but also developing perspectives about issues and taking action regarding issues. Students should be given the opportunity to investigate a range of opinions and ideas, to discuss and debate issues and to learn how to make informed decisions. Quality Teaching should also be integrated into all aspects of teaching and learning in Geography. Key competencies Difference and diversity Work, employment & enterprise

Literacy

Numeracy

Cross Curriculum content

ICT

Multicultural

Aboriginal and Indigenous

Civics and citizenship

Gender

A good online starting point for Aboriginal and Indigenous content <www.tale.edu.au/>

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

Becoming familiar with the Geography syllabus 710


These questions are designed to help you familiarise yourself with the course requirements. You can use the links or in the Organisations page to access the Syllabus and the School Certificate Scope and Test Specifications.

1. How many hours must students study mandatory Geography in Stages 4 & 5?

2. When do students study global geography and when do they study Australian geography?

3. What are the four Stage 4 topics?

4. What are the four Stage 5 topics?

5. On what page will I find a summary of the ICT skills for students in Stages 4 and 5?

6. What is the purpose of fieldwork? What are the syllabus requirements for Stages 4 and 5 regarding fieldwork?

7. On what pages will I find a summary of the geographical tools for students in Stages 4 & 5?

8. On what page of the syllabus is the glossary of key geographic terms?

9. What is a research action plan (RAP) and which topic requires students to develop one?

10. What page of the syllabus tells me the steps involved in a RAP?

11. When the syllabus states at least one case study, do I have to teach more than one? When might I choose to teach more than one?

Click here to try this drop and drag activity for Geography definitions! <law.cli.det.nsw.edu.au/Activities/4357/dd4357.htm>

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

Timing and teaching the Geography 710 syllabus


It sounds obvious, but make sure you teach what is required in the syllabus and dont get bogged down by textbook content overload. There is a wide variety of resources to use in Geography, including textbooks, skills workbooks, maps, geography puzzle books, ICT resources such as PowerPoint lessons, atlases including CDs, as well as an array of useful websites. Use these resources to assist and enhance your teaching; get your timing from the syllabus and teaching and learning programs in the faculty. There are great textbook resources for Stages 4 and 5 Geography, but many textbooks include a lot of in-depth material that is not always necessary. This is often because a topic will require an overview of environments or issues and then one or two in-depth studies. So, while the textbooks provide in depth information about all or many of the studies, you dont have to teach it all you choose from whats available. Example 1: Focus Area 4G2 Global environments requires an overview of the environments listed and only one in-depth study (you can do more than one but this is optional). Example 2: Focus Area 4G4 Global issues and the role of citizenship requires an overview of the geographical issues listed and two in-depth studies (you can do more than two but this is optional). Example 3: Focus Area 5A1 Investigating Australias physical environments requires an overview of the natural hazards in Australia listed but only one in-depth study (you can do more than one but this is optional). Example 4: Focus Area 5A3 Issues in Australian environments requires an overview of the geographical issues listed and two in-depth studies (you can do more than two but this is optional). Note that one of the in-depth studies also requires fieldwork mandatory to qualify for the School Certificate. Have a look at the teaching and learning programs in your faculty and consult with your subject coordinator or head teacher for the suggested timing of topics or units within topics.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

Geographical tools
Through the study of Geography, students need to develop skills in working with geographical tools. These tools are outlined in the syllabus. You will find a matrix showing where these tools should be taught for Stage 4 on page 18 and for Stage 5 on page 19. In addition, every Focus Area page indicates the tools to be taught. Note students will continue to use and incorporate the Stage 4 tools in addition to the tools outlined for Stage 5. There are plenty of excellent geography skills resources available commercially, including workbooks as well as PowerPoint lessons have a look at whats in the staff room and peruse the catalogues sent to the school. Read through the explanations, work through the exercises. Also look out for teacher professional learning courses for Geography teachers there are often courses specifically for teachers without a background in Geography and teachers new to teaching Geography. To help you reflect on this area of the syllabus there are two tables below, one each for Stage 4 and Stage 5. As you read through the lists, indicate which tools you feel confident to teach and which ones you would like to learn more about. Go to the Useful websites page to find links to online teaching and learning resources for Geographical Tools. Where to access specialist tools such as compasses, stopwatches, trundle wheels, weather instruments, clinometers, tape measures, vegetation identification charts, water quality testing kits, soil testing kits: The HSIE or Social Sciences faculty should have some tools. Other faculties including Science, Maths and PDHPE should have tools. Some of these tools might not be available at your school this is where an excursion to the local Environmental Education Centre comes in handy. It is possible for the faculty to purchase instruments from educational/science suppliers. It is also possible to make some of the tools, such as a clinometer or a dip net.

Whilst geographical information systems (GIS) is not prescribed in the syllabus, it is suggested (page 19). Its a great way to engage students go to About GIS in the TaLe website!

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

Geographical tools reflection Stage 4


Maps Use an atlas Use various types of maps (physical, political, topographic, thematic) Identify and use elements of maps (legend, direction, title, scale, border) Distinguish between different types of map projections Locate features on a map: latitude & longitude; area & grid references Identify physical and cultural features on a map Measure distances on a map using a linear scale Identify scale as written, linear or representative fraction Use the points of a compass to determine direction Identify & interpret relief using shading, spot heights, colour, contour lines Construct a sketch map Read synoptic charts: wind direction & speed, pressure patterns, fronts, rainfall Fieldwork Use geographical instruments, including: A compass to determine direction A clinometer and tape Weather instruments, a Beaufort wind scale, cloud identification charts Vegetation identification charts Collect and record data in the field, including: Design and conduct interviews Construct and implement surveys Field sketch, diagram Graphs and statistics Identify and calculate maximum, minimum, total, range, rank and average including on a climate graph Construct & interpret bar, column, line climatic & proportional graphs Photographs Draw a line drawing Distinguish between oblique, aerial, ground level photographs and satellite imagery Collect and interpret photographic images

Confident

Developing

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

Geographical tools reflection Stage 5


Maps Use various types of maps and flow charts Locate features using degrees and minutes of latitude & longitude Calculate the area of a feature Calculate the density of a feature Measure bearings on a map Calculate local relief Identify the aspect of a slope Construct a cross-section Calculate the gradient of a slope Construct a transect Construct a land-use map Describe and explain relationships on maps Read and interpret synoptic charts Distinguish between large-scale and small-scale maps Fieldwork Develop a research action plan Use fieldwork techniques to collect primary and secondary data Graphs and statistics Construct and interpret population pyramids Construct and interpret divided bar and column graphs and composite line graphs Recognise and account for change using statistical data Photographs Interpret satellite images Collect and use digital images Collect and interpret photographic images

Confident

Developing

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

For your reflection


Answer the following questions with reference to your current schools teaching and learning programs this is for your reflection only. For which of the topics in Stage 4 and Stage 5 do you have good background knowledge?

For which of the topics in Stage 4 and Stage 5 will you need to do some reading/research?

For which of the topics in Stage 4 and Stage 5 will you need to a lot of reading/research?

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Some Geography basics


What is geography?
Geography is the study of people and places and their interactions. There are two dimensions through which we study Geography: Spatial dimension Where things are and why they are there. Example: distribution of global rainforests. Ecological dimension Human interaction with environments. Example: clearing of global rainforests for agriculture.

Questions geographers ask:


What is there? Where is it? Why is it there? What are the effects of it being there? How and why is it changing over time? Should it be like this? What groups are involved? What do different groups think? What action is appropriate? Syllabus page 20

Fieldwork
Go to the TaLe website Secondary section, select HSIE and Stage 4 and Stage 5 options and search for field work to find excellent resources/activities to use:

There are more ideas and resources for fieldwork in the Fieldwork pages!

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

11

Maps and mapping


As you are no doubt aware, maps are a huge part of Geography! Students should be familiar with maps, atlases and globes from primary school. For example, NSW Stage 3 outcomes include: uses maps and globes to locate global and Australian reference points, e.g. hemispheres, political states, lines of latitude and longitude, mountains and oceans, physical and cultural regions locates places on a globe that they hear about or view in written, media and electronic texts draws accurate sketch maps of a known area and includes title, key, scale and direction uses geographical terminology and tools to locate and investigate environments. The 710 syllabus requires the integration of mapping tools into the teaching and learning program. Some useful tips, activities and worksheets to get you started, follow. Whats wrong with this map?

Some fun acronyms to help teaching about maps!


Teach Year 7 mapping conventions through BOLTS what every good map should have: Border Orientation (north point/direction) Legend (key) Title Scale Teach direction and compasses through NESW Never Eat Soggy Weetbix

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Different types of maps


Physical: illustrate the physical features of an area such as mountains, rivers, coasts.

Political: illustrate state and national boundaries, capital cities and major cities.

Topographic: depict the shape of the land, using contour lines, as well as important features.

Thematic: based on a particular theme or topic, e.g. global sanitation, distribution of resources, weather.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

13

Map projections
A map projection refers to the way the sphere of the Earth (3D) is represented on a map (flat surface). When the features of the Earth are transferred from a globe onto a map they are distorted they might look stretched, for instance. Look at the following maps as an example:

The Geography textbooks/CDs have good explanations and illustrations of different map projections. The Geography for kids website has a good explanation of map projections with graphics which makes it easy to understand. You can go to <www.kidsgeo.com> and search for map projections.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

14

Latitude and longitude


Lines of latitude and longitude are imaginary lines which allow us to find locations on a map of the world or part of the world.

Lines of latitude
run horizontally run parallel to each other known as parallels measured in degrees north and south of the equator between 0 and 90 can be further subdivided into minutes () and seconds () begin from the Equator at 0 quoted first.

Lines of longitude
run vertically run from the North Pole to the South Pole known as meridians measured in degrees east and west of the prime meridian between 0 and 180 can be further subdivided into minutes () and seconds () begin from the prime meridian at 0 which runs through Greenwich and London quoted second.

Sydneys location: 33 52S 15112E


Latitude think flat Longitude think long

Practise makes perfect! Play the latitude and longitude Map match game.

Listen to the latitude longitude song at Geography at the movies <gatm.org.uk> (but reinforce that latitude comes before longitude!)

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

15

Grid references and Area references


Grid lines are used to locate a feature on a map such as a topographic map. The map is divided into a grid. Grid lines running up and down a map are known as eastings because they increase in number value as we look to the east. Grid lines running across a map are known as northings because they increase in number value as we look to the north.

Grid references
have 6 numbers e.g. 256308 used to pin point the exact location of a feature eastings are quoted before northings e comes before n in the alphabet How to remember how to find a feature from a grid or area reference LEAN: Look East And North

Area references
have 4 numbers e.g. 2530 used to find the area containing a feature eastings are quoted before northings e comes before n in the alphabet

The Geography textbooks/CDs have good explanations, illustrations and activities for latitude and longitude, as well as grid and area references. There is also a wide range of geography skills books and puzzles books with plenty of practice exercises. Also, go to the <Useful websites> page to find links to online activities and resources.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

16

Synoptic charts
Synoptic charts are simply weather maps. Synoptic charts show the atmospheric conditions of a location on a particular day including rainfall, air pressure (atmospheric pressure), wind speed and wind direction. The Australian Bureau of Meteorology website has up-to-date four day forecasts showing synoptic charts which are an engaging resource for students to learn with. The BOM also has a great resource about forecasting the weather with diagrams, explanations and activities.

Air pressure means the weight of the air. Air pressure is measured in hectoPascals (hPa) and indicated by isobars which are lines joining places of equal pressure. High air pressure (> 1013 hPa) means the air is heavy/sinking; associated with calm conditions and fine weather; winds move in an anti-clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere. Low air pressure (< 1013 hPa) means the air is light/rising; associated with unstable conditions and rainy weather; winds move in a clockwise direction in the southern hemisphere. A front is the boundary between two air masses. A cold front is when a mass of cold air moves towards a mass of warm air pushing it upwards and is indicated by a line with spikes (think of freezing cold icicles); generally brings north or north west wind and a drop in pressure leading to falling temperatures, wind and rain but this depends on the actual temperature and water content of the air masses, which depend on the region over which the air masses originate. A warm front is when a mass of warm air moves towards a mass of cold air pushing it downwards and is indicated by a line with bumps (think of melting icicles); moves at half the speed of a cold front; warm fronts generally occur in high latitudes and are not common in Australia. A trough is an elongated area of low pressure extending out from the centre of the pressure system. A monsoon trough is a broad area of low pressure which runs east west through the tropics during summer.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

17

Weather and climate


Whats the difference between weather and climate?
Weather refers to the condition of the atmosphere over a short time, such as a day. Climate refers to long run average weather patterns over a period of years.

Climate graphs
A step-by-step graphic explanation of climate graphs can be found at the geography at the movies site under weather just scroll down until you find Drawing climate graphs. You can also find other movies on weather and climate there.

Fieldwork
Fieldwork is fundamental to the study of Geography. It is the means by which students can engage and develop a deep understanding of geographical processes and inquiry. Fieldwork gives students the opportunity to: enhance their knowledge through observation, mapping, measurement and recording real world phenomena explore geographical processes that form and transform environments use a range of geographical tools to assist in interpretation and decision making locate, select, organise and communicate geographical information explore different perspectives relating to geographical issues. Fieldwork should never be an end in itself it should always be part of a geographical inquiry, starting with prior learning, setting geographical questions, followed by field activities and follow-up work to interpret and analyse primary data and communicate conclusions. The Go to the TaLe website for resources: textbooks/CDs also have great explanations, diagrams and activities to be used with fieldwork!

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

18

Simple fieldwork in Geography 710


Here are some simple ideas which can be done with minimal organisation. Giving students plenty of opportunities to get outside and get active can really engage them and prepare them for major fieldwork excursions. Fieldwork could be done for just 15 minutes of a lesson. Students can write up brief reports back in class or for homework. You might decide that you want to make students familiar with the Research Action Plan at an early stage. There is no reason why students cannot achieve all eight steps of a RAP in Year 7. Steps 14 could be provided to the students by the teacher if necessary. Some simple RAPs are provided with each activity for you to use if you wish.

Fieldwork can involve a short and sweet activity or an all day (or multiple days) excursion.
Around the school: e.g. Field sketch on the oval; record temperature and humidity in different locations to understand microclimates; treasure hunt using compasses; identify clouds; identify vegetation and animal life; make and use a clinometer to measure slopes. Local community: e.g. Field sketches; landuse; impacts on environments; local library research of local geographic community; observation of pollution in a local creek; measure the gradient of a slope; photograph litter pollution in a local street; line drawing from a photograph; survey neighbours/interview residents about a local issue; observe evidence of spatial inequality and/or urban growth and decline. Excursions: e.g. To an Environmental Education Centre; a CBD; a coastal environment; a farm; an Aboriginal community/organisation; an ecotourism business; cross city trip examining spatial inequality and/or urban growth and decline. Virtual: e.g. Using Google Earth, atlas CDs, and web searches.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

19

Organising a major fieldwork activity


For major excursions take a whole Year group and consider including more than one subject, for example, join with History and/or Science. This works well in the junior years where all these subjects are mandatory and is also beneficial because it: reduces disruption at the school, particularly for learning areas not involved provides more teachers for supervision and makes it easier to cover classes back at school within the faculties involved helps the students to make the connections between subjects and between subjects and the real world seeing the same place from different perspectives.

Effective use of fieldwork time


Time should not be wasted when the students are in the field. Activities/questions should not relate to information that can be obtained through secondary sources (e.g. books, websites) that work should be done before/after the fieldwork activity. Students are in the field to collect primary data; to ask the geographical questions, such as: What is there? Where is it? Why is it there? What are the effects of it being there? Dont ask the students about the climate (do that in class) ask about the weather on that particular day! The answers to these questions can be recorded in a variety of ways: words, sketches, maps, diagrams, tables, graphs, photographs. Some of these recording methods require skills. Any skills that students will be required to use at the fieldwork site should be practised at school first, either in the classroom or the school grounds. For example, students should be familiar with drawing a sketch map. Fieldwork is an opportunity for students to practise their skills in a new environment. Worksheets used during fieldwork should be considered as working papers, not as part of an assessment task this stops students wasting time rewriting them to make them presentable. The focus should be on the learning. However, students may be required to submit a worksheet to demonstrate their engagement in the fieldwork activity the worksheets need to be returned promptly to allow students to use them for their follow-up assessment task. Fieldwork should always be fun!

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

20

Year 7
Fieldwork in Year 7 is all about introducing students to Geography, the tools and methods used in investigating environments and issues. It is an opportunity for students to develop a passion for Geography which they can carry through to Year 12. It should be lots of fun! Start with a lesson on the purpose of fieldwork, key geographical questions and geographical tools; Students familiarise themselves with tools, draw pictures and describe their use. Use whatever tools you have at school and/or textbooks and websites which have lists and pictures of tools. The textbooks have a range of ideas about local area fieldwork. The About Fieldwork resource found at TaLe is a good place to start. School grounds or local community field studies could include the following: Identify and compare locations for biodiversity; record on table. Draw a map of part of the school or local area; work out distance using a trundle wheel and calculate scale. Make a clinometer and use it to measure slopes around the school. Treasure hunt using compasses. Draw a field sketch of part of the school or local park. Take a photograph and draw a line drawing of a local environment.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Sample activity 1: Biodiversity investigation


Rationale: Discussion about the meaning of biodiversity and why it might be important to have knowledge about plant and animal life in the selected location. For example, certain areas might need to be protected; there might be a proposal for construction of a new facility. Tools: Activity: Gloves, pencils, clipboards, worksheets. Students move around the school or a location in the local area, performing leaf litter searches, tree searches, and observation of local ecosystems.

Table comparing biodiversity at:_ _____________________________________________________________

Location
Main quad Behind canteen Back oval

Plant life

Animal/Insect life

Report:
Students complete a brief report including: Aim of the fieldwork (e.g. To investigate biodiversity around the school) Data collection process (point summary or description of what they did) Summary of findings a copy of the table recording the observations Analysis of findings including a written description of which locations had the most plant life and animal life, indicating biodiversity; reasons why; recommendations regarding how to manage areas with plant and animal life. or

Research action plan


Aim/purpose of the investigation Focus questions Primary/secondary data needed Techniques to collect data Identification and Collection of data Process and analyse the data collected

Suggestions
To investigate plant and animal life at local high school What plants and animals live in our school environment? Where do most of these plants and animals live? Observe primary data Observation of plant and animal life in different locations Leaf litter searches, tree searches, observation of local ecosystems Observe and record types of plant and animal life in table Summarise the information collected, using a column graph to illustrate where most life is found Draw conclusions from data collected regarding habitat locations Suggest likely reasons for where most life is found e.g. Written report including graph which could be emailed to the SRC or Environment Team; short news report using Audacity. e.g. Suggest a plan to protect a particular area, perhaps with fencing or signs; ask the SRC or Environment Team to plant native bushes or trees in a particular area.

Presentation methods to communicate the research findings Proposed individual or group action

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Sample activity 2: Microclimates


Rationale: Discussion about the meaning of climate and the factors affecting climate. Discussion of the term microclimate (area with local atmospheric conditions different to nearby areas, e.g. the oval and the assembly area) and why it might be useful for students to know about different microclimates around the school (e.g. Where is best to run around, where you might need sun protection or drinking water, where you might ask the SRC or Principal to put a sun shade structure). Tools: Activity: Hygrometer, barometer, anemometer (or weather station with all three), pencils, clipboards, worksheets. Note that this activity can still be done without tools. Students visit different locations around the school to measure and record atmospheric conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed and air pressure. You will need weather instruments to undertake this activity or You could modify the table to include those instruments that you do have or If you have none of these instruments you could ask students to use statements such as hot, very hot, cool for temperature; muggy, dry for humidity; windy, breezy, calm for wind speed. The point is to understand the idea that even places very close together can experience different atmospheric conditions (weather)!

Table comparing microclimates

Location
Room 17 Middle of oval Trees at oval Behind canteen (asphalt; wind tunnel) Quad (asphalt & trees)

Temp

Humidity

Wind speed

Air pressure

Report
Students complete a brief report including: Aim of the fieldwork (e.g. to investigate microclimates around the school). Data collection process (point summary or description of what they did). Summary of findings (a copy of the table recording the observations). Analysis of findings including a written description of differing microclimates in each location, the reasons for these differences and recommendations regarding how to make use of this information, on an individual level as well as a school level e.g. where is the best place to install new bubblers or shade structures?

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

23

Research action plan


Aim/purpose of the investigation Focus questions

Suggestions
To investigate microclimates around local high school Where are the hottest and coolest places in the school? What factors affect the microclimates of different locations around the school?

Primary/secondary data needed

Primary data: Collection of information about atmospheric conditions in different locations

Techniques to collect data Identification and Collection of data Process and analyse the data collected

Weather instruments (or student observations) Measure and record atmospheric conditions including temperature, humidity, wind speed, air pressure Summarise the information collected in a table to illustrate different microclimates Draw conclusions from data collected regarding hottest and coolest locations Suggest likely reasons for different microclimates

Presentation methods to communicate the research findings Proposed individual or group action

e.g. Written report or poster including table or school map showing hot spots and cool spots; short film using Moviemaker. e.g. Produce a poster with advice for students about where to go on hot, cold, rainy or windy days; make a recommendation to the SRC or Environment Team regarding weather protection structures.

Year 8
Focus Area 4G4 Global Issues and the role of Citizenship lends itself nicely to fieldwork in Year 8, particularly in terms of using geographical instruments and collecting data in the field about local environmental issues which occur on a global scale. It should be lots of fun! School grounds or local community field studies could include the following: Draw a field sketch of a location within which there is an issue, e.g. land degradation, pollution, erosion. Take photographs; later draw a line drawing and/or write a description interpreting the photos; use the photographs as part of a brief report. Geographical issues observe, record and report on evidence of water pollution, land pollution and land degradation around the school and the local area; measure slopes/gradients where erosion has occurred. Interviews and surveys of community members about a global issue. Use whatever tools you have at school and/or textbooks and websites which have lists and pictures of tools. The About Fieldwork resource and the Waterworks unit at TaLe are excellent for this. Additionally, your faculty or other parts of your school might have tools such as clinometers, tape measures, vegetation identification charts, water quality and/or soil quality testing kits, dip nets, magnifying glasses, water bug identification charts, bird identification charts.

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Sample activity 3: Water quality testing using a water bug survey


Rationale: Water quality testing helps us indicate the health of our water resources. Evidence of litter and chemical pollution can be easily determined by simple observation. Bug identification is useful because the types of bugs found in an aquatic ecosystem can indicate the state of its health. Different kinds of water bugs have different levels of sensitivity to pollution, from very sensitive through to very tolerant. If an ecosystem has lots of sensitive and very sensitive bugs, for example, then we can tell that the water is healthy. If there are only tolerant and very tolerant bugs, this indicates that the water is relatively unhealthy. If there are no bugs the water is likely to be very unhealthy. We can then take action to try to do something about it we can try to find out what is causing the pollution and take steps to reduce the impact on the environment. Tools: Dip nets, buckets, bug identification charts, pencils, paper, and clip boards one kit for each group. For bug identification charts go to: <www.bugsurvey.nsw.gov.au> click on Getting bugs, click on Bug detective guide and download the bug detective guide A3 or <www.streamwatch.org.au/cms/resources/> click on Streamwatch water bug guide.

Activity: Visit a local creek. Students form groups. Each group has a tool kit. Students will observe the water and surrounding area, looking for signs of visual and chemical pollution such as litter and oil. Students will also collect bugs, using the ID charts to identify the bugs, record numbers and categorise according to whether they are very sensitive, sensitive, tolerant or very tolerant.

Pollution observation sheet


Type of pollution observed Examples Oil Plastic bottles Tin cans Description/frequency Examples Greasy scum covering the water from the bank to 2 metres out 5 2

Water bug identification recording sheet


Bug type Very sensitive bugs Sensitive bugs Tolerant bugs Very tolerant bugs Numbers Total

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Report Students complete a brief report including: Aim of the fieldwork (e.g. to investigate the health of the local creek). Data collection process (point summary or description of what they did). Summary of findings a copy of the table recording the observations. Analysis of findings including a written description of the pollution observed and conclusions drawn from the type and number of water bugs, leading to an assessment of the health of the creek. Recommendations for action, which could be emailed to the local council. or

Research action plan


Aim/purpose of the investigation Focus questions

Suggestions
To assess the health of the local creek What is water pollution? What visual evidence is there of pollution at the creek? What types of bugs inhabit the local creek and what does this tell us about its health?

Primary/secondary data needed

Secondary data: Geography texts for definition Primary data: Visual observation of pollution Water bug identification

Techniques to collect data Identification and collection of data Process and analyse the data collected

Observation and recording Water bug collection using dip nets & buckets Observe and record types of pollution in table Identify and categorise bugs in table Summarise the information collected, create graphs Draw conclusions from data collected regarding the state of health of the creek Suggest likely causes of any pollution found E.g. Written report including graphs and tables which could be emailed to local council; PowerPoint presentation; short news report using Audacity. E.g. Email or meet with local council representatives; place signs around local area regarding littering and use of detergents; stencil local stormwater drains with the drain is just for rain; organise a class clean-up of the area.

Presentation methods to communicate the research findings Proposed individual or group action

Geography for those new to teaching the subject


2010 NSW Department of Education and Training.

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Year 9
Focus Area 5A2 Changing Australian Communities requires students to investigate at least one Australian community, so student fieldwork should involve interviews and surveys of a particular community. This could be done as set homework or as part of a research assignment. It should be lots of fun! The textbooks have sections on interviews and surveys. The About fieldwork resource at TaLe has a unit on interviews and a unit on surveys. Students should design and conduct interviews, and construct and implement surveys about issues such as the following: Examples of change in the community over time. Factors causing change in the community. Impacts of change on the community. Responses to change in the community (e.g. opinions about what should be done; opinions of government responses).

Year 10
Preparation for fieldwork can be done using the textbooks and skills books. You should ensure that you give plenty of time to teaching and practising skills and also set homework worksheets on skills. Focus Area 5A3 Issues in Australian Environments requires one geographical issues study to include fieldwork. A convenient way to do this is through an excursion. This can be organised and run by the school or you can use services such as Environmental Education Centres. School grounds or local community field studies can be used for short, regular fieldwork activities: direction and bearings using compass exercise; treasure hunt construct a cross-section of a small area calculate the gradient of a slope identify the aspect of a slope construct a transect of an area construct a land use map take photographs; later draw a line drawing.

Geographical issue: spatial inequality


Develop a RAP and start off in class by using Google Earth, local government data, real estate prices, ABS and other secondary sources, to investigate spatial inequality in a particular location, followed up by a bus tour. Students collect data such as number of new cars, size of houses/apartments, construct a land use map.

Geographical issue: water and land management


Locate and map all storm water inlets (drains) around the school; identify management issues for each and prepare an action plan to manage (put rubbish in bins, collect leaves and silt and deposit on garden/tree areas, spray the drain is for rain stencils; develop systems to try to stop the problem from recurring). Students could make a model showing the link between built environments, stormwater drainage systems and stormwater outlets; showing how water and other materials end up in our waterways. Experiment with a number of items that end up in the sewage system and eventually oceans (toilet paper, detergents, Napi San, bleach, cooking oils & fats, etc.) plus items that end up in the stormwater system and eventually rivers and oceans, untreated (engine oil, pesticides, fertiliser, car wash soaps, rubbish, etc.) add items into a big bowl of clean water and observe what happens.

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Research action plan


In Focus Area 5A3, Issues in Australian Environments, students are required to develop a Research Action Plan (RAP). As prescribed by the BOS NSW Geography Years 710 syllabus 2003, the RAP involves the following steps: 1. Identify the aim/purpose of the investigation. 2. Generate a number of focus questions to be addressed by the investigation. 3. Decide which primary and secondary data are needed to answer the focus questions. 4. Identify the techniques that will be used to collect the data. 5. Collect primary and secondary data. 6. Process and analyse the data collected. 7. Select presentation methods to communicate the research findings effectively. 8. Propose individual or group action in response to the research findings and, where appropriate, take such action. School Certificate questions about the RAP can involve general questions about the RAP process, questions about a RAP the students have undertaken and questions about how a student might go about in undertaking a RAP about a particular geographical issue.

Go to the TaLe website Secondary section, select HSIE and Stage 5 options and search for Field work to find excellent resources/activities to use for the Research Action Plan. Students can start with the Fieldwork Overview item, and then move through from Fieldwork Part 1 to Fieldwork Part 4.

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Designing an assessment task


You are asked to design an assessment task for Geography. What are you going to ask and what information is important for you to know before you start? First of all you need to refer to the Stage plan/assessment schedule for the subject to see which outcomes you need to assess and what type of task is required. The next step is to design the task. This involves planning all parts of the task together i.e. the outcomes of the task, the rubric and the marking criteria.

Teacher preparation template


A teacher preparation template can be helpful when planning and designing the task. The teacher preparation template is not what is handed to students it is what is attached to the assessment schedule and filed. It must include which outcomes are being assessed and the marking criteria however these are not necessarily included on the student version of the Assessment task sheet.

Syllabus name and focus area


Refer to the syllabus to complete this section.

Outcomes
Outcomes should appear in full they should not be truncated or rewritten. Their inclusion in the student version, however, can confuse e.g. analyses the impacts of different perspective on geographical issues at local, national and global scales when the task is about local issues; OR Selects and uses appropriate written, oral and graphic forms to communicate geographical information for a written task. For this reason it might be better not to include outcomes on the student version, or at least place them on the back page if the faculty policy is to include the outcomes. Excluding non-crucial information that crowds the page can result in a more student friendly document.

Background information
The background information section of the Teacher preparation template can include material helpful for next years teachers e.g. before this task students should have been on xyz excursion or completed xyz fieldwork see program. Keep it simple task The Task = what the students are to do. It should reflect the outcomes being assessed (backward map from the task to the outcomes). It should be explicit sometimes students are given several pages of words and find it hard to actually identify what the task is i.e. what they are required to do.

The

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The rubric
The rubric guides students as to what they should include in their response. It is especially helpful for less able students. The rubric reflects the task and the outcomes and the marking criteria that follow.

When rubrics were added to the School Certificate, exam responses improved!

Marking criteria
The less complex the task, the fewer the outcomes and the less complex the rubric the easier the marking criteria is to develop.

The marking criteria is really a rewriting of what is already in the task and rubric!

The marking criteria should be a direct reflection of the rubric, task and the outcomes identified for assessment. You can check the accuracy of the marking criteria by backward mapping to the task description and rubric. You may realise you have included something in the criteria that you havent yet asked students for. You may need to go back and adjust the task description or rubric accordingly.

Mark range
It is best to have no more than a 5 level mark range e.g. 02, 34, 56, 78, 910. Otherwise things can get murky, e.g. with a 2 mark range in each level it is easier to give clear feedback to students than for 4 marks.

Multiple mark criteria


Multiple marking criteria is useful, e.g. you may have criteria and give marks for collecting data and recording it in the field, and also have criteria and separate marks for analysis of the data and suggestions for future action. This way you overcome the problem of a student whose collection and data recording is excellent but whose analysis is poor or vice versa without adding extra value to one part of the criteria over other parts.

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Sample teacher preparation template


Syllabus name and focus area: Years 710 Geography 4G1 Investigating the world Outcomes: 4.1 identifies and gathers geographical information 4.2 organises and interprets geographical information 4.3 uses a range of written, oral and graphic forms to communicate geographical information 4.5 demonstrates a sense of place about global environments Background information: The task draws on previous learning about the Blue Mountains and Sydneys water and on the data gathered during the fieldwork activity. Students will already have conducted the survey and collected the results to be used in the report. This is the final activity for the unit. Task: Write a report (two-three pages) on Visitors appreciation of the Greater Blue Mountains as a World Heritage Area and as a catchment for Sydneys water supply. Rubric: In your answer: Write in report form, include images/graphs/tables, and pay attention to spelling and grammar Include a sketch map of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and the catchment for Sydneys water, using mapping conventions (legend, direction, title, scale, border) Include a summary and interpretation of the results from your survey conducted at a tourist location in the Blue Mountains, using geographical terminology in comparing survey answers with the actual World Heritage criteria of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and its role in the provision of water for Sydney. 5 marks 5 marks Date due: x/x/xxxx Assessment weight: 20%

10 marks

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Marking criteria: Sketch map


Outcome 4.3

Marking criteria
Provides a detailed and accurate sketch map encompassing the Greater Blue Mountains Area and the catchment for Sydneys water, including the mapping conventions Provides a detailed and/or accurate sketch map encompassing the Greater Blue Mountains Area and the catchment for Sydneys water, including the mapping conventions Provides a sketch map with some detail of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and the catchment for Sydneys water, including some mapping conventions Makes some attempt at the sketch map of the Greater Blue Mountains Area or the catchment for Sydneys water, with limited use of the mapping conventions Makes a limited attempt at the sketch map of the Greater Blue Mountains Area

Mark
5

3 2 1

Marking criteria: Summary and interpretation


Outcomes 4.1 and 4.2

Marking criteria
Provides a concise and accurate summary of survey results Integrates relevant geographical terminology in interpreting survey results, comparing them effectively to the actual World Heritage criteria of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and its role in the provision of water for Sydney Provides an accurate summary of survey results Uses relevant geographical terminology in interpreting survey results, comparing them to the actual World Heritage criteria of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and its role in the provision of water for Sydney Provides a brief summary of survey results Uses some geographical terminology in comparing them to the actual World Heritage criteria of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and its role in the provision of water for Sydney Provides a limited summary of survey results Uses limited geographical terminology in relating the results to the Greater Blue Mountains Area as a World Heritage Site and/or in the provision of water for Sydney Makes general statements about the survey Makes general statements about the Blue Mountains, World Heritage and Sydneys water supply

Mark range
910

78

56

34

12

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Marking criteria: Communication in report form


Outcome 4.3

Marking criteria
Produces a well structured, logical report including appropriate headings, title page, contents page, introduction, body, conclusion and bibliography Shows evidence of careful preparation and editing including relevant content, effective use of images/graphs/tables, accurate spelling and grammar Produces a well structured report including headings, title page, contents page, introduction, conclusion and bibliography Shows evidence of preparation and editing including relevant content, use of images/graphs/tables, mostly accurate spelling and grammar Uses report format including relevant headings and bibliography Some evidence of preparation and editing Makes some attempt at report format including title page and headings Shows limited evidence of preparation or editing Makes limited attempt at report format Shows limited evidence of preparation

Mark
5

3 2 1

If students are being assessed for their communication and use of report form, this needs to be included in the marking criteria. If not, then it should not be included in the marking criteria.

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Fieldwork assessment task for Year 7


Date due: 20th June Assessment weight: 20% This assessment task is based on the fieldwork you will participate in as part of your study of the Blue Mountains World Heritage Area. The fieldwork will be conducted in pairs and you will work on the survey results in pairs, but your report is your individual work.

Task
Write a report (two-three pages) on Visitors appreciation of the Greater Blue Mountains as a World Heritage Area and as a catchment for Sydneys water supply.

Rubric
In your answer: Write in report form, include images/graphs/tables, and pay attention to spelling and grammar Include a sketch map of the Greater Blue Mountains World Heritage Area and the catchment for Sydneys water, using mapping conventions (legend, direction, title, scale, border) Include a summary and interpretation of the results from your survey conducted at a tourist location in the Blue Mountains, using geographical terminology in comparing survey answers with the actual World Heritage criteria of the Greater Blue Mountains Area and its role in the provision of water for Sydney. 5 marks 5 marks

10 marks

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Organisations to contact for assistance with resources, teacher professional learning and excursions
Curriculum Support DET
The Curriculum K12 Support Directorate of the Department of Education and Training provides a range of online resources, teacher professional learning courses, programs and assessment samples and advice, as well as links to other educational sites.

Board of Studies NSW


BOS 710 Geography syllabus and support documentation BOS School Certificate Australian Geography course performance descriptors BOS assessment activities and work samples Stage 4 Geography BOS performance descriptors and work samples Stage 5 Geography BOS standards package School Certificate BOS School Certificate Australian Geography past exams BOS School Certificate Australian Geography practise of past Multiple choice questions.

Environmental Education Centres (EECs)


The NSW DET has an environmental education website including a list of and links to the Environmental Education Centres in NSW. These centres are run by DET teachers and provide a range of syllabus based programs, excursion opportunities and other activities/assistance for individual schools.

Professional associations
Geography Teachers Association NSW: GTA Australian Geography Teachers Association: AGTA Other HSIE associations

National Parks and Wildlife Service


The NSW National Parks and Wildlife Service offers a range of school excursions in regions around NSW including Hunter and Mid North Coast, New England and Tablelands, Northern Rivers, South Coast and Southern Highlands, Sydney and surrounds. The website also has a range of teaching and learning resources.

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General websites for teaching and learning activities


Teaching and Learning Exchange <www.tale.edu.au> Search for: Fieldwork Laptop wraps (find laptop lessons for various geography topics) Centre for Learning Innovation <www.cli.nsw.edu.au/> Environmental Education Centres <www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/env_ed/centres/index.htm> NPWS <www.environment.nsw.gov.au/> click on Knowledge Centres <www.bom.gov.au> <www.virtualoceania.net/australia/> <www.bushmechanics.com/home.htm> for Australias Physical Environments and Australian Communities <www.environment.gov.au/water/education/> Australian Water education toolkit includes resources and lessons on Climate Change <www.bugsurvey.nsw.gov.au> or <www.streamwatch.org.au/cms/resources/> for bug guides <www.environment.gov.au/water/education/> <www.waterwatch.nsw.gov.au> <www.sydneywater.com.au> <www.healthywaterways.org.au/> <www.lessonplanet.com> <www.juicygeography.co.uk/> <www.geographyworldonline.com> <www.abs.gov.au> <www.teachingideas.co.uk/geography/contents.htm> <environment.nationalgeographic.com.au/environment/freshwater/embeddedwater/> <mapzone.ordnancesurvey.co.uk/mapzone/> (map reading made easy) <www.geohive.com/> <geology.com/> <www.newseum.org> <www.ssdec.nsw.edu.au/socialscience/geography/directive_terms.htm> (distance ed) <www.tuition.com.hk/geography/> <www.gatm.org.uk> (geography at the movies) Free4teachers (geography games)

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<www.poodwaddle.com/worldclock.swf> <www.bbc.co.uk/weather/multimedia/games/> <www.gamedesign.jp/flash/worldmap/worldmap.html> (teacher access only) <earthobservatory.nasa.gov/> <www.bubbl.us/> (brainstorm tool) <climate.nasa.gov/EarthDaySlideshow/index.cfm> <www.australianminesatlas.gov.au/index.jsp>.

Online resources for maps and mapping skills


Latitude and longitude online tutorial <geographyworldonline.com/tutorial/> Go to <www.tale.edu.au> Search for maps and globes

How to use a compass online tutorial: <www.learn-orienteering.org/> click on Illustrated guide on how to use a compass Curriculum Support Digital Education Revolution Stage 5 activities: <www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/digital_rev/hsie/activities/stage5_ geography.htm> Geographic Information Systems: About GIS (from TaLe) Fundamentals of mapping <www.icsm.gov.au/mapping/index.html>

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General teaching and learning resources


BBC Bitesize Geography (revision and tests) Study Stack Digital literacy (research assignments) You create a laptop wrap <www.bubbl.us/> (brainstorm tool) <www.thelearningfederation.edu.au/default.asp>.

Online resources Stage 4 Teaching and Learning Exchange


Focus Area 4G1: Passage of a Cold Front Focus Area 4G2: Global Environments Focus Area 4G3: Going Global Focus Area 4G3: International India Focus Area 4G3: Sites2See Change the World / How Can You Change the World? Focus Area 4G3: Surf Aid Focus Area 4G4: Climate Change Focus Area 4G4: Consumption Atlas Focus Area 4G4: How Eco-friendly Are You? / Green Home Focus Area 4G4: Waterworks Focus Area 4G4: Water: Asias Next Challenge Focus Area 4G4: Food and Water Focus Area 4G4: Map tool: South East Asia and the Mekong River Focus Area 4G4: Kangaroo: communicating messages Focus Area 4G4: Antarctic issues Focus Area 4G4: Balancing the options: tourist resort / Tourist resort (ESL) Focus Area 4G4: Sunday trading Impacts on a coastal town (ESL) Focus Area 4G4: Homelessness two points of view (urbanisation) Focus Area 4G4: Fish Stocks: two points of view and Fish stocks: three points of view Focus Area 4G4: Car town (urbanisation build a TV or newspaper report) Focus Area 4G4: Community enterprise Focus Area 4G4: Murder under the Microscope Focus Area 4G4: Everything about waste Focus Area 4G4: Steps to sustainable tourism Focus Area 4G4: Biodiversity

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Online resources Stage 5 Teaching and Learning Exchange


Stage 5 Links for Learning: Weblinks from the DETs Curriculum Support unit for Stage 5 Geography Focus Area 5A1: What Makes Australia Unique Atlas of the human journey Focus Area 5A1: Down to Earth: palaeotraveller Down to earth: rock back in time Focus Area 5A1: Earthquakes Focus Area 5A1: Go to TaLe and search for Fire Challenge for a series of activities Focus Area 5A2: My Future Community Focus Area 5A2: Wind farm: pros and cons and Wind farm: cool solutions Focus Area 5A2: What if Australia only had 100 people? Focus Area 5A3: Salinity Focus Area 5A3: Airwatch Focus Area 5A3: Urban Growth and decline Focus Area 5A3: Issues Affecting Australias Environments Focus Area 5A3: Mining Indigenous Land Focus Area 5A3: Water: the issue Water: Asias Next Challenge Focus Area 5A3: Purchasing and waste Everything about waste Focus Area 5A3: Your rubbish pile: managing waste Focus Area 5A3: Paradise Island Focus Area 5A3: Resort rescue: Overdevelopment (there are five of these go to TaLe and search for resort rescue) Resort rescue: Coastal Protection (ESL) Focus Area 5A3: Green machine: hatchback (there are six of these search TaLe for Green machine) Focus Area 5A3: Rainforests and climate change Resource Pack The Burning Season Focus Area 5A4: Complete Unit including Australias interactions with other nations, Case Study Australian Aid, Case Study Migration Migrants on the Move Focus Area 5A4: Australias Place in the World Asia Pacific Focus Area 5A4: Future World Focus Area 5A4: Case Study Aid Surf Aid Australias Aid Global Food Crisis Focus Area 5A4: Reconciliation Reconciliation Australia.

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