Comparing and Contrasting Built and Natural Environments - Uses of places in our local area
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You and Me: Our Place - YouTube

This video has been created for educational purposes only. Credit goes to publishers Working Title Press (2003), Narrator Leonie Norrington and illustrator D...
Shauna Humphries's insight:

HSIE K-6 Syllabus Outcome:

ENS1.5 Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features –Uses of places in their local environment

(Board of Studies NSW, 2006, pp. 48-49)

 

Focus Question: What do people use natural and built places in their local area for?

 

This resource is an audio-visual reading session with a year 3 child. The resource provides students with the opportunity to hear a child close to their own age reading, as well as ensuring all students have the same access to the meaning with the book. This equal access for all students is crucial for any and all lessons (Foreman, 2008, p. 85).

 

Two young boys, one Indigenous and one non-Indigenous are the protagonists in the narrative, transporting the reader back to a time when life was different and places were used in different ways. This comparison between past and present was easily made through the images and storyline. The beautiful imagery created in the illustration and narration allowed the reader to feel a sense of being in the book and experiencing the same sensations the protagonists experienced.

 

The Author of the book, Leonie Norrington, recognises both contemporary and past Aboriginal cultures, focusing on a specific family and following them through history, this is arguably avoiding stereotypes and generalizations, as a clear comparison is made between the ways of life now and then for a specific family, not trying to group all Aboriginal cultures together (NSW Department of Education and Training, professional Support and Curriculum Directorate, 2003, p.15). Norrington (2007) also acknowledges 'her people' for inspiration and tries to removes cultural barriers for the reader by defining marine creatures mentioned in the story at the beginning of the book. In order to go through these aspects of the book a hard copy would need to be bought or borrowed.

 

Teaching Idea:

This clip could be watched as a whole class or in small groups. The focus of the lesson would be on the types of places, built and natural, that were seen in the book and how the people in the story used them.

 

The students should be encouraged to first list all of the places they saw in the book, and then encouraged to go back to those pages and use the narrative to help them grasp what those places were used for in the past by Aboriginal people on that land, and what they are used for now by both Aboriginal and Non-Indigenous Australians. This could be done by getting small groups to fill in a table, which identifies the place in one column, for example the beach, which could be drawn by the students, and then they could describe what those places were used for in a ‘past’ column and a ‘present’ column next to the image they create for ‘beach’.

 

Assessment/Links to literacy:

The table created by students could easily be used to assess the students’ comprehension of the content and meaning within the book, also creating an easy link to Literacy in terms of comprehension and listening outcomes in the English Syllabus.

The table would also serve as a way to assess the students ability to compare and contrast the uses of places, with links to their understanding of past and present.

 

Reference:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Foreman, P. (2008). Inclusion in Action (2nd Ed.). South Melbourne, Victoria: Cengage Learning Australia.

 

Norrington, L. (2007). You and Me: Our Place. Kingswood, SA: Working Title Press.

 

NSW Department of Education and Training, Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate. (2003). Aboriginal Education K-12 Resource Guide. Retrieved March 25, 2014 from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/aboriginalresourceguide.pdf

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Unit of Work: Walking with the Wurundjeri

Unit of Work: Walking with the Wurundjeri | Comparing and Contrasting Built and Natural Environments - Uses of places in our local area | Scoop.it
Shauna Humphries's insight:

HSIE K-6 Syllabus Outcome:

ENS1.5 Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features –Uses of places in their local environment

(Board of Studies NSW, 2006, pp. 48-49)

 

Focus Question: What do people use natural and built places in their local area for?

 

This resource is a unit of work, which looks at the changes to places in a local area, and the way people interact with these places, since before white settlers arrived in Australia and after. This resource provides multiple strategies and ideas about investigating local area and heritage sites. For example, going on walks through the local area, investigating categories such as food, education, transport, family, entertainment and shelter.

 

The resource also identifies key understandings teachers need to possess before commencing a unit of work about Aboriginal places in their local area. For example, adapting the unit of work after having communicated with the relevant Aboriginal Education Consultative Group in their area. This resource therefore supports the Aboriginal education K-12 resource guide criteria, which highlights the need for resources to recognise the “diversity of Aboriginal cultures” (NSW Department of Education and Training, professional Support and Curriculum Directorate, 2003, p. 15) as well as recognising “contemporary Aboriginal input”(NSW Department of Education and Training, professional Support and Curriculum Directorate, 2003, p. 15) as a means of acknowledging these communities as “living, dynamic and changing cultures” (NSW Department of Education and Training, professional Support and Curriculum Directorate, 2003, p.15).

 

Teaching idea:

This unit of work can be used as the basis off which a teacher might begin planning an excursion for the children in their class, to investigate current and past uses of places in the local area by both the Indigenous and non-indigenous communities living there. This would need to be done with an understanding of current uses of local places by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander people, acknowledging the changing nature of these cultures interactions with the land.

 

Assessment:

The teacher when on the excursion in the local area could provide students with a recording sheet and this could then be used to assess the students’ ability to describe the uses of local places after having listened to detailed explanations during their excursion. There are multiple groups that can assist with the planning and implementation of such excursions, for example the Aboriginal Heritage Office (2014) provides free services for schools, found on their website (See link below).

 

Another assessment strategy could be to create a timeline with students, comparing the uses of natural and built places in their local area over time. This could be a whole class timeline done over a period of two or three lessons. Students could take photos on their excursion and the teacher could print these off before creating the timeline and have students stick them on and annotate them on a large strip of cardboard. Alternatively this could be done on an IWB and students could move photos with their fingers to the place on the timeline they believe the pictures should go. The teacher could then observe the students’ ability to compare past places with present places, and describe the uses of both natural and built environments over time.

 

Reference/possible helpful resources:

Aboriginal Heritage Office. (2014). Aboriginal Heritage Sites. Retrieved 31 March, 2014 from www.AboriginalHeritage.org

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Catholic Education Office. (2014). Unit 2: Walking with the Wurundjeri. Retrieved 31 March, 2014 from http://www.yarrahealing.catholic.edu.au/teaching-learning/index.cfm?loadref=103

 

NSW Department of Education and Training, Professional Support and Curriculum Directorate. (2003). Aboriginal Education K-12 Resource Guide. Retrieved March 25, 2014 from http://www.curriculumsupport.education.nsw.gov.au/schoollibraries/assets/pdf/aboriginalresourceguide.pdf

 

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Through My Window

Through My Window | Comparing and Contrasting Built and Natural Environments - Uses of places in our local area | Scoop.it
Shauna Humphries's insight:

HSIE K-6 Syllabus Outcome:

ENS1.5 Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features –Uses of places in their local environment

(Board of Studies NSW, 2006, pp. 48-49)

 

Focus Question: What do people use natural and built places in their local area for?

 

This activity is designed to allow students to communicate about their world through words and images. It is also a way to contact other schools and find out what places are used for around NSW through the eyes of other students. The task requires students to sign a permission note, therefore this note should be provided for students and families well in advance of the lesson commencing.

 

Teaching Idea:

These steps are recommended by the Department of Education and Training on the website link provided but have been adjusted to suit the learning needs of stage 1 learners.

 

1. Students are to observe the view from a window in their classroom and have a whole class discussion about what places they can see from the window. This discussion should be guided by the teacher to help students focus on descriptive language; about features such as the size, colour, shape, as well as placement of buildings or natural features outside their window. The teacher could be creating a word bank as students give descriptive suggestions (e.g. large, small, green, luscious grass, tall buildings). The teacher should also ask prompting questions, such as “what is that building/natural feature used for? Do you think it’s size and shape impact the uses of that place?”

 

2. Students then communicate through writing what they have seen and discussed with the rest of their class. For stage 1 students it might be beneficial to ask each student to write a sentence individually about what they could see, focusing on a particular feature or building, before coming back together as a class to create a jointly constructed description of the view from the window. The teacher on an Interactive Whiteboard or whiteboard could model a short sentence before students break off to write their own sentences. Once again the teacher should remind students to use descriptive language; identifying what the feature they are describing is used for, and finally refer back to the word bank created earlier in the lesson for help in this description. Providing this scaffold for students is essential for those students who may not fully understand the task, or to push those students who are fully capable to complete the task "at higher levels" (Marsh, 2010, p. 47).

 

3. When students have been given sufficient time to complete their sentences the teacher should then help the students compile their individual sentences into a short paragraph to be uploaded with a photo of the view from the window to the Department website.

 

4. Students then connect online with the help of their teachers and view other schools descriptions on the ‘library’ page on the site.

 

5. Finally, students may then create a visual representation of what another school has written in their descriptive paragraph to complement it in an artistic form (e.g. drawing, painting, collage or computer generated image).

 

Assessment:

During the observation and discussion part of the lesson, students can be assessed on their ability to identify features of places in their school or close to their school, as well as their ability to describe the features of these places using descriptive language.

Prompting questions can allow for the teacher to assess students’ ability to describe the uses of places they identify, as well as assess whether they know the difference between natural and built environments and their uses.

The sentence created by students might also be used to assess the students’ ability to describe places in their local area and identify their uses by listing them in a sentence.

 

Literacy/Numeracy link:

Students build on a number of literacy skills using this resource. They are using language in numerous ways, addressing talking and listening outcomes during the observation stage, writing outcomes during the communicating stage, and reading outcomes during the ‘connect with other schools’ stage of the lesson. They also build a repertoire of descriptive words that can be shared and used in future writing and speech.

 

By focusing on shapes and sizes of buildings and natural features outside their window, students also address mathematical outcomes related to geometry and measurement.

 

Reference:

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

Marsh, C. (2010). How students develop and learn. In C. Marsh (Ed.), Becoming a Teacher: Knowledge, Skills and Issues (5th Ed.). (pp.38-56). Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

 

NSW Department of Education and Training. (2014). Through My Window. Retrieved March 20, 2014 from http://www.cli.nsw.edu.au/window/task.shtm

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Primary School Games: All About Buildings

Primary School Games: All About Buildings | Comparing and Contrasting Built and Natural Environments - Uses of places in our local area | Scoop.it
Primary Games Arena: All About Buildings.
Shauna Humphries's insight:

HSIE K-6 Syllabus Outcome:

ENS1.5 Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features –Uses of places in their local environment

(Board of Studies NSW, 2006, pp. 48-49)

 

Focus Question:

What do people use natural and built places in their local area for? 

 

This game allows students to think about the different places in a local town and what their uses are. Students take on the role of a town planner and think about what places (whether natural or built) would best suit the area they are building in. For example if they are in a city space they may build a playground, as there would not be many green natural places for children to play in, whereas the country side would more likely need buildings such as a library or school. The game guides the students’ decisions and also provides them with opportunities to find out more information about the types of buildings they are working with, through the use of ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ buttons. Using interactive games in the classroom stimulates classroom learning and functions as a way in which students disseminate their learning (Baek, 2010, p. 140).

 

The game also compares the uses of buildings by categorising them based on their uses and then clearly identifying the uses of the buildings in each category (e.g. Under 'leisure' is ‘Cinema’). This categorisation also encourages the children to start thinking about the uses of common buildings in towns, cities and countryside locations and why they are useful in certain landscapes but less useful in others.

 

 

Teaching idea:

Initially this game could be used to increase student knowledge about the different uses of buildings through the students taking on the role of the town planner in the first stage of game. The teacher should encourage the students to use the ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ symbols to learn more about common buildings and places in their town, followed by testing themselves on the quiz aspect of the game.

 

Assessment:

The quiz aspect of the game can be used to assess the students understanding of the uses of different places in the town in comparison to one another. For example one of the questions might be, “where would Mr. P go to post a letter to someone in the country”, the child is provided with a number of visual options (e,g. house, post office, farm or shop), if they make the correct decision they can move to the next question, if they do not, they are asked to try again. This allows the teacher to observe the child and assess their ability to identify the differences between the places they are choosing between, as well as their ability to identify the specific uses for those places.

 

Literacy link:

The use of the ‘what’, ‘where’, ‘when’ and ‘why’ buttons in the game shows a clear link with English; students begin to understand the differences in these terms providing crucial support when it comes to identifying these elements, say, in a story they are reading or writing.

 

Reference:

 

Baek, Y. (2010). Gaming for Classroom-based Learning: Digital Role Playing as a Motivator of Study. IGI Global Snippet. 

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

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Global perspective: Special places around the world

Global perspective: Special places around the world | Comparing and Contrasting Built and Natural Environments - Uses of places in our local area | Scoop.it
Shauna Humphries's insight:

HSIE K-6 Syllabus Outcome:

ENS1.5 Compares and contrasts natural and built features in their local area and the ways in which people interact with these features –Uses of places in their local environment

(Board of Studies NSW, 2006, pp. 48-49)

 

Focus Question: What do people use natural and built places in their local area for?


This resource shows pictures of artworks that children around the world have drawn, depicting a special place to them. Before using this resource, students might be asked to create artworks depicting a special place to them and how they use it. This could be where they live, a place they practice a favourite hobby, their garden or even their school. Using the children’s own experiences and prior knowledge as a focus of the lesson will arguably increase their engagement and motivation to complete tasks set during the lesson (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p. 104).

This artwork will be used as a comparison between the students’ uses of places in their local area and the use of local places by children around the world shown on the resource which children will be accessing directly.

 

Teaching idea:

Students can be shown the artworks of other children on the website and be asked to think about what and where the children are representing in their artworks. They can then be divided into small groups based on the category they chose to draw before viewing the website (e.g. all of the children who drew the place they live would be in the same group). They should then be asked to view the artworks under that category on the website, and compare the different artworks by having small group discussions about different places in the world, and what other children around the world have in common in terms of the places they use and value and then compare this to their own special places (drawn before viewing the website).

 

The teacher might then create a Venn diagram with the class on a whiteboard or a large piece of paper, comparing the artworks the students in their class created with the artworks of children around the world; specifically focusing on the uses of common places, whether similar or different. For example, sitting at a dining table may mean sitting on the floor in Japan, while the child in Australia might have drawn themselves sitting around a table to eat; this is a differences in the uses of places, but they both might use swimming pools the same way, showing a similarity.

 

Finally students could go through the different categories listed (hobbies, gardens, home and environment) in pairs and identify, by listing in a T-chart, which categories are built and which are natural; explaining in a short sentence beside each category why they believe this is so.

 

Assessment:

During the small group discussion the teacher can observe student interactions to examine each child’s ability to compare by identifying and drawing the uses of local places in Australia with the uses of places around the world. This assessment would continue by recording comments made by students during the whole class Venn diagram activity.

The T-charts could also be collected at the end of the lesson to assess the students understanding and ability to identify features of built and natural places, and describe in a sentence how these features are evident in some places and not others. 

 

Links with other Key Learning Areas:

This resource could easily be used in conjunction with an Art lesson focusing on other cultures, as well as the skill of drawing to depict a real place.

 

Reference:

 

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 Syllabus. Sydney: Author.

 

McInerney, D. & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational Psychology: Constructing Learning 5th ed. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

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