The Atlas of New South Wales, list of related articles on Environment for NSW Australia
Maddie Perkins's insight:
This website is a great starting point for student directed research about anything to do with NSW. It is divided into six sections with information about; census data, economy, elections, environment, history and people. The environment is divided into areas such as fauna, geology minerals, National Parks, rivers, surface water and vegetation. This content could be utilized in many other KLA’s, increasing its’ usability in the classroom. For example, the geology and minerals information could be used within the Stage 2 Science and Technology curriculum. In terms of assessments, a teacher could create a group assessment where they create their own atlas of NSW, using these categories as inspiration. Numeracy links could be formed in studying river management and surface water; eg. How much water does NSW use on average? What percentage comes from which river? Literacy links could be in answering comprehension questions based on the content, or doing dictionary work on unfamiliar words. It is interesting to note the language in this website
Many students in Stage 2 would be aware of the ongoing faced by Indigenous Australians and land rights. This article is therefore fantastic as it challenges students’ understandings of rights by examining the importance of water rights to Aboriginal communities along the Murray-Darling Basin. Aboriginal perspectives feature frequently in the HSIE K-6 Syllabus, enhancing the usability of this resource. The structure, grammar and vocabulary in the article are mostly appropriate for a Stage 2 class. However, words such as ‘entrenched’ and ‘biodiversity’ might be too advanced for some students and this could form the basis of literacy lessons on dictionary work or reading the context of a sentence to hypothesise the meaning of a certain word. Other teaching activities could include a cloze activity or a mind map summarising the article. To assess students understanding of this issue, they could hold a class debate between the mentioned Murray Lower Darling Indigenous Nations (MLDRIN) group who campaign for Indigenous water rights, and a hypothetical company who wants to build a factory upon the river banks. The teacher could also organise a speaker from MLDRIN to present to the class about the work that the organisation does. Similarly, this article could be linked with the KLA of English whereby students write a letter to their local Member for Parliament, campaigning for Indigenous water rights. This creates potential literacy lessons on persuasive writing and formal letter writing. In conclusion, this is a resource which will be extremely versatile in the Stage 2 classroom.
In this educational animated movie about Social Studies learn about mountains, Nepal, Tibet, Himalayas, glaciers, ranges, summits, and climbing.
Maddie Perkins's insight:
It is important to include a global perspective when teaching HSIE in the classroom, so students are aware of the world around them. Bliss (2008) contends that ‘today, young students face a society that is increasingly global in focus and are profoundly affected by decisions and events occurring beyond their own shores’. Consequently, when teaching students about mountain ranges in Australia, this informative video about the Himalayan mountain ranges and Mount Everest is perfect for a Stage 2 classroom. Covering issues such as the history of Everest, how mountains and glaciers are formed, the history of Sherpa’s, latitude and longitude, and how the melting ice supplies northern India with water, this is a rich and informative video which forms a multitude of teaching ideas and links to other KLAs. This site has links to a myriad of literacy and teaching activities based on the clip, such as a science experiment which demonstrates a change in air pressure similar to that on the summit of Everest. Assessment tasks for this global perspective on mountains could be as simple as writing an information report on Mount Everest, or researching another mountain finding another mountain range in the world and comparing it to a mountain range in Australia.
This is a great resource that is perfect for a Stage 2 classroom. MapSkip works with GoogleMaps and allows users to write stories and upload photos from their local area and ‘pin’ them to the map, making them viewable to users all over the world. Sounds can even be recorded and uploaded! Students could work individually using mapping skills to locate a familiar area such as their suburb or a city in NSW that they have been to. Practicing their literacy skills and utilizing information already learnt about rivers and mountains which may be near their chosen city, students could write a recount of a visit or even an information report. Numeracy skills could be developed through using websites such as the Bureau of Statistics to research census data of that city. This entry about a city could form the basis of a summative assessment at the end of the term to assess to what extent the student has achieved this outcome, encompassing one of the indicators from ENS2.5 about natural and man made features in their local area. Alternatively, this project could be carried out as a whole class entry about the suburb the school is located in. Naturally, there is a teacher moderator function that ensures that student’s content is reviewed before it is uploaded.
It is counterproductive to teach students about cities, rivers and mountains in NSW without them being able to locate them on a map. This fun and interactive website is perfect for Stage 2 mapping skills and terminology, such as compass reading, grid references, symbols, keys and scale. Being able to perform these skills will assist students in achieving the outcome ENS2.5, by locating and mapping cities, rivers and mountains in NSW using locational terminology and mapping skills, as per syllabus requirements. This hands-on website could be used by the teacher in a whole class activity or by individual students during ICT lessons, thereby improving their ICT skills. Teaching activities could include students working in groups to construct freehand maps of NSW geographic features such as mountain ranges and rivers, discussing the need for a key to distinguish between cities, capital cities, states and rivers. Gifted and talented students could work together to make a map of Australian cities, capital cities, mountains and rivers. Students who are struggling could create a map of their local area with known locations such as their school, their house, and a local park. Subsequent literacy lessons could be based on creating tourist brochures of regional/rural cities in NSW. Numeracy lessons could focus on how to display scale, and figuring out distances between cities and rivers. This could easily form the basis of a summative assessment. I can’t wait to use this resource in my classroom!
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