Environments - Uses of places in our local environment
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Environments - Uses of places in our local environment
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
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Google Earth

Keely Tregillgas's insight:

Firstly click the "Earth" tab in the top right corner of the above map to switch to Google Earth view.
Google Earth requires a 'plug-in' application which may need to be downloaded before commencing a lesson, however this is located on most NSW public school computers already.

Google Earth is an interactive map which will be engaging, informative and empowering for students (Patterson, 2007, p.152). Students will be able to locate places in their local environment, looking at both satellite and 3D images and therefore giving the effect of a virtual tour of their local environment without having teachers and students leave their classrooms. Students are able to explore both man-made and natural places, and understand where they are physically situated in a real-life context.
From here, Google further provides the link to a website dedicated to this place. For example, in the above map, the link "syndeyoperahouse.com" is available below the address of the Sydney Opera House. This allows students to use their ICT skills to research independently, however it also encourages students to further understand the use of their searched place from an explicit and reliable source.


Teaching Idea:

Together as a class, model to students how to use Google Earth to explore places in their local environments using the interactive whiteboard. 
The following places may be good starting points:
- Sydney Opera House
- Sydney Harbour Bridge
- Sydney Tower
- Bondi Beach
- Three Sisters (Blue Mountains National Park) 
- Their local school 
As each place is explored, discuss with students what they think the use of this place may be. 
If felt that students are capable enough both behaviourally and within their ICT skills, have students split into pairs to work independetly on finding out the use of an assigned place from the local places discussed in the previous activity. As a pair, students will be asked to write 2-3 sentences from their discovered information, detailing the use of their place. Each student will be provided with a worksheet which details exactly how to find this information through Google Earth.  For example, when searching Sydney Harbour Bridge, students should;

--> search 'Sydney Harbour Bridge' in Google Earth

--> click on the link "australia.gov.au" (located in the speech bubble that pops up on the map) 

--> read over this page and write 2-3 sentences 

If it is felt that such independence is not easily achievable, a whole class activity may be undertaken in place of pair work. One local place should be chosen by the teacher, with the website being explored together as a class. Students may then in pairs, construct 2-3 senteces describing the use of this local place, concluding with some pairs sharing their sentences with the rest of the class.
The Sydney Opera House is perhaps the most engaging and easily accessible website for whole-calss work. The website contains a section of written text which provides succinct and basic information for students to understand, located by;
--> go to 'sydneyoperahouse.com' website

--> hover over the tab labelled 'The Building'

--> click on 'The Opera House Project' link


Teachers may also however, access a 'digital education' which uses the school's Connected Classrooms video conferencing facilities to carry out a virtual tour of the Opera House. A tour guide is also provided for this experience. They may be interacted with, therefore alllowing students to ask questions as they think of them, as though they were undertaking a real tour.

 

Assessment:

Students may be assessed on their partner work, and ICT skills in determining their level of comprehension and understanding of the use of their assigned place, as expressed within their 2-3 sentences.
If this activity is undertaken as a whole class, students may be assessed on their level of comprehension and understanding of the use of their assigned place, as expressed within their 2-3 sentences.


Literacy/Numeracy Link:
In having students locate and describe places on the Google Earth map, they are reaching the Mathematics Space and Geometry 'Position' outcome SGS1.3 - Represents the position of objects using models and drawings and describes using everyday language, and working towards the Stage 2 outcome SGS2.3 - Uses simple maps and grids to represent position and follow routes.
Literacy outcomes are also met through the activity of writing sentences, with many Stage 1 Reading and Writing outcomes addressed.


Reference:
Patterson, T. C. (2007). Google Earth as a (not just) geography education tool.Journal of geography, 106(4), 145-152. 

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Popplet

Popplet | Environments - Uses of places in our local environment | Scoop.it
Popplet is the best app for sharing visual ideas.
Keely Tregillgas's insight:

Popplet is an excellent resource, easily accessible by both teachers and students. It is very simple to understand and master, with limited guidance required by teachers when instructing students on how to use it. Popplet allows for information to be displayed in a comprehensive and concise manner. The mind-map/diagram format will make it easier for students to gather, understand and express their ideas on a subject matter, further providing insight to their teachers (Cravalho, 2010, pp. 12, 13). Students are able to integrate both visual and written literacy when engaging within this resource, a component that may be linked directly to the Key Learning Area of English. Using a digital, interactive resource rather than simply having students draw their own mind-maps, only increases engagement within the activity, and therefore further increases engagement, motivation and understanding within the subject matter also (Norman & Spohrer, 1996, p.2)


Teaching Idea:
Discuss with class the various local places in our environment, writing a list on the interactive white board as ideas are mentioned. Re-visitng the list, brainstorm with students what these local places are used for.
Using the interactive whiteboard, show students the Popplet website, explaining its use as a digital mindmap. Model to students how to set up an account, create their first popple and how to join this popple to another popple. Further demonstrate how to change the colour of the background and each popple, as well as how to add a visual image into a popple.
Splitting students into pairs, provide each with written instructions of the above explanation, before having each pair create their own popplet. Explain that the centre popple should display 'Places in our Local Environment', with different local places being branched off from this e.g. fire station, library, school, etc. From these outer branches, further popples should be created which detail what these places are, as well as their use witihn our local environments.

Alternatively, if it is not felt that students are capable of independently using Popplet without teacher guidance, a whole class construction may be undertaken using the interactive whiteboard.
 

Literacy/Numeracy Link:

Students are able to integrate both visual and written literacy when engaging within this resource, a component that may be linked directly to the Key Learning Area of English. The writing component of the mind map also allows for many Stage 1 Writing Outcomes to be met. 
If the activity is done in partner work, further Literacy Outcomes of Talking and Listening may be used if extended to a student presentation of each mind map to the rest of the clas. 

 

Assessment:

Students may be assessed on their integration of ICT and Literacy skills, determined through their proficieny in using Popplet, as well as in their writing. An understanding and comprehension of the HSIE topic may be further assessed as expressed in their Popplet.

 

Reference: 

Cravalho, P.F. (2010). Learning statistics using concept maps: effects on anxiety and performance. Retrieved April 15, 2013 from http://scholarworks.sjsu.edu/cgi/viewcontent.cgi?article=4802&context=etd_theses&seiredir=1#search=%22concept%20maps%20anxiety%20attitudes%20ideas%22

 

Norman, D. A., & Spohrer, J. C. (1996). Learner-centered education.Communications of the ACM, 39(4), 24-27.

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Brigade Kids!

Brigade Kids! | Environments - Uses of places in our local environment | Scoop.it
Keely Tregillgas's insight:

Passey (2006) describes interactive websites and technologies such as 'Brigade Kids' as fuelling motivation, enthusiasm and engagement within learning activities (p.141). Such only enhances the learning abilities of students and can therefore aid in the level of understanding and retainment they may aquire from similar resources. This website is bright, interactive and uses basic language, making it extremely accessible and attractive to students, therefore only increasing their desires to engage within any learning activity set in relation to its use (Manning & Lawless, 2011, p.2). 
This website provides a wide variety of effective resources which can be used independently by students or as a whole class activity, such as web links, songs, videos, games, teacher resources and downloadable books and activities.

Teaching Idea:

Using the local fire brigade station as a focus point for local places, firstly discuss with students where the station is located before reviewing what purpose it plays within our society. Ask students questions such as ‘what does the fire brigade do?,’ ‘what would happen if the fire brigade did not exist?’.

As a class using the interactive whiteboard, access the “check out a fire station” link to undertake a virtual tour of this local place. Discuss with students what they can see within the fire station, and what these things may be used for.

Splitting students into partner groups, have students access this website, firstly looking at the services fire-fighters provide for our local community (“check out a fire station” a “fire and rescue NSW collage”) writing a list in a Word Document as they discover things. Remind students to include an underlined heading within their Word Document, aiding any students whose ICT skills may not be at this level yet. Students should then be allowed to independently explore the rest of the website.

 

Literacy/Numeracy Link:

Stage 1 Writing Outcomes are addressed through the literacy activity used within this lesson, both through spelling and using computer technology to display ideas.
 

Assessment:

Students may be assessed on their understanding of the HSIE topic at hand, indicated through their literacy activity. This activity may similarly be used to assess their writing skills.

 

Reference:

Passey, D. (2006). Technology enhancing learning: Analysing uses of information and communication technologies by primary and secondary school pupils with learning frameworks. The Curriculum Journal, 17(2), 139-166.

 

Manning, F. H., & Lawless, K. A. (2011). First Impressions of an Educational Website: The Relationship between Student Attributes and Visual Preferences for the Digital Learning Environment. Journal of Interactive Learning Research,22(1), 51-83.

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Gordon's Great Escape - S2, Ep2 - Vietnam (edited PG version)

Season 2 Episode 2 - Vietnam (edited PG version) "Chef Gordon Ramsay continues his culinary journey in Vietnam, where he samples foods including still-beatin...
Keely Tregillgas's insight:

Snelson (2008) describes web-based videos in education as promoting more "meaningful learning" (p.216) which motivates and engages students further within their learning activities and subject matter. Students are more likely to participate in learning activities in a positive manner, with their retention of subject matter and concepts increasing through the use of web-based videos such as YouTube. This form of multimedia further allows for increased levels of understanding through providing a combination of both visual and verbal stimuli from which students may create meaningful connections with previous learning and experiences (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p.104).

This YouTube video provides students with a global perspective on local places, through an exploration of the similarities and differences of their local place to buy food and daily essentials, in comparison to that of another community's. In choosing a Vietnamese food market, students are able to identify how diverse different local places can be for other communities/environments. Students of at Stage 1 level however, may need a brief explantation of Vietnamese people, culture and geographic location before engaging witihn the activity.

Teaching Idea:

Discuss with students where we go to buy our food and other daily essentials, making a mind map on the whiteboard to display ideas. Places could include the local supermarket, grocer, corner store, etc. To extend these ideas to a global perspective, ask students what places they think people in different countries may go to buy their food and daily essentials. Show students YouTube video of a local Vietnamese street market, discussing what differences or similarities they noticed between their local places for food and daily essentials, to those of Vietnamese people. Have students independently write 2-3 sentences describing the differences they found between where we go to buy food, and the place Vietnamese people go to buy food.

 

Assessment:

Student understanding of the HSIE outcome may be assessed through their expression of comprehension within their 2-3 sentences. SImilarly, their Writing skills may also be assessed from this piece of work.

 

Literacy/Numeracy Link:

In discussing and sharing their ideas regarding the video stimuli, students are meeting a variety of Stage 1 Talking and Listening Outcomes. As they are also required to write 2-3 sentences expressing these ideas, students are also meeting many Stage 1 Writing Outcomes.


Reference:

 McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational psychology: constructing learning 5th ed. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

 

Snelson, C. (2008). Web-based video in education: Possibilities and pitfalls. InProceedings of the Technology, Collages & Community Worldwine Online Conference (pp. 214-221).

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Aboriginal heritage at Sydney’s Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust - Sydney, Australia

Aboriginal heritage at Sydney’s Botanic Gardens - Royal Botanic Gardens & Domain Trust - Sydney, Australia | Environments - Uses of places in our local environment | Scoop.it
Keely Tregillgas's insight:

This is an excellent resource for teachers regarding the use and history of the area now know as the Royal Botanic Gardens. There are few places within the Sydney city area that have retained their natural environment, while still encompassing a level of Aboriginal culture and significance, which are accessible and informative within an online sphere. This resource provides detailed information of this specific area, including a brief history of its Indigenous occupation and the way in which this has changed over time. Such an understanding of our history not only links to other HSIE outcomes, but is also extremely important for our students to engage within and comprehend concepts which promote a shared history and heritage, as well as reconciliation between Aboriginal and Non-Aboriginal Australians

(Board of Studies, 2006, p.5)

In drawing upon student's prior understanding and experiences through linking this history to a local place they are familiar with, engagement and motivation within the learning task will only increase (McInerney & McInerney, 2010, p.104).

This website also provides a wide variety of resources including an online book detailing the various bush foods avaliable within the area, linking this to the significance such items play for Aboriginal people, both now and within the past.
Teachers may find engaging information under the following links located on the above webpage:

--> People, Plants and Places

--> The Indigenous People of Sydney
--> Aboriginal Bush Foods

--> Bush Foods of NSW 

--> Dharawalk Indigenous Plant Names and Pronunciations

 

Teaching Idea:

Discuss with students the various natural places in their local environments, brainstorming their uses also, e.g. for students living in the Blue Mountains use the Three Sisters as an example, discussing its use in terms of tourism, scenery, fitness walks, abseiling, rock climbing, mining, plants/vegetation, and indigenous meaning. Explain to students that they will be looking at uses of places from an Indigenous perspective, using the Royal Botanic Gardens as a focus point. Discuss with students firstly, what they feel the Royal Botanic Gardens area would have been used for by Aboriginal people. Ideas should include food gathering and preparing, hunting areas, artwork, shelter, celebrations, etc. As a class, use the website to read through “Indigenous People of Sydney”, encouraging students to listen hard. In groups of four, have students jointly construct a 3-4 sentences detailing the information just learnt about Aboriginal use of the Royal Botanic Gardens (a printed handout of the website information may be needed to aid in understanding and memory). Have each group create their own poster displaying the sentences, as well as including annotated images (either drawn or sourced from the internet) of some land uses by Aboriginal people.

This activity may be further extended upon by an excursion to the local Royal Botanic Gardens. An ‘Indigenous Tour’ is available for schools which details the use of this place from an Aboriginal perspective. Details may also be found on this website.

 

Literacy/Numeracy Link:

In firstly reading, and then writing 3-4 sentences about the information just learnt, students are meeting a variety of Stage 1 Reading and Writing Outcomes. The use of discussion of the topic at hand, further meets all Stage 1 Talking and Listening Outcomes.

 

Assessment:

Student understanding of the HSIE topic at hand may be assessed through their expression of ideas within their sentences and posters. Literacy skills may also be assessed through the same piece of work.


Reference:

McInerney, D., & McInerney, V. (2010). Educational psychology: constructing learning 5th ed. Frenchs Forest, NSW: Pearson Australia.

Board of Studies NSW. (2006). Human Society and its Environment K-6 syllabus. Sydney, Australia; Board of Studies NSW.

 

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