Core units: Year 2 — Exemplars
Illustration 2: Mapping World Intereconnections
The Australian Curriculum: Geography (and its various HASS-based iterations) content descriptions addressed in this illustration are:
- The connections of people in Australia to other places in Australia, the countries of the Asia region, and across the world
- The influence of purpose, distance and accessibility on the frequency with which people visit places
The illustration-specific learning goals are:
- understanding the variety of ways that we are connected to other places
- developing knowledge of the names, locations and features of places in the world
- developing communication skills in finding out and talking about places.
Geographical understanding and context
The concept of interconnection is combined with the concept of place in this illustration. Children are asked to draw on their experiences and knowledge in this activity and combine them with the experience and knowledge of others. The combined information will present children with a vivid demonstration of the wealth of interconnections that already exist between them and other places in the world. Furthermore, by displaying these interconnections on a large map of the world, the location of places is being demonstrated and reinforced.
1. Introductory discussion
A starting point might be a discussion of other places in the world as a result of a story, a visit by someone, a video or a news event. Children could bring to school artefacts (photos, objects, clothes etc) which connect them to the world and these could be used as a place to begin.
2. Labelling interconnections
From there, the interconnections between members of the class and the rest of the world can be demonstrated by asking the children to contribute small labels which they can attach to a wall map.
You will need to obtain a large map of the world, and also a large map of Australia, and put them on the wall of the classroom (or use an interactive whiteboard). Ask the children to think about the connections they have with other places in any of the following categories:
- relatives or friends in other places
- places visited by them or other members of their family
- places in the news because of particular events
- places referred to, or used as the location, in a story or film they see
- places to which their family has a special connection through ancestors or culture.
Each of these categories should have a label of a distinctive colour. Ask the children to write on the appropriate label:
- the name of the place
- a brief phrase describing the connection
- their own name.
3. Exploring connections further
Children could then write some more about the connection they have labelled, and perhaps link it to other connections labelled by others in the class. Children could be asked to explain why this connection is important to them.
4. Extension activities
Children who show an interest in the location of world events could be asked to prepare labels for a more sophisticated division of world events. Some ideas include:
- places in the news because of events of nature (for example, earthquakes, heatwaves)
- places in the news because of events caused by humans (for example, politics, scientific advance)
- places in the news because of major sporting events (for example, Olympics, World Cup).
Discussion could follow about these connections (for example, sporting teams, visits by world leaders, disaster relief, global aid or important world political events.
What you need
- Wall map of the world (either a classroom-type map on battens or a folded paper map widely available).
- Wall map of Australia.
- Labels made of coloured paper (possibly Post-it labels).
Preparation: Putting the maps onto a suitable place on the wall and obtaining or preparing labels of different colours.
Time frame: This could be done over a week or over a longer time such as a term.
This illustration links with the content descriptions of the following Phase 1 Australian Curriculum.
- Rehearse and deliver short presentations on familiar and new topics
- Create short imaginative, informative and persuasive texts using growing knowledge of text structures and language features for familiar and some less familiar audiences, selecting print and multimodal elements appropriate to the audience and purpose
- Interpret simple maps of familiar locations and identify the relative positions of key features
- Create displays of data using lists, table and picture graphs and interpret them
- Use a range of methods to sort information, including drawings and provided tables
- Use a range of communication forms (oral, graphic, written, role play) and digital technologies
- The impact of changing technology on people's lives (at home and in the ways they worked, travelled, communicated, and played in the past)
Ganeri, A. & Oxlade, C. (2003). First atlas. New York: Dorling Kindersley. This reference has simple maps and plenty of illustrations for children to find out more about places with which they are connected.
Oxford Atlas Project. (2008). Big Oxford atlas. Melbourne: Oxford. This has very large pages of maps for children.