In the next step of helping my Year 11 Geography class develop as geographers I am working on developing their geoliteracy.
We are doing some basic skill work to start the year and as part of an introduction to mapping skills I normally give them a description to work from and create a map. This year I have added to it, thanks to re-reading some work on Luke and Freebody’s Four Resources for literacy.
I have started by focusing on the first 2 of these 4 resources:
1. Break the code of texts
Recognizing and using features such as alphabet, sounds, spelling, conventions and patterns of the text.
2. Participate in the meanings of text
Understanding and composing meaningful written, visual and spoken texts from within particular cultures, institutions, families, communities, nation-states etc. Drawing on existing schemas.
This year, the activity is a 2 step process. First, they will create a map to represent the geographic description. Secondly, they will be given a set of resources (topographic map, digital terrain model and photographs) from which they will have to write a geographic description of the place (in this case Western Viti Levu in Fiji).
In this manner they will be breaking down the code of maps and geographic features, then having to compose their own maps and descriptions that demonstrate their understanding of these codes.