Online Geography resources to inspire cultural curiosity

Date Posted: 17/05/2016

STO takes a look at Geo Journey, a programme and online resource designed to aid Geography studies and inspire children to take an interest in the world around them.

At School Travel Organiser we often write about the importance of getting the whole school on board with an LOtC philosophy. It’s best when the board and the parents are on the same page, too. But what about the children? How do you get them into the mind set of actually wanting to learn in the wider world?

We take a look at the GEO Journey resource to see how it can inspire a cultural curiosity and spirit of adventure in children.

GEO Journey is an online resource for Primary school teachers to use during Geography classes. The programme, which teachers can sign up to online, lasts a year.

The programme provides a website full of facts and activity suggestions, and also supports learning with a number of physical materials to enhance studying for a year. These materials are sent out each month.

The interactive project is designed to inspire children to learn about life around the globe, as well as provide a foundation from which to build their curiosity and interest in different countries and cultures.

Developed with Key Stages 1 and 2 in mind, Geo Journey lends itself specifically to some of the required learning aims of the Geography curriculum.

These include being able to locate the world continents; pinpoint different countries; and label the world’s oceans appropriately.

Resources for children

Each month, two animal characters called Atlas and Geo will ‘visit’ a different country and write a letter to the class about what they’ve seen and done.

Students will get stickers to put on a world map, activities to take part in, and photographs and fact sheets about some of the wonders of the world.

Other highlights that will arrive in the post for the class might include a recipe from France that children can try at home, or some wooden clogs from Holland to decorate.

The class will also get to learn about the Dutch windmills; the Egyptian pyramids; pandas in China; and what ingredients make up Feijoada, the traditional Brazilian stew.

Online tips

Teachers will find helpful tips on the Geo Journey website, like “learn some new words from countries that Geo and Atlas have been” and “give each child their own scrapbook as a travel journal to record adventures.”

Additionally, each week teachers who follow Geo Journey on Facebook will also find new facts, figures, pictures and competitions added to the Facebook page.

GEO Journey: Key Stage 1

In Geography, Key Stage 1 pupils are encouraged to learn about the world, the United Kingdom and their locality.

Each month children can identify on the world map where Geo and Atlas have been and learn some facts associated with that country. This will help to develop their knowledge about the world and their locality.

Students are also encouraged to be able to name and locate the world's seven continents and five oceans, which they can do so by using the Geo Journey world map.

GEO Journey: Key Stage 2

The National Curriculum for Geography asks that Key Stage 2 pupils be able to ‘locate the world's countries, using maps to focus on Europe (including the location of Russia) and North and South America.’

It also asks that students be able to concentrate on different environmental regions, key physical and human characteristics, countries, and major cities.

The GEO Journey programme includes Russia, Europe (UK, France, Germany, Spain), and North and South America (Brazil) as some of the 12 countries explored.

Teachers can use these 12 different destinations to teach the differences and similarities between countries and cultures.

For further information, and to sign up to Geo Journey, visit geojourney.co.uk/buy.

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