Geography helping with literacy

January 19, 2017

The Spring term at Farlington has seen the girls in Year 7 commence every Geography lesson with a reading activity.

This has been introduced by Mrs Edgar in Year 7 to provide a context for encouraging the girls to engage in reading across the curriculum.

A report compiled by the Geographical Association identified that by integrating literacy skills in Geography lessons resulted in a noticeable increase in attainment. It is therefore important that Geography contributes to the wider development of the girls’ literacy.

The use of language is an integral part of learning geography, and it is through language that the girls develop their ideas and effectively communicate their thoughts.

The girls in Year 7 have enthusiastically engaged with this initiative and they have started the term by reading the Horrible Geography series of books written by Anita Ganeri. The series explores Geography through stories and fascinating facts which cover Raging Rivers, Earth-Shattering Earthquakes and Cracking Coasts. Each lesson, Mrs Edgar encourages all the girls to contribute to a discussion on what they have read.

The girls have responded positively to the new reading initiative; Anna Hammonds commented that it “really helps with our reading and we learn something new in every book,” whilst Emily Higgs described it as a “lovely start to every Geography lesson as the Horrible Geography books are funny and full of fascinating facts”. Phoebe Foden added that the new reading initiative is “very enjoyable as it gets you in the mood for Geography with exciting stories”. The girls have identified that the reading activity also sets the tone for focused work; Olivia Watts commented that “it means we have some calming down time to focus our minds before starting the main work”.

After the February half-term the girls will continue their reading activity at the start of every lesson, and they will read a range of books written by two famous adventurers, Steve Backshall and Bear Grylls. The girls will then move on to reading a selection of inspiring factual books focusing on planet Earth, such as the ‘Guinness Book of World Records’ – Earth section, Tim Peake’s ‘Hello, is this planet Earth?’, and finally the girls will have the opportunity to read a selection of books written by Sir David Attenborough.