The last 2 weeks have been interesting both in school and in the news. Pupils have brought up topics such as the Scottish Referendum independently and we have spent a good 15 minutes or so discussing it. It may not be part of the lesson plan but if it develops their interest in the news I’m all for it. Ofsted may not agree.
1// Scotland voted NO!
Following from Edition 1 the Scottish Referendum had an interesting turn out, 55% of the Scottish population that voted decided they wanted to stay in Great Britain. I honestly thought the Yes vote was going to win.
This however I feel sets a precedent for change and many questions for pupils to consider.
How will this outcome affect future elections? With Alex Salmond stepping down from the SNP, who will take his place? Will the SNP remain as Scotland’s largest party? Will there be greater devolution of power to enable Scotland to implement what Scotland feels in best for them? Why did 45% of the population that voted want independence so much? Will the people of Scotland get along in peace or will there be clashes for years to come? What does this mean for Wales?
Here are some articles that have been published recently that maybe used for dicussion and debate
1.In Record Turnout Demographics Shape Scotland’s Emphatic No Vote –
2. Politicians ponder Scotland’s future – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29289035
3. Salmond to quit after Scots vote No – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-29277527
4. Cameron pledges devolution revolution after no vote – http://www.theguardian.com/politics/2014/sep/19/scottish-referendum-david-cameron-devolution-revolution
5. Police separate rival groups in Glasgow – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-scotland-politics-29288249
6. Queen urges referendum ‘respect’ – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-scotland-29287662
Whilst I haven’t found any resources, I do like the idea of taking photos from these articles and using them as a discussion point with pupils. Encourage the pupils to consider the story of the image, perhaps get them to match images to headlines.
2// 11 Billion People
A new report estimates that the global population could reach 11 billion by 2100. With rapid population growth, exponential urbanisation, overconsumption and dwindling resources the ability to sustain ourselves presents more and more challenges. I love teaching the topic of population change and the challenges it poses but the exam specifications I feel make it so boring. There’s so much to cram in that its difficult to take the topic off on a (relevant) tangent and really explore the issue. In the past I have enjoyed teaching population to KS3, we’ve had the time to explore the problems of overpopulation and the role of a variety of factors in population change such as industrialisation and ageing populations.
Whilst the following articles do not explore population alone I wanted to include them as they would make interesting talking points in relation to population growth and the issues presented by a growing population.
1. A World With 11 Billion People? New Population Projections Shatter Earlier Estimates – http://news.nationalgeographic.com/news/2014/09/140918-population-global-united-nations-2100-boom-africa/
2. Humans: the real threat to life on Earth – http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2013/jun/30/stephen-emmott-ten-billion
3. It’s not overpopulation that causes climate change, it’s overconsumption – http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2014/sep/19/not-overpopulation-that-causes-climate-change-but-overconsumption
4. We need to develop a new urban agenda – let’s start on World Cities Day – http://www.theguardian.com/cities/2014/sep/17/world-cities-day-united-nations-habitat-new-urban-agenda
5. Africa’s Population Will Quadruple by 2100. What Does That Mean for its Cities? – http://www.citylab.com/design/2014/09/africas-population-will-quadruple-by-2100-what-does-that-mean-for-its-cities/380507/
There are so many resources on population and population growth, so many to choose from.
My favourite, the Jelly Baby Population Game. A winner all round. I have adjusted it slightly when I’ve used it but this is the original one I’ve adapted. It works well with all learners from Ks2 to Ks5.
There are a selection of ideas on the National Geographic site – Population 7 Billion. I like the idea of the Pasta Population Map. Might try it at some point.
3// Explosive Eruption
Last one is short and simple, If you haven’t seen the amazing footage of a sonic boom created by the eruption of Mount Tavurvur in Papua New Guinea, watch this clip. It demonstrates the a sonic boom created by a volcanic eruption. Amazing!
1. “Holy Smokin’ Toledoes…” Volcano Sonic Boom! – http://www.brainstuffshow.com/blog/holy-smokin-toledoes-volcano-sonic-boom/
2. Volcanic Sounds – http://volcano.oregonstate.edu/book/export/html/385
Hope it’s useful. Please share with friends and colleagues.