The kids and I have been learning about Rivers so I thought I would share one of the resources that we have been using – The Rivers, Processes and Flooding Topic pack from Oaka Books. We have used their topic packs before so we knew what to expect and we have already developed our way of using them – we first tend to watch a few documentaries and read some books about the topic to get a background and then we start looking at the Topic Pack.
We start by reading through the Topic Booklet – we do this section by section and take our time and then my daughter starts filling in her Write Your Own Notes Book. We do both together – so with this one we focused on the river stages, features and processes first did the Write Your Own Notes and even played the game (I just filtered the question cards) before we moved onto the Flooding Section. I find this works best for my daughter – focus on a subsection, do that properly and then move on. If we read the whole booklet in one go and then tried to do the whole Write Your Notes it would not be as effective.
My daughter is a visual learner, so she likes pictures that represent facts, colour (but not overwhelming colour) and sentences written in bullet point. The layout of the Topic Notes fits in nicely with her preferred learning style. Most pages are split into four blocks and each block contains just a few points and a picture depicting the point. The pictures are spot on – simple pictures, with not too much detail and just a few labels. Easy to remember. In fact she has told me that sometimes when she is trying to think of a fact she recalls the image and then remembers the fact – the simple image of the plant roots and the rabbit for weathering is one such example. It helps her remember the difference between weathering and erosion.
The Write Your Own Notes also suits her because she can revise what she has learnt without having to write massive, long paragraphs. And filling in the blocks reinforces what we have been learning and sometimes highlights a point that she may not have understood properly. (The Write Your own Notes tends to be a combination of fill in the words and write a brief explanation).
And I think our favourite has to be the game they include. We love these games. They are quite a simple concept – a basic board with dice and questions cards but it works. It really works for us. It is a more relaxed, fun way to reinforce facts learnt and sometimes a way to revisit a topic we learnt about a few months ago and revise it in a more relaxed manner.
The Rivers, Processes and Flooding Topic Pack has been a very useful resource for us. And I must admit Geography is not one of my favourites so I really liked have a good resource that I could turn to, something that did not require me to spend ages researching the topic. It was all there, ready for us to use.
For those of you not familiar with our learning style – my youngest (he is 8) often joins in with whatever his sister is learning. So he read through the Topic Booklet with us and quite happily played the game. The pack is aimed at Key Stage 3 ages but my younger son managed fine.
Admin – We were given a few Geography Topic packs (including this one) from Oaka Books to use for a different post. We just happened to be using this pack at the moment so I am writing a more detailed post about it.