Geography was never one of the subjects that I found interesting but last year we actually did quite a bit and it was fascinating. We did a lot on Rivers and Erosion and then went onto different types of Rocks and found a fascinating series called How the Earth was Made – which walks the kids through the theories behind how certain places on Earth were created eg was it as asteroid strike, glaciers, rivers etc etc. Very interesting. We also covered Glaciers and learnt more about Biomes of the world (with a bit of focus on Africa). Anyway it was a good year for Geography so we are all a bit excited for this year (and yes even I am a bit excited).
We are going to stick with our Geog range from Oxford University Press and use Geog.2 as our starting point (although we will also extend like we did last year if we find interesting topics). We will also work through some Geography Oaka Topic packs and continue with our On the Map board game and we are hoping to start using the more advance game Geogo (we just first need to brush up on a few skills).
Like we did with Geog.1 last year we are using the Student Book and the workbook together but this year I also have the answer book (although I must stress the answer book is for the workbook it does not contain the answers for the questions which are included in the student book. Those answers are apparently included in the Teacher’s guide, which I do not have).
So what are the main areas of focus for Year 8 Geography as per the Oxford Geog range?
- Fieldwork and GIS (when we do this section we are also going to include some extra map activities, mainly because we like map work and because it ties in with some projects that we kids are currently working on).
- Coasts (we are excited to cover this)
- Weather and Climate (we actually thought we were going to do Weather and Climate last year as an extra but the kids got really carried away with the How the Earth was Made series that we never did get around to it.)
- Climate Change
Now the Geog.2 workbook ties in with the student book. For every double page in the student book there is 1 page of questions in the workbook (and the exact same page is reproduced in the answer book but with the answers written in red).
The student book does have a few questions at the end of each double page, which we always work through but I must stress the answers for these questions are NOT in the answer book they are in the Teacher’s Guide. The answer book is for the workbook.
I will write a proper review about the Geog.2 books once we have actually used them but in the past we have found the explanations concise, the pages well layed out, nothing too busy or overwhelming and lots of pictures and diagrams added in to help explain the concepts. We liked the format of Geog.1 and Geog.2 looks like it is sticking to that same format so I am sure it is going to be a winner. Also I found having the workbook reduced my own workload – what I mean by that is I did not end up printing out as many extra activities for my daughter to do. We tended to work through the student book and then look at the page in the workbook, so I saved time on resource searching (which can be very time consuming).
Topic packs. The ones that I think we will use this year are the Weather and Climate one (I actually got it last year thinking we were going to cover it then and we never did), the Coastal one (we really liked the River Topic pack so I am sure the coastal one will also be good) and finally the Population one. Again, once we have used the packs I will write reviews but so far we have liked every single topic pack that we have used. We like the format of the booklets, the write your own notes and the active learning games that are included. They always work well as a summary activity for us and as I have mentioned on many occasions I find they work well when you are covering a topic with kids of different ages (which we do with Geography as my youngest joins in).
And two games. One of our favourites is the On the Map Game. Brilliant game, we love it and I am constantly amazed by the different capital cities that my kids know and it is all because of this game. Highly recommend it.
And then a new one is Geogo game. I am looking forward to trying this out with the kids. From what I understand it covers all kinds of things from map work to landforms to settlements. We have enjoyed every Oaka Board game that we have and I am sure this one is going to be another winner in our house.
The Geog.2 books that we are using are these ones
Admin Bit – the resources included in this post are a combination of items that I have been given and items that I plan on using. The images included for the Coastal and Population Topic Pack were images that I asked Oaka Books for as I do not have these packs yet (I tend to gather a number of resources at the start of each year and then get more resources during the year as we progress).
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