Maps are an invaluable resource in Geography. Therefore I try to incorporate jig saw puzzles into schemes of work forcing students to access and recall their locational knowledge and spatial awareness. I have found this strategy (with kinaesthetic aspects) reinforces students spatial awareness for future learning.
Example 1: Tectonic plate boundaries
Students are often required in Key Stage Three and GCSE to identify locations of volcano and earthquake activity in relation to plate margins. I like to provide students with a map broken up into a variety of pieces which they have to solve before locating these tectonic hazards.
For more able students (stretch and challenge) I use a contrasting map projection to the atlas which students refer to in order to plot locations of tectonic activity (i.e. Pacific centered vs Atlantic centered world map). This requires students to analyse patterns carefully when comparing their jig saw map to the atlas when labeling tectonic hazard distribution.
Access this resource… HERE!
Example 2: Key geographical features
Since 2012’s national curriculum changes there is a focus on locational knowledge form key stage 1 to key stage 3 requiring students to acknowledge and identify key geographical features.
Instead of getting students to simply label a map, I ask students to cut out each continent (using the worksheet provided) an glue these in the correct location on a plain A4 piece of paper, whilst referring to an atlas. Once all continents have been glued students can then label major oceans and continents.