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20 October 2014
Schools Two Cities - Return Home

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The two lesson plans provided are introductory. It is recommended that the Offline lesson precedes the Online lesson, as it introduces the topic.

Lesson Plan for Offline Use


To explore children's ideas about cities.
To use geographical resources to find out something about Belfast and/or Mexico City.

Curriculum Relevance

  • England Key Stage 2 Geography
    1a,b,c, 2a,c, 3a,b,c, 7a and/or b

  • Wales Key Stage 2 Geography
    1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4

  • Northern Ireland Key Stage 2 Geography
    Geographical Skills
  • Scotland 5-14 Guidelines: Environmental Studies - People and Place
    Using Maps
    Skills Strand
    Developing Informed Attitudes

  • Globes, assorted atlases, maps of Belfast and/or Mexico City (if available)
  • Worksheet 1: 'What I have found out about Belfast / Mexico City' (Y5 and 6 children could be using a Motoring Atlas of Great Britain & Northern Ireland and an atlas with statistical information, e.g. Philips Modern School Atlas.)
  • If available, City photopacks could be used to initiate and support discussion if children's experience is limited - e.g. Big City; Nairobi (Action Aid), Bangalore (Action Aid); We live in the East End.)
Teaching Activities

  1. Have a discussion to explore the children's notion of 'city' and elicit their (initial) ideas about 'capital city' - to be returned to later in the unit of study.
  2. 'Where is Belfast / Mexico City?' Check that the children know where Belfast and Mexico City are, locating them on a globe and in an atlas.
Group Activities

Provide activities for children to collect information, asking them: How much can you find out about Belfast (and/or Mexico City)... in one lesson!
Record findings on Worksheet 1.
  • Group 1 Children use a globe to collect information about B & MC.
  • Group 2 Children use a world atlas to collect information about B from maps
  • Group 3 Children use a world atlas to collect information about MC from maps
  • Group 4 Children use a world atlas to collect information about B from statistical pages
  • Group 5 Children use a world atlas to collect information about MC from statistical pages
  • Group 6 Children use a road atlas to collect information about B
(You may like to work this way: Children work in groups of 5 or 6. In each group each child carries out one of the activities given above. After 10-15 minutes the groups reassemble to collate their findings.)

Individual or paired or grouped:
Using Worksheet 1 as a reminder, show your group's findings as creatively as you can!


Each group reports on their discoveries about Belfast and/or Mexico City.
Teacher collects / collates, to bring out similarities and differences.
(Information could include description of location, data on latitude and longitude, weather, population - given in, e.g. Philips Modern School Atlas.)


The capital cities of Europe (Geographical general or locational knowledge). Provide Worksheet 2.
Ask pupils to name countries and mark and label capital cities.
Because of the necessarily small scale of the map, they may need to use an alpha-numeric key to fit in all the information, e.g. label countries A, B, C etc and number dots marked on for capital cities 1,2, 3, etc. and then create a key of the information.

(This could be followed by countries and capital cities of Africa; North, Central and South America; Asia; etc. - pupils could print maps from Clip Art.)

Site Overview  |  Offline Lesson Plan  |  Online Lesson Plan
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