EYFS / KS1 Geography: Go Jetters - Continent of Asia
This collection of Funky Facts from Go Jetters focuses on Asia, the world’s largest and most populous continent.
Asia is separated from the continent of Europe by a land border and edged by three oceans: the Indian Ocean to the south, the Pacific Ocean to the east and the Arctic Ocean to the north.
From the Great Wall of China in the east, to the ancient, carved stone city of Petra, Jordan in the west, the clips for this continent reveal a world of wonders.
- Find out what pupils already know and think about Asia. Do pupils have any links with countries in this continent through holidays or family for example? Identify existing knowledge and misconceptions.
- Explain that Asia is one of several continents that make up the world. Discuss the meaning of continent and show these on a globe or 2D map of the world. Find Asia on a globe and discuss its location using geographical language such as ‘hemisphere, ‘north’, ‘south’ and ‘equator’.
- Play games using a blow-up globe: throw it to pupils and ask them to name and identify Asia as well as other continent shapes; older children could name and locate a country in Asia when they catch it. Discuss that Asia and Europe are joined and how large this land mass is.
- Create a class map with links to places in Asia that can be made through holidays, family, stories, clothes and food.
- Discuss or remind pupils what a landmark is and talk about what makes a feature special and why.
- Find Asia on a globe and discuss its location and size as well as some of the countries within it and oceans that border it.
- Give groups some varied images from Asia including the Great Wall of China, the Dead Sea, Petra, and others showing some of this continent’s diversity. You might include e.g. the Shinkansen or ‘bullet’ train leaving Tokyo, Mount Everest, The Taj Mahal, the Gobi Desert etc. Also select images to convey the climate differences between places in the far north and south of the continent. Ask pupils to sort given images into ‘yes’ and ‘no’ piles according to whether they think they can be found in Asia or not. Give each group one or more challenges to find a landmark’s location using digital mapping or an atlas. Create a wall display.
- ‘Zoom’ into a local scale within a chosen country of study, such as China, and select a locale to compare with where you live. Look at the everyday lives of the people who live there and draw out similarities and difference with pupils’ everyday lives.
- Create a map of where animals might be found in their natural habitat e.g. Pandas in China.
- Read a selection of story and non-fiction books about life in countries within Asia and locate those places on a map as you go.
Great Wall of China
- Find China on a map of the world and discuss where the wall was built. Locate the capital city Beijing and neighbouring countries. You could zoom in using a digital mapping programme such as Google Earth and explore sections of the wall and surrounding landscape.
- Ask pupils to add their own drawings of the Great Wall of China to a class map.
- Discuss the structure of the Great Wall and encourage pupils to make models using sand, building blocks or junk materials. Ask pupils to create their own 3D landscapes or 2D table maps for their models.
- Ask pupils to work in groups to create their own ‘Funky Facts’ booklet about the Great Wall or about China.
- Carry out some fieldwork by exploring the school grounds or locality looking for examples of walls and barriers. Take photographs, sketch, notice patterns and add the results to a map.
- Investigate barriers and walls around the school site and note which are built and which are made of natural materials such as hedges and shrubs. Discuss which ones are best and why.
- Locate Jordan on a globe and discuss its location. Use a programme such as Google Earth to ‘zoom’ in and virtually explore the landscape using Street View. You could screenshot images for discussion and develop vocabulary, noting the rocks, valleys, canyons and arid landscape.
- Provide modelling clay for pupils to create their own ‘rock face’ with a carved front or temples with columns. Use images from Petra as inspiration and encourage pupils to create their own ‘rock sculpture city’.
- The inhabitants in Petra developed a clever way of collecting and storing water for this city. Compare the rainfall in this part of Jordan today with the rainfall in your location. Discuss with pupils, ways in which you could be more careful with water use in school.
- Discuss the terms ‘ocean’ ‘sea’ and ‘lake. What is the difference between them? A lake is usually a body of fresh water surrounded by land but there are some salty lakes. Sometimes the difference between a lake and a sea is to do with size, but not always. This makes a good discussion point and pupils can begin to think how different geographical meanings can overlap.
- Identify with pupils the nearest sea and / or lake to where you live and talk about what they are like and who has been there. Ask pupils if they can swim and if so, where they go to do this.
- Discuss how the extreme saltiness of the Dead Sea makes it easy to stay afloat (link with work in floating and sinking). Experiment by immersing one egg in plain tap water and one in salty water.
- Look at the Dead Sea on a map or aerial image and explain that water flows into this enormous lake but can’t get out. It is so hot and dry there that the water evaporates and lots of salt and minerals are left behind when this happens.
- Make your own Funky Facts about the Dead Sea – did you know it is the lowest point on land on Earth?
- Ask pupils to plan a visit and think about how they would get there and what they would take.
- Naming, describing and comparing people and places (people, landmarks and features).
- Locating landmarks and features using paper or digital maps; globes and atlases.
- Drawing comparisons and similarities between places.
- Why do people build walls?
- Why do some places in the world get lots of rain and some hardly any?
- What is the difference between a sea and a lake?
Supported Learning and SEN
- Children could work in pairs or mixed ability groupings so that they benefit from peer support.
- Using photographs and artefacts to sort and talk about ideas can help some pupils express their thoughts more easily.
- Use vocabulary cards to match to what can be seen and support language development.
- Pupils’ ideas might be recorded using audio or video media as well as through writing.
Extend This Project
Watch the films in this collection and others set in Asia. Map and compare the places shown, drawing out similarities and differences.
These short film clips contribute to the current national curriculum requirements in KS1 geography in England; the Foundation Stage World Around Us in Northern Ireland; the Foundation Phase Knowledge and Understanding of the World in Wales, and at Social Studies 1st level in Scotland.
The clips are especially pertinent to the Areas of Learning and subject requirements of geography but also provide opportunities to develop English and mathematics knowledge and skills in meaningful contexts across all UK curricula.
These clips and ideas will help develop pupils’ curiosity and build on their early experiences of the world around us.
The clips and ideas contribute to UK curricular aspects relating to cultural understanding, particularly with regard to people and places.