EYFS / KS1 Geography: Go Jetters - Continent of Europe
This collection of Funky Facts from Go Jetters includes information about some of Europe’s significant landmarks.
Some are built masterpieces such as the Eiffel Tower in Paris, France, and the canal system supporting the wonderful architecture of the car-free City of Venice, Italy; others are awe-inspiring natural wonders such as the the Matterhorn mountain with it's near-symmetrical pyramidal peak or the dramatic Mount Etna volcano on the island of Sicily, Italy and the natural light show of the Aurora Borealis or Northern Lights, visible from more northerly latitudes of the world such as Lapland in Finland.
Then there's the beautiful colour of the tulip fields of the Netherlands, that can be seen from space when in full bloom!
The first clip below gives an overview of the continent as a whole and is a good place to start.
Discuss what a landmark is and talk about what makes a feature special and why. Ask pupils if they can name any famous landmarks.
Ask pupils if they can say what Europe is. Explain that it is one of several continents that make up the world. Discuss the meaning of continent and show and name these on a globe or 2D map of the world.
Find out what pupils already know about Europe or any countries within it.
Play games using a blow-up globe: throw it to pupils and ask them to name and locate a continent, such as Europe, or a country within it, such as France. Ask them to point to the UK too.
Reinforce the names and locations of the world continents using atlases, globes and maps. Play globe tossing games and use puzzles and quizzes regularly to reinforce learning.
Create a class map of Europe for a display, adding key information as well as personal information form pupils e.g. where they have been on holiday. This could be a wall map with drawn images and photographs or a 3D tabletop one with models.
Ask pupils to create their own funky fact booklets about Europe and use atlases to research information. Allocate a country to each group or let pupils choose their own.
Can pupils find …? Ask pupils to ask each other questions about Europe using an atlas e.g. ‘Can you find a large / small country?’, ‘…a long river?’, ‘… a mountain range?’
Ask pupils to select a location and organise a virtual field trip to a chosen European destination, thinking about how they will travel, how long it will take and what they will need to take with them.
When looking at individual landmarks, as below, use maps, globes and atlases to locate each landmark carefully and talk about where it is.
- Eiffel Tower
Use Google Earth to ‘fly’ over the Eiffel Tower and discuss what can be seen.
Ask pupils to make their own models and drawings of the Eiffel Tower and create postcards, posters and brochures about visiting this capital city of Paris, in France.
- Mount Etna
Discuss with pupils what a volcano is and what happens when they erupt.
Ask pupils to make a model of Etna and locate it on a simple hand drawn map of Sicily. They could use an atlas to help them. Ask pupils if they can find any other volcanoes in Europe.
Discuss what it might be like to live near a volcano. Discuss how the soils near active volcanoes are often good for growing food but dangerous to live near because they could erupt at short notice.
Ask pupils to investigate images of Venice and talk about what the city looks like. Ask pupils why they think it gets so many visitors each year.
Discuss what a canal is and where the nearest one is to you. Why and how are canals useful?
Make a 3D landscape like Venice using Lego, water and sand in a water tank. Use small play figures to think about what it means to live in a car free, watery city.
- Northern Lights
Find film footage and images to show the Northern Lights. Ask pupils to brainstorm words to describe what they see.
Pack a virtual case to go to Lapland for the weekend. Discuss what clothes you would need to take for a winter visit and why.
Finland isn’t the only country where you can see the Northern Lights. In what other countries and continents in the northern hemisphere might you be able to see this magical light show from?
Discuss with the class why you might not be able to see the Northern Lights every night of the year and make a list of possible reasons.
- Naming, describing and comparing what places are like (landmarks and features).
- Locating landmarks using paper or digital maps; globes and atlases.
- Giving reasons about why places might attract visitors and tourists.
- What is your favourite landmark and why?
- What do you think landmarks need to make them attractive to tourists?
Supported Learning and SEN
Children could work in pairs or mixed ability groupings so that they benefit from peer support.
A range of media and maps could be used to help identify, name and locate landmarks. Making or using 3D models could help pupils describe what a landmark is like.
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 full ten- minute Go Jetter films with pupils to stimulate curiosity and find out more about these very different European landmarks. Select and vote for your class favourite European landmark.
Ask pupils to create their own fact files about each landmark, gathering images and information through research. Each landmark in this series has unique properties, geographical vocabulary and can stimulate a range of different ideas.
Compile questions as a class for a quiz about Europe and challenge another class to answer them.
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.