Sunday, 17 July 2016

Product Review: RIC Publications Geography (level 3/4)

I have been very lucky to use the RIC Australian Curriculum Geography book for Year 3 during our geography Inquiry this year. I wanted to share some thoughts and activity ideas with you.

At my school I work with the 3/4 team (but I teach a grade 2/3 composite class). This meant that when it came time to plan and teach our Geography Inquiry we had to make sure we covered all areas of the new curriculum. My school is transitioning into using the new Victorian Curriculum, so planning for geography was entirely new. Thankfully we had access to RIC Publications' excellent geography resource. It has been so handy! The book is aligned to the Australian Curriculum, but it also works perfectly with the Victorian Curriculum.
Colour coding climates of the world
After pulling apart the curriculum requirements, we started looking through this resource. Every area is covered. There are some parts that we didn't use, and a few areas where RIC gives you some choices. As a school, we try to avoid worksheets, but the pages in the Geography book were well created, to the point, and included rich learning.
Colour coding Australian climates
I didn't particularly like the quiz questions at the end of the book, so I didn't use them. That's totally personal choice - you may love having access to them.

Some activities we completed as suggested, others we used parts of and put our own spin on them. For example, the photos below show how I took one of the 'reading' pages, and photocopied sections onto blank paper. Students then had to read the passage, highlight key words, and write a summary of it. We did this for natural features and for Pacific Island Countries.

I also reached out to the amazing Teachers of Instagram community to help with a 'compare and contrast' activity about people living in different parts of Australia.

This resource was a fantastic supplement to our planning for Inquiry. It gave my team direction in a new curriculum area, had great blackline masters to copy, and had a range of activities. Each section has some teacher information to help with the planning.

A handy strategy we used when planning with this resource was to be discriminating when we first looked through it and photocopy the pages we thought were going to have the most effect as teaching tools; we put these photocopies in a display folder so we had them on hand and ready to go throughout the unit. It made it quick and easy, and simplified needing to flick through the book every week.

To get a copy of this excellent resource for yourself check out RIC Publications' website. They also have a View Book option to see the pages inside before you purchase it.

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