SOLO – lesson 2

Thanks to all those, especially on Twitter,who have given me feedback,retweeted or favourited the first post about this new terms’s work using SOLO.

So the idea has been introduced to the classes. Our second lesson looks at the location of the unit’s country (7: UK/8:Kenya/9: Japan). An opportunity to bring in another interest and idea that two of us are experimenting with – a teacher iPad used as a secondary teaching source with apps. Myself and the Head of Department both own an iPad2, and we are developing the use of apps as another teaching source. In my room I have a digital switch box (self funded), to enable quick switches from PC or iPad sources.

The starter activity includes a recap of the SOLO taxonomy symbols from the last lesson, what evidence is required in terms of facts and written style – list,sentences, paragraphs. Where pupils had been absent from the introductory lesson it allowed them to see what we were talking about as well.

The learning objectives – to be able to describe location at a range of scales and to use a range of maps. With the year 7 classes earlier in the week this started from a world map with country outlines on the IWB. We looked at three words: continent, Ocean and country -which is the odd one out?discussion led to ordering the terms and identifying the term seas to match ocean as country does with continent. Then a discussion on the 8 main compass directions. I made links between these key words and how the compass directions could help to make our descriptions more detailed.

Using the Key Geography text series we looked at the location on different scale maps. A text box with symbols for Uni-structural, multi-structural and relational were provided on the IWB to demonstrate how a more detailed answer could be constructed. Pupils volunteered facts we had discussed from the maps and these were recorded on the IWB. When the class were confident a SOLO stage had been attained we reviewed the evidence and discussed why the evidence was sufficient. Gradually a relational paragraph was recorded and keywords underlined to emphasise the need for geographical terms. Pupils recorded this as a model answer of a global scale location in their exercise books.

The photo shows one of the Year 7 examples.


A second map was used to describe the location at a continental scale or national scale. pupils developed their own description starting from Uni-structural. On checking several students answers the need for accurate literacy skills were re-emphasised especially for Capital letters for names.

In most of the Year 8 and 9 lessons, which happened after my presentation at Teachmeeetipad apps used included Globe and Statetetris. Globe is not reliant on the interment and allows a virtual globe to be spun, zoom in or out so countries,continents and oceans could be discussed in combination with compass directions and location cold start with the UK and its relative size could be compared. Statetris was used with one class looking at Japan to demonstrate the game and complexity of the regions.


Pupil responses varied. Using the SOLO symbols provided a framework but more confidence is needed to extend written answers.

I feel a need for hexagons and maybe even dominoes coming up.


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