Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Lesson Plan: Hawaii Volcano Hazard

Back in June I published a detailed lesson plan on flooding in the Brahmaputra.

Today I have published a second plan on the volcanic hazards on Hawaii. Not only does it teach geographic principles about lava hazards and topography it also explains and uses the 'runaround' technique I've developed which I mentioned here with respect to second life.

Runaround Idea: The basic idea is to put a grid on the floor, then project a map on a screen. Students are asked geographical questions and move to a position to answer the question. Its a development of a warm up game used by Geese Theatre Company.

  • Multiple students can respond to a question (c.w. a traditional lesson situation where only one student can respond to a teacher question at a time)
  • Response is a position rather than an area: For example, if I asked students to locate London on a world map using runaround they could answer quickly with a point. If I asked them without it they would have to answer 'In England' or the clumsy 'far southeast corner of England close to the east coast but a fair way in from the south coast'.
  • Students seem more engaged and interested than in a traditional lesson which I put down to them having to stand up and move around constantly. This is in line with the (unproven) theory of Kinesthetic Learning.
  • They find it fun!
Volcanic Hazards: The lesson itself is based on the volcanoes of Hawaii which I know about from having volunteered at the Hawaiian Volcanoes Observatory 5 years ago. The lesson has been tested a number of times but isn't as polished as my first lesson plan, I made the decision that it was better to produce a number of lessons rather than fewer ones that are better polished. Noel has published a lesson plan on a similar topic for Moneserrat.

And for any Brit who's suddenly nostalgic for 70s TV here's a runaround clip:

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