It’s fun and games in Skwirk HQ – not only have we had to deal with the end of daylight savings (our office manager Alice has been contemplating bringing a doona to work), but the early Easter has led to different school holiday times all over Australia! So:
· Welcome back to our Skwirkers in Victoria, Queensland and the Northern Territory,
· Happy holidays to everyone in New South Wales, the ACT, and South Australia, and
· Hang in there for everyone in Western Australia and Tasmania – nearly at the finish line!
New content for national site
As we align our content to the Australian Curriculum we’re continuing to remove the geoblocks on content that was previously only available to a few states. This month we’ve got some great content for students across years 5-10:
Media: Representation and Global Identity – this unit for Years 5 and 6 presents a great overview of how people form groups and how those groups in turn create cultures. It includes chapters on stereotyping, the role played by the media in the portrayal of various groups and how Australians have been represented in the past and the present. A great unit of work for media-savvy students who have been looking at Communities in Geography or text types in English. Includes over a dozen animations and over 40 colour images
Reduce, re-use or recycle – this compact unit for Years 7 and 8 Geography students is an excellent addition to studying the ways humans interact with the environment. The chapter introduces an extended ‘waste hierarchy’ to help students think beyond ‘Reduce / Reuse / Recycle’ and considers the huge variety of materials we throw away on a daily basis. Great for linking Geography to the Environmental Sciences or investigating global citizenship.
Industrial Revolution – with the Australian Curriculum’s redesign of secondary history, this great unit now gets to shine on the national stage. Includes over 70 images ranging from maps of Britain’s global resources to diagrams of the machines that reinvented the production of everything from clothing to metal. This unit also examines the political and social events of the period and the effects on housing, employment and social structure. Podcast summaries at both the unit and topic levels provide teachers with a great tool to introduce or summarise the topic.
Website of the week – National Geographic’s The Genographic Project
This. Site. Rocks. Showcasing a project that launched in 2005 and is still going, the Genographic Project combines bleeding-edge science with the ultimate story of discovery – mapping the origins and spread of humanity across the globe. The website includes an interactive ‘Human Migration Map’ and HEAPS of resources for educators. If you have EVER wanted to design a series of lessons that combine History, Geography and Science, look no further.
Forget Angry Birds. This four-year-old game (originally designed for the PC) is the best physics emulator game in the known universe. Help the insanely cute little Goo balls get to the end of each level by making them into structures that can traverse each level. The game has a perfect difficulty curve and students get immediate feedback on how well built and well-balanced their creations are. Add several doses of sweet, wacky humour and you have an amazing game that parents can play with their kids. I know at least one Science teacher that uses this game in his Year 10 Physics class!