Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Humanities - Baked Britain: Resources

Magazine article Times Educational Supplement

Humanities - Baked Britain: Resources

Article excerpt

Making a UK cake feeds pupils' pride - and their stomachs.

With the best will in the world, children are often a little uninspired by geography. To be honest, the same could be said for some teachers. Who cares if it is hot in the desert and cold in the Arctic? Rivers will still flow, rain will still fall and China will still be China whether geography is taught well or not. Right?

So how do we make geography exciting? Well, for the learning to be memorable and challenging, children need to be engaged and engulfed in it. It needs to be experienced.

At the beginning of a topic that questions what makes Britain "great", our geographical study of the country started with the children entering the classroom to find all the ingredients they would need to make a simple cake. The learning objective stated that we would be studying the geographical features of Great Britain, but before any such investigations took place, the class set to work cracking eggs, measuring out ingredients and sifting, following instructions written as part of the morning's literacy lesson.

We made 10 sponge cakes, each roughly A4 sized. While they were baking, the children were split into five groups and given 10 minutes each to write a 10-question quiz on key features of Britain (famous landmarks, cities, rivers and so on) using the internet and atlases. The pupils then answered each others' questions, using buzzers they made in science the previous term for exactly this purpose.

As the smell of freshly baked cakes wafted into the room, the children were intrigued by what the relationship between baking and the geography of Great Britain would be. …

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