Introducing the geography topic "clothes"
As part of the preparatory work for this topic the teacher could do a brainstorm and/or concept map with the children to find out their prior concepts of the role of clothes in their everyday lives.
The Clothes Line: Using a small clothes line pin up some items of children's clothing. Ask the children what clothes are and why people wear them.
ABC Clothes: Ask children to name articles of clothing for some letters of the alphabet (example think of something that you could wear beginning with B). List the children's ideas. Choose some of the items which best suit the objectives of your lesson and set them in categories. Example coats, scarves and hats would suit clothing for cold weather.
The clothes we are wearing: Look at your partner carefully. Now turn away. Describe what he/she is wearing. Were you right? What does your partner say?
Photo Sequence: Place clothing pictures in sequence for a wet day/cold day as a brief description is called out of a person dressing for that particular day.
Think of a Caption: A caption is something which tells information about a picture. The children observe a set of pictures on their desks, on the classroom wall or displayed by data projector.
They must think of a caption that includes the word clothes.
These are wet clothes
These clothes need washing
Questioning a Photo
Use some of the clothing pictures provided in this site or other pictures which have a clothing theme. Divide the class into groups of four. Put a photograph on a sheet of A3 paper with each group. Ask them to look at the picture carefully and to write on the white sheet the clothes items they can see and match them with strings of wool and blue tack to the clothing items. Ask them what they would like to know about the people in the photo and their clothes.
Place large pictures of items of clothing on the blackboard. Get children to study them carefully for a minute. Close their eyes. Remove a picture. What item of clothing is missing?
Match the Clothes Table Game
This game requires a number of matching cards of clothing items or similar items of clothing. Groups of four. Cards are placed face down on the table. Each child in turn in their group has to select two card and turn them face up. If they can establish a link between the cards-a hat and boots/ they are both worn in cold weather-they can claim the pair. If not they are returned face down again and next child has a go.
Class discussion: Clothing
The teacher should discuss with the children the type of clothes they are wearing at the particular time of the year and how those clothes suits the current weather/season. The teacher should then ask the children to list how their clothes might be similar/ different at other times of the year. It is important that the children begin to acknowledge the weather as one of the main influencing factors on the types of clothes we wear. Weather observation and recording should be a constant feature of this work.
Children could be helped to examine how colour is important in clothing and should explore which colours reflect heat and which colours absorb it. The teacher could also discuss with the children the origin of many fabrics. The children can look at the labels on their own clothes to identify the fabrics used. Children might learn about particular fabrics such as cotton. Where does cotton grow could lead to children finding out about countries such as India. Interesting information: denim is made out of cotton. Children might try to dye cotton.
Work in this section integrates very closely with that of the strand Materials in the Science Curriculum. The activities in the student zone focus on the suitability of different clothes for different occupations and variations in weather. The unit also looks at the origin of wool, and identifies clothes that are waterproof. Extension work could focus on investigating which fabrics are waterproof and which fabrics are good thermal insulators (hold in heat). For ideas please see http://www.curaclam.net/html/sc_ma.php