Enquiry 1: Our Local Environment

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Key questions
> What is an environment?
> What is in our environment?
> What do we think of the environment?

Children observe and discuss the local environment. The use of the school grounds is essential for this activity. Use of own photos, or a selection of images from Resource Cards 1-26 listed at the end of this section might prove useful here. The children note the places they like and do not like.

This activity works best on a day when the children can spend some quality time outside.

Learning outcomes

On completing these activities all children will be able to:
> observe their locality (school grounds); and
> record their observations through maps and pictures.

School grounds
Clipboards, paper and pencils

Learning activities

1. Children go outside in pairs or in groups with teacher and observe and talk about what they can see.
Children can talk about what is important to them. Teachers could encourage children to observe school, work places, play places.

2. Children draw one place they like and one place they do not like in their local environment. Children could respond in other ways such as talking or making models.

3. Children return to classroom and discuss places they have drawn in pairs; they then do the same with the rest of the class.

• The children are covering key aspects of the geography, SPHE and science curriculum by using their locality. They are also developing their oral language and communications skills.
• Some children may also note that some features in their environment are made by people and others are not, as described in the geography curriculum.
• Teachers may like the children to lead the fieldwork, by asking for suggestions of where to go. Responses of children to each other’s work could have a geographical and / or art focus.