Monday, October 04, 2004

Paving the road...

Ibrahim's lesson is very fun and the group work he assigned to the class today has great potential for creativity and learning. Great effort by him in preparing those papers. Personally, I like it a lot.

Some points to enhance that useful tool(I would call it simulation):
1. Overall direction of the project is important so that students will know ultimately what they want to achieve. With that, then they would really plan where to put the buildings rather than doing so haphazardly.

2. Thought the idea of giving students different landscapes was quite good.

3. Lay down the rules for eg, no stacking, all buildings be placed within the space allocated. Once a building is placed, its position cannot be changed.

4. The project could be divided into stages of progression. For example, a certain amount of houses, roads, factories etc could be given at each stage and then students would place them on the map. Give them guiding questions so as to lead them into why they have such a layout. These questions can be part of a worksheet. At each subsequent stage, a different coloured or numbered types of building could be given to them so that this will help us to see the 'evolution' of the settlement. In addition, the teacher may relax a rule at each stage, for eg improvement in technology allows high rise flats or land reclamation, then students would adjust their layout accordingly. With these stages, I believe the learning points can be elicited more explicitly.

5. Ultimately, students can be probed that if there is a single change they want to do to the finalised layout what would that be?

6. Alternatively, different groups can receive different amounts of each type of building/structures so that the settlement layout would change accordingly. The buildings do not need to be necessarily the same to each group. The project could be given after they have some knowledge of landuse and settlement. Though that such a tool would be greatly underutilised if used only as an 'appetitiser'.