The following webquest has been created to help year 5 students understand the concept of location.In developing spatial sense, children will gain a deeper understanding of their world (ACARA 2012).
YEAR 5 CURRICULUM OUTCOMES:(ACMMG113) Use a grid reference system to describe locations. Describe routes using landmarks and directional language (ACARA 2012).
How the activities will achieve the desired outcome
The authentic nature of this webquest requires students to apply their problem solving abilities to fulfill the task requirements.
- Students will use mathematical understanding by making connections between numbers represented on a co-ordinate system. Students will also develop mathematical understanding through using mathematical powers to compare and order decimals when considering the shortest distance between routes.
- Students will develop mathematical fluency by estimating distances between landmarks to check the reasonableness of answers and by students choosing correct units of measurement when using the scale on a map to calculate that distance.
- Students develop problem solving skills by using measurement, time and spatial awareness to find the quickest route to different land marks.
- Students utilise mathematical reasoning to pose questions about the data they gather to investigate the best route for their tour.
Clements 1998, states that in order for children to become competent map users they need to develop their ability to treat spatial relations separately from their immediate environment. Children make meaning from maps by first forming relationships among objects in space (landmarks and routes), expanding the size of that space and finally linking primary (a direct relation to space on the map- putting yourself inside the map) and secondary (an abstract frame of reference- no longer inside) meanings of that information.
This webquest follows a hypothetical learning trajectory based on Van Hiele’s amended model of geometric thought (Battista 2007);
Level 0 pre recognition
Level 1 visual
Level 2 descriptive/ analytical
Level 3 abstract/ relational
Level 4 Formal deduction
Level 5 Rigour/ mathematical
Students will be facilitated through levels 1,2 and 3 with the assistance of Van Hiele’s proposed sequential phases of learning, they are; inquiry, directed orientation, explication, free orientation and integration (Van Hiele-Geldof, 1984). Vygotsky’s theory of Zone of Proximal Distance (ZPD) will also be utilized (Marsh 2010). By helping students progress through these levels it is hoped that they will gain a deep understanding of the concept of location.
Firstly, students will be introduced to the concept of location through activities that build understanding about landmarks. The aim of the lesson is to spark students curiosity about landmark representation on a map. The inclusion of the documentry and Aboriginal art links expose students to different representations of landmarks, communicating to them that there are different ways of knowing and although perspectives may be different, all are as valuable and as useful as each other for the purpose of determing and describing location. This approach will increase Indigenous inclusiveness in the classroom. Creating a Venn diagram serves two purposes; the first is to reorganise information (reorganising information has been proven to be helpful for ESL and dyslexic students Lian, 2014))and to demonstrate that despite their differences all maps are vauled for the purpose of spatial orientation and representation.
Implications for learning: Students will be put into groups by the teacher to ensure knowledge and skills are spread evenly amongst the class, ensuring all students have access to peer knowledge different from their own thinking.
Groups will need to assign roles to each group member to ensure each student has an active role in the group, ensuring all students are given the opportunity to utilise their mathematical powers.
Activity Variation: Students who struggle to identify and sketch landmarks could be assisted to get started with an enabling prompt of a pre-prepared hand drawn mud map that students then label and/or add extra landmarks to. Student learning could be extended by being prompted to identify and represent landmarks from different perspectives such as a topographical view or to represent a landmark from an Indigenous perspective.
In the next lesson students participate in activities which help build conceptual understanding of direction. Verdie et.al (2014), explains that we can improve effectiveness of spatial instruction by exposing children to spatial language. The purpsose of setting homework in the first lesson is to encourage students to inquire about the world around them. Using the information gained from students own research, students will be directed through activities that help students understand the usefulness of that knowledge. The interactive activities and debrief are included to provide students with an opportunity to freely explore and help them reflect on the concept of direction enabling them to integrate new knowledge into their existing understanding.
Activity Variation: students with physical disabilities could be included in the physical activity by directing students through the obstacle using their voice.
Students who are struggling to give or follow directions in the partner activity could be enabled by being provided with a shorter route to give directions for or to follow.
Students could be extended by giving/following directions for alternative routes for their location.
Implications for learning: It is important for the teacher to partner students to ensure partnerships are mixed ability and mixed gender this will ensure knowledge is spread amongst the class not just confined to a few students and also ensures female students have the same access to spatial activities as male students.
The co-ordinate activities help build students understanding of the representation of numbers as co-ordinates.The open-endness of the introductory activity helps students develop an appreciation of the usefulness of the co-ordinate system. The discussion at the end of the lesson is included to help students augment student understanding and faciltate the progression of their understanding from level 2 descriptive/ analytical to level 3 abstract/relational.
Activity Variation: students who are struggling to find a way to describe location on the map could be enabled by imaging themselves on the map and describing what they would see around them, what landmarks , streets etc. If students still struggle they could be enabled by physically placing themself somewhere in the room and describe their location by what they are near. When using co-ordinates students could be enabled by first using letter/number combinations then advancing to smaller digit combinations and finally 6 digit grid references.
This activity could be extended by pre preparing another map and proposing a scenario such as this map got wet on a hike through the bush, some of the grid references and landmarks are missing can you fill in the missing grid references and use the guiding notes to plot these landmarks.
The final activity focuses on integration. At this stage students draw on knowlege gained from previous activities in order to complete the webquest.
Activity Variation: Students who are unable to get started even with the help of the group may be enabled to begin by focusing on one or fewer of the criteria to begin with such as identifying a landmark on a map.
This task could be extended with prompts such as making a wet weather, dry weather tour, plotting accomodation grid references to show where to pick up and drop off tourists.