Geography grade 3, age 9-10

 Finland: nature and living conditions

 The subject aim of the project was to learn about different living conditions in Finland taking into account nature, location, livelihood and spread of population.

The challenge was given by having to look at the matter from an African family’s point of view. This family lived on a refugee camp and was given a chance to move to Finland. They were given a chance to find out about Finland before making a decision about the area they would like to move to. What would they want to know about Finland before they would move?

The challenge gave a real life connection to the project. Information about Finland was needed for a special purpose. The African family would have an access to the website to help them to decide exactly where in Finland they would move to. All the information needed to be in English.

 The thinking aim was to find the parameters for writing about Finland so that they would help the African family to make their decision. How could the pupils know what to write about? There was a problem.

1. task

The pupils were to write down questions what they thought the African family would ask. The situation of the family was discussed. Why would they be on a refugee camp?

2. task

The questions were reflected on. A choice was made by the pupils. The questions about safety, war, clean drinking water were removed because they would not pay any role comparing different parts of Finland. The questions were sorted into groups. The pupils gave names to the groups. An ENV model was formed. The element (E) was the description of a Finnish area. Parameters (N) for writing about the area were found after sorting and were listed: location, transport, living costs, way of living (town/country side), nature (long winter/short winter, wild animals), vacant jobs and hobbies for the children (location/nature wise!).

3. task

The pupils were divided into groups and they started collecting information on particular areas in Finland for the African family for comparison (Lapland, Middle of Finland, West of Finland, East of Finland, Åland Islands, Helsinki area).

4. task

 The pupils made a Power Point presentation about their own area in English taking into account the criteria they had. The list of parameters guided the pupils in their writing.

The set of tasks made the pupils think about our living conditions compared to the ones in countries were people have difficulties in matters that are selfevident to us. They felt like making the project real. Somtimes it is good to look at things which are close to from somebody else's point of view.


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