Let’s Learn Geography

The first time the word and definition of ‘geography’ was mentioned in an ancient Chinese text, was in one of the oldest of the Chinese classics called ‘I Ching’. Over time, society has gained an increasing interest in geography and at Huili School Hangzhou, we strive to provide our pupils with an inquiry-based immersive learning environment that will help them to learn more about geography through deep and enriching academic experiences. From 12th to 16th November, a ‘Festival of Geography’ was held at Huili School Hangzhou, which included such activities as “how to make a globe”, creating a “maps can speak” tabloid, generating 3D terrain maps and the ‘Wellington Run’. Details of each of these events are below;

How to Make a Globe

Catherine Liu: First, I drew a basic globe showing the lines of latitude and longitude. Then I marked the outlines of the continents and the rest was left blank for the ocean. Lastly, I coloured my customised globe with vivid colours. Assembling the globe myself created a lasting impression on me, because I had to think hard to recognise all of the continents and countries.

Aimee Zhang: I did plenty of preparation before constructing my globe, including reviewing the geography content from my textbooks and classroom materials. I researched things like the equator, key latitude and longitude lines. Then I located the main continents and the oceans, and carefully figured out the outline of the countries. It was a fun and practical journey, and making the globe myself allowed me to see how the world is put together and provided context by seeing where the continents and countries are in relation to each other. It was very impressive and meaningful.

‘Maps can Speak’ Tabloid

Catherine Liu: I did a tabloid about the Federation of Saint Kitts and Nevis. I used the dominant colours from their national flag as the colour scheme for my design, summarised key points about their culture and geographical location and drew the national emblem within the tabloid. Designing this tabloid was not only an effective way to learn geography, but also a fascinating art experience.

Angel Huang: I chose Sweden as my tabloid themed country. Through this process, I got a deeper insight into Sweden by preparing materials about local customs and practices. The more I learned about the social manners and customs of Swedish people, the deeper my feelings for Sweden grew. Sweden is truly a country worth visiting. I will definitely visit once I have the chance in the future.

Kitty Qiu: I chose Germany as the country for the tabloid. I didn’t know Germany well before doing this, but I learned a lot about German culture and geography. It was really a beneficial learning experience.

Generate 3D Terrain Maps

Angel Huang: For generating the 3D terrain model, I reviewed the topography of the region at latitude 40 degrees that I had learned in class. I have gained a more intuitive understanding of the terrain through making the map model. Not only did this help me learn the key content of the class, but I also developed practical skills by virtualising the map in 3D on my own using the tools at my disposal.

Tony Tao: By modeling a 3D terrain map, I realized the importance of knowing ‘altitude’ and strictly following the data that we have access to. For example, the terrains for the hills and the mountains are very similar, but the altitude for these two are totally distinctive from each other. The details related to these differences is the focus of modeling process.

Wellington Run

The Wellington Run is inspired by a board game called ‘Monopoly’. Learning and benefiting from games is applied in day-to-day teaching, which can help stimulate pupils’ interest in learning and also cultivate teamwork.

Kitty Qiu: This contest provided me with the opportunity to gain geography knowledge from my peers and allowed me to deepen my friendships with my classmates as well.

Angel Huang: In this contest we played the game with so much enthusiasm, while also refreshing my knowledge about geography. Even if I didn’t get first place, I was very delighted to participate in this game.

Andy Wu: My favourite event at this festival was the Wellington Run. The most difficult part of learning geography for me is to remember the place names and their details. The learning process behind this game allowed me to gain this knowledge in a fun way, and developed my interest in the curriculum.

The Festival of Geography provided a great example of our bilingual curriculum being correctly implemented and enhanced by the unique Huili approach to holistic education. We hope our Huili pupils will be inspired to take the skills learned through this festival to continue learning about the backgrounds, history, culture and geography of the countries they are interested in. We encourage all of our pupils to be inclusive, and this starts from gaining a deeper understanding and appreciation of people from many backgrounds.