Earlier this week I attempted ‘Square Dating’ with a Year 8 group. This in activity that was explained by Alan Parkinson when he spoke at my geography network meeting. It also features in his booklet ‘Language of the Landscape’ by Alan. The booklet can be downloaded for free from this website: http://www.naturalengland.org.uk/gettinginvolved/language-of-landscape/default.aspx
The idea is that pupils pick a square on an OS map and then write a lonely hearts advert trying to find a partner for that square.
Below are some of the examples of pupil’s lonely hearts adverts:
“Lonely square on the river colne a few woodlands to the west, loverly walks and have a nice time enjoying a swim in the river. Lots of hotels and shops.”
“I am a lonely square. I live in the marshes and I have a common watercourse running through me. I am mear to Rainham and the River Thames. Along my right side I have slps. Don’t judge me because I have a landfill site in me.”
“Lonely square – 8665. Nearest town is Thurrock. Doesgate lane crosses through from the West to the East. Balgownie Farm is located in the North-East of it. Looking for a busy square by the Sea.”
“Lonely square searching for another Square. I’m just of the A1019. Very horsey with a riding stables and paddocks. I have a moat located to the north, great for romantic walks. I have very few houses, so I’m very quiet. Looking for a square who is also horsey and loves chocolate. ”
This was an interesting activity to do as it was very different to a traditional map work task. It forced allowed them to engage with the map and visualise the landscape. I will definitely be doing this activity again; it is a nice starter / plenary for any lesson.