Book: Uncharted Territories by @Hywel_Roberts & @DebraKidd

Published by Independent Thinking Press

Uncharted Territories: Adventures in learning

14.95
9.4

Content

9.5/10

Accessible

10.0/10

Authority

9.0/10

Pedagogical

9.5/10

Value

9.0/10

Pros

  • A great book for teachers who still think teaching creatively has an important part to play in their classroom.
  • Debra and Hywel demonstrate how creativity is possible through any subject and at any educational stage.
  • The book is accompanied by fantastic illustrations, offering a hook into each location.
  • The ideas offered are underpinned by opportunities for pupils to access and create texts, sparking a desire to write.
  • The book offers ideas that can be used in many subject areas, across most stages in schools.

To spark writing, you need to ignite the imagination. To be imaginative, you need experiences, creativity, and skills to be able to articulate and engage. Faced with a classroom full of pupils at different stages of their development and in terms of their expanding abilities, being able to excite pupils about their learning can sometimes seem like an uphill struggle. If only you could provide that hook to get them to analytically, imaginatively and deeply think to offer a sense of purpose to the set task.

In their new book, Debra Kidd and Hywel Roberts firmly place teachers, and ultimately their students, in a range of different locations, where the learning inhabits, offering a fantastically imagined context with prompts, ideas and illustrations helping exploration and discovery. In a fascinating resource book, which can be used in many subject areas, across most stages in schools, the authors break down each chapter destination (including a forest, castle, graveyard, ship, zoo, cave, theme park) into a story starter – introducing the location and providing provocative initial questions; key landmarks (either for primary or secondary aged students), a stopover – providing a more in-depth account of their learning journey; stepping stones – context based tasks provided to also prod your imagination, and; the bedrock – offering a debrief of the processes, helping teachers understand the justification of the processes undertaken.

Accompanied by beautiful illustrations from Debra’s son Gabriel – offering a visual hook into the locations – each chapter is scattered with key questions to spark imaginations, accompanied by concepts and lines of inquiry, all justified by a list of curriculum areas where each idea can be applied. The ‘stopovers’ offer a real contextual example of how the ideas can be put into classroom learning experiences, incorporating drama, imagination and key discussion activities to help build a powerful narrative for students to then work towards the task-in-hand.

But what about assessment (I hear you ask)? Debra and Hywel have that covered, and this is given due consideration towards the end of the book – essentially no mark schemes are provided; you won’t find any success criteria, but an acknowledgement that the ideas are underpinned by opportunities for pupils to access and create texts, sparking a desire to write adding value in their learning providing a real purpose to the work being undertaken. Additionally, the book also provides a selection of useful drama techniques, but the front cover – when unfolded – also offers an additional resource which could be used throughout the learning adventures which are provided.

This is a great book for teachers who still think teaching creatively has an important part to play in their classroom. With the narrow curriculum being advocated by many education systems, the opportunities to still make your teaching creative are still there, with Debra and Hywel demonstrating how this is possible through any subject and at any educational stage. It only takes a bit of creative imagination, courage and belief in your pupils to help them develop into learners who think deeply, analytically and imaginatively.

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About @digicoled 169 Articles
Col Hill - Founder and editor of ukedchat. Also a bit of a tech geek! Project management, design thinking, and metacognition.

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