Using images in Geography #1 Identify, classify, rank and justify

Images are a great way of encouraging thinking skills in the geography classroom. This series of posts explores a range of strategies to support the development of thinking through the use of images.

Using images in Geography #1 Identify, classify, rank and justify

Identify, classify, rank and justify is a technique that can be used to explore the impact of a range of human and physical manifestations such as earthquakes, hurricanes, volcanic eruptions, deforestation and global warming. Using this technique involves sharing a collection of images that illustrate the primary and secondary impacts of an occurrence such as an earthquake along with human responses to it. An example is shown below.

First of all, learners identify the cause and impacts of the earthquake. This encourages them to consider what caused the problem and the different types of impacts this can cause. It is a useful way of introducing new information to learners (rather than just telling them!). It is useful to get feedback from students via targeted questioning to check understanding and overcome misconceptions.




Next, the learners then classify the impacts by attempting to group them. Learners can sometimes come up with some weird and wonderful groupings so it is worth checking learning by circulating and questioning. Lower attaining students may need a prompt to support them e.g. group the impacts into primary and secondary effects. The learners then have to identify a grouping for those images left over. In the case above this would be responses to the earthquake.

Learners then rank the primary and secondary effects according to their impact. They should then be encouraged to discuss these rankings in pairs to help consolidate their understanding and begin to give reasons for their choices.

Finally, they then produce a piece of extended writing to justify their views. This helps support students develop their ability to tackle higher order thinking questions.

I’ve found this technique works really well in my classroom with my students. If you have a go please let me know how it went.

If you use images in a way that has a positive impact on learning please use the contact form to get in touch!

Anthony Bennett

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