"Maldivian Geography: Island Treasure Hunt"
Today, we're going to study the geography of Villingili. Depending on your age and abilities, you may do this assignment alone or together with a parent or other company. Make sure you're wearing sunscreen and appropriate outdoor clothes. Take the ferry from Malé to Villingili. Record the ferry terminal -- the first place you should identify on an island. Ride a bicycle around the island for at least one hour and no more than four hours. Find and photograph as many of these as you can:
* a Maldivian sign for an information booth
* a flag for the Republic of Maldives
* a public beach
* a water sports area
* a changing room
* a dottie
* a masjid
* a medical facility
* a café or restaurant
* a theater or other entertainment
* a store
* a park
* a pink rose
* a hotel or other place to stay
* a residential neighborhood
These are some of the things that people most often want to find when they visit a new island. You can also mark any other sites that interest you.
Take notes about where each place is located. How are different buildings grouped together? How are the streets laid out? Are paths for cars and bicycles or pedestrians shared or separate? What do the green spaces look like? About how big is the island? How is it shaped? Is the island mostly urban, suburban, rural, or wilderness? How are those areas arranged?
When you get home, print out your snapshots. Get a large sheet of paper and some tacky glue or removable tape. Make a map of Villingili using your notes and pictures to mark where things are. Show the route you took on your bicycle. For now, just work from your memory and the records you made, rather than looking up more details.
Tomorrow we will use street maps, aerial photographs, and other resources to study Villingili from a different perspective. Then you will be able to compare your trip and the map you made with those materials.
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This lesson was written for Malé, the most populated area of the Maldives, and its neighboring island Villingili. You can adapt it to any other destination. You may need to start with an airport or a teleport pad, but always begin by recording your arrival point. Different islands will have different types of place to explore. You may repeat this activity in other places that you want to learn, keeping a scrapbook of your adventures so you can compare the different places you visited. You can also revisit the same place walking or driving instead of biking to see if you notice different things. This lesson works for anyone who wants to learn about a place -- local children, tourists, immigrants, and so on -- although you might want to focus on a slightly different treasure hunt list based on your interests.
Project: Visit and explore an island, taking notes and photos to use in mapping the field trip.
Skill Use: During this activity, students will:
* Practice appropriate preparations for outdoor travel.
* Get exercise by biking for 1-4 hours.
* Navigate streets and/or bike paths, with assistance if necessary.
* Practice social skills while interacting with people.
* Take photographs for reference.
* Practice writing and reading as they take and use notes.
* Use a computer to print photographs.
* Practice manual dexterity, visual-spatial perception, drawing, and creativity as they make a map of their route and points of interest.
Objectives: After visiting the island, students will be able to:
* Identify the ferry landing or other point of entry for the island.
* Recognize a Maldivian sign for information.
* Point out the flag for the Republic of Maldives.
* Show where to find points of interest on the island.
* Demonstrate a general awareness of the island's geography.
Assessment: If desired, knowledge gained from the activity may be tested in various ways, such as asking the student to:
* Label a blank map of the island.
* List a certain number of places that people commonly look for on an island.
* Name a certain number of locations visited.
* Describe how to reach a given location.
Expansion: This lesson provides a foundation for other lessons, including those based on the individual interests or needs of each student. The standard followup lesson involves looking up street maps, aerial photos, and other information about the island for comparison with personal records from the field trip. Additional lessons can adapt to the student's skill level across a wide range of subjects. Students might also decide to:
* Read about the history of the island and its role in the Maldives.
* Study the plants and animals living on the island.
* Study the formation of volcanic islands.
* Research a place they saw, then plan a return visit for deeper exploration.
* Identify places they did not see, then plan a trip to visit those.
* Plan a trip to a different island for comparison.
* Make a budget for a day trip.
* Investigate how people travel between islands in the Maldives.
* Analyze the geometry of streets and paths in urban planning.
* Explore the role of tourism and hospitality in the Maldives.
* Learn about masjids, friendship rooms, and religion in the Maldives.
* Try plein air artwork at a public beach or plaza on the island.
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Villingili lies just west of Malé in the North Male Atoll of the Maldives.
The flag of the Republic of Maldives has a white waning crescent moon on a green field inside a wide red border.
The national flower of the Republic of Maldives is Finifenmaa or Pink Rose (Rosa polyantha).
Making a lesson plan involves laying out activities and learning objectives. You can either start by choosing an activity and then identifying things that students could learn from it; or you can start by choosing the goals and then figuring out an activity that would teach those things. Use different senses and learning styles to explore information. A formal lesson plan is fussy and often inefficient. Project-based learning often works better. Read about how to make a PBL lesson plan. Here are some common skills laid out in progression for young children, which can be used to determine skill use or learning objectives. If you're not stuck in a conventional school, however, you are free to pick and choose any of this that seems useful and discard whatever isn't, ignoring all the "must" chatter in favor of what actually works. Conventional education has a pretty poor energy return on energy invested.