Our Wonderful World

Year 1

Unit Overview

This essential skills and knowledge project teaches children about physical and human features, maps, cardinal compass points, and positional and directional language. They learn about the equator, hemispheres and continents and are introduced to the countries, capital cities and settlements of the United Kingdom. The children carry out simple fieldwork to find out about local physical and human features. The children learn to draw a simple linear map and relate emotionally to places around school.


Bus tour of Manchester city centre.


The class will have the opportunity to label maps.


Walk around the local area.

Locating key features outside the classroom.

Playing eye spy using locational band directional clues.

Going on a journey stick.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. What is Geography? -Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key physical and human features as children walk around the local area.

  2. Maps - Explore a range of maps such as digital, aerial, picture, globe, maps in atlases. Draw or read a simple picture map noting human and physical features using a simple key.

  3. Location and directional language - Use simple compass directions (North, South, East and West) and locational and directional language (e.g. near and far; left and right), to describe the location of features and routes on a map. Using the picture map from last lesson discuss the term 'location' Describe the location of different features on the map. How are the features locations related? Outside- Pick a directional card and the children follow the instruction. note human and physical features in school ground. Play 'I Spy' using locational and directional language.

  4. Continents and oceans. - Use world maps, atlases and globes to identify and locate the continents and oceans studied at this key stage. Using Google Earth discuss what Earth is? (It is where we live and is covered in land and water.) Find the 7 continents and 5 oceans on world maps using atlases and globes along side Google Earth. Label a world map.

  5. Hot and cold places - Locate hot and cold areas of the world in relation to the equator. Identify the similarities and differences between two places - Recapping on last lesson locate the continents and oceans on a world map. Introduce the equator, it's location and how the equator divides Earth in to north and south. Using simple map showing world temperature note places nearer the equator are hotter than places further away. Locate North and South Pole.

  6. The U.K. - Name and locate the four countries of the UK and their capital cities on a map, atlas or globe. Complete map of U.K. locating and labelling countries and capital cities. Play 'location I spy' to note where the countries are in relation to each other and in which country each city is..

  7. Settlements - Identify the characteristics of a settlement. Use basic geographical vocabulary to refer to key human features, including: city, town, village. Discuss the terms village, town, city. What are the differences/similarities? Look at where we live-Middleton. Is this a town or city? How do we know? Discuss if children go into our city - Manchester. Why do they go there? How is it different? How do they get there? Children go on a bus tour of the city centre.

  8. Journey stick - Use subject specific language. Use first hand observation to enhance their locational awareness. Complete a journey around the school grounds adding information to their stick as they walk around. Create a simple linear map of their journey adding emoji faces where applicable and noting human and physical features.


'Guess what' game. ( A describing game)



Follow that map by Scot Ritchie