Investigating Our World

Year 5

Unit Overview

This project teaches children about locating map features using a range of methods. They learn about the Prime Meridian, Greenwich Mean Time (GMT), and worldwide time zones and study interconnected climate zones, vegetation belts and biomes. Children learn about human geography and capital cities worldwide before looking at the UK motorway network and settlements.


Planning a real route to use later in the year.


Research notes


Comparing outside reality to ordnance survey map.

Unit Sequence: Learning Intentions

  1. Use compass points, grid references and scale to interpret maps, including Ordnance Survey maps, with accuracy. Analyse and compare a place, or places, using aerial photographs. atlases and maps. Recap seven continents, and compare size, shape, location, climate. Give children ordnance survey map of local area and using Cornerstones question examples (Engage, lesson 1) discuss what they can see. Recap on compass directions, keys, grid references, scales, contour lines (or lack of). Go outside and compare reality to map.

  2. Identify the location and explain the function of the Prime (or Greenwich) Meridian and different time zones (including day and night). Label a world map and focus in on personally significant countries, label latitude, longitude, equator, N/S hemisphere, tropics, Arctic and Antarctic circle. Using BBC Bitesize introduce time zones and complete their quiz.

  3. Name, locate and describe major world cities. Using atlases, digital maps and fact files create research notes and maps.

  4. Identify and explain ways that people can improve the production of products without compromising the needs of future generations.

  5. Describe and explain the location, purpose and use of transport networks across the UK and other parts of the world. How is the world connected? Google maps-zoom in so we can see motorways. How is Manchester connected to other areas? Plan a route to the place we will be visiting later in the year during our fieldwork activities.


Map quiz - Starting with a world map adding information leading to an ordnance survey map adding missing information, e.g . completing the key, adding features etc.


Ordnance survey maps, atlases, digital maps, research fact cards.