KEY QUESTION: What are the things we value most about where we live?
The idea of ‘Top 10′ lists is very familiar to learners of all ages and has become part of popular culture with a wealth of resources available to draw upon should you choose to.
The suggested activities use this relatively simple concept to engage learners in exploring how they value their place. The activities draw on a range of skills including research, discussion, sorting, justification, presentation and reflection.
1. Introduce learners to the idea of Top 10 lists. Can they think of examples that they are familiar with? Here are some suggestions for easy to research lists if you want to use them:
…richest/poorest countries in the world
…cities by population size
2. Ask the learners to think about their own place. If they were to compile a top 10 for where they live, what would they include and why? For younger learners or smaller locations (i.e. village school rather than city school) you may choose to reduce to top 5.
The focus for collating a top 10 could be anything, but here are some ideas you could use or adapt:
…places to take a visitor
You can manage this activity in a variety of ways, but we would suggest that it is well suited to groups of perhaps 5 learners. This can allow each of them to select 1 or 2 items for the top 10 and therefore ensure that everyone is represented equally.
3. Once they have generated their top 10, each group can present their ideas back to the others. Whilst the presentation could be creative and fun, it is important to return learners to the thinking behind the choices. Why did they choose those things? If different groups chose different things then why might that have been?
Some ideas for presenting back to each other could include:
Produce a leaflet (a bit like a tourist guide) to showcase your top 10
Script and present a radio broadcast, modelling the music chart countdown
Produce a map to physically show where your top 10 are in your place
Write a review of your place and incorporate the top 10 (in the style of the city reviews that can appear in weekend papers and magazines for example)
4. Once learners have become familiar with this method, it could be used to explore more complex and controversial issues. You could, for example, use the same process to structure questions such as:
The things I value most about where we live are…
The places I feel safest where I live are…
The greatest opportunities/barriers to community cohesion in our place is…
The thing I most hope for/fear in my future living here is…
For younger learners you could extend the method to look at more personal and shared identity issues around music, fashion, food, colours, sounds etc.