What is in my neighbourhood?

1. Real Life Situation

Uma has just started in my class at school. They moved here from a long way away, so his parents had to buy a new house for the whole family and their dog to live in.

I am going over to play at Uma’s house later, I wonder what his house will be like. Mine is quite small and I have to share a room with my brother, he leaves his stuff lying all over the floor. In winter it gets really cold and I have to wear my pullover indoors, mummy says it is better to wear a pullover than turn up the heating. Uma was very surprised when I said I wear a pullover inside because his house is so warm.

The best thing about my house is the back garden. I have a great den at the bottom made from lots of things I have found. The shed has all my dads tools in for looking after the garden where we grow lots of flowers, but also food to eat.

Uma said his house is brand new, and has lots of gadgets. Everyone has their own room and they have a huge garden. Uma says the energy comes from the sun!

If I move house I am going to tell my parents exactly what I want it to be like and where I want it to be! It will definitely have a room of my own!

2. Introduction

introductionYou and your parents are going to be moving very soon to a new town. Your parents will not make their decision about where to live on their own, they will include you as well in the decision making process. What facilities would you like to have in your new neighbourhood? Should your school be very close or is the playground more important?





3. Task

What would your ideal neighbourhood look like? In this web quest you will first investigate what your current neighbourhood looks like. You can do this by walking through your local area but also by looking from above with help of satellite images. By creating a birds eye view drawing you will be able to show the rest of the class what the neighbourhood looks like now. But how would it look if its up to you to design it? You will redesign your local area based on ideas from the internet and your own thoughts.

4. Activities

Activity 1: What does your neighbourhood look like?
Activity 2: What would you like in your neighbourhood?
Activity 3: Design your own neighbourhood


 Activity 1: What does your neighbourhood look like?

taskEvery neighbourhood has houses, shops, schools and usually a green area. What does your neighbourhood look like? Your research area is the streets around the school.

This activity has three parts:
•    Your own investigation in the neighbourhood.
•    Looking up satellite images.
•    Drawing your own map with the help of your own investigation and the satellite images.

a) Work in a small group of 3 - 4. You will need a pencil and paper. Go outside and investigate the block around the school (make sure you are accompanied by your teacher). Draw a rough map with your group. Make a birds eye plan drawing of the streets and all houses, other buildings, trees and everything else you see around you. Use a new sheet of paper for every street you draw.

b)    What does your neighbourhood look like if you look at it from above? Fill in your address here. You will see the normal map. If you click at the upper right side on satellite then you will be able to see the satellite image. You can move and zoom with the arrows in the upper left corner.

Have a look at your own home and the homes of your group members as well.

A map is an aerial plan drawing with a legend and scale.

c) Make your own map of your neighbourhood.


 Activity: 2: What would you like in your neighbourhood?

There are big differences between neighbourhoods for example what type of facilities there are, shops, open spaces, busy streets, pedestrian areas, safe road crossings, big blocks of flats, the amount of litter on the streets. Some neighbourhoods are nice to live in, while other neighbourhoods are not as nice.

Read this article where happiness is linked to what your neighbourhood looks like. Don't forget to click on the coloured words to see examples of the different neighbourhoods.

What would you like to have in your neighbourhood? What would you definitely not like be a part of your neighbourhood?

Make a list of things would you would like and not like in your neighbourhood. Explain why you made these choices.

An example: You like lots of blocks of flats and apartments in your neighbourhood because you will always have plenty friends to play with.
You don’t like a lot of apartment buildings in your neighbourhood because the neighbours bother you with their music, which is always too loud.


 Activity 3: Design your own neighbourhood

You probably have a lot of ideas about how you can improve your local area. Design and make your own plan of your ideal neighbourhood. Try to put as many ideas from your list into the design. You can make an aerial plan map or a drawing, which will help provide an insight into the neighbourhood.


5. Reflection

Write down three things you have learnt about what is in your neighbourhood.

Write down two things you would like to find out more about.

Choose one of these things, how could you find out more about it?

Buildings and Grounds learning wall

6. Conclusion

You have investigated your own neighbourhood and created your ideal neighbourhood. Is there a big difference?
If you have more time, ask your teacher about making a cardboard scale model of your drawing. 

7. Teacher notes

Age: 10-12

Activity 1: What does your neighbourhood look like? (60 minutes)
Activity 2: What would you like in your neighbourhood? (20 minutes)
Activity 3: Design your own neighbourhood (20 minutes)

Curriculum / Subject (cross-curricular links):

Learning Objectives:

By the end of the quest all students will:
Have a better understanding of their own neighbourhood
Be able to put their ideas into a 3D drawing
List several conditions which are important for living in a neighbourhood

Supporting Information

Teacher assesment framework


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