Well what fun I had with my Year 8s today! The introductory lesson on bearings, with a twist...no writing or drawing at all! Instead we were down in the hall having fun with direction, playing team games and challenges. So much enthusiasm and energy involved, it tired me out just watching them!
On a practical note, the equipment used was:
A ball of wool
Board sized protractors
8 or 9 hula hoops.
Activity 1: North, South, East, West.
You haven't lived if you didn't play this game as a child - someone stands in the middle of a large space and shouts directions, which everyone has to run to. I started by standing in one of the hoops in the middle of the hall and only defining North, and leaving them to figure out where the others are, and then off we went. Following a few of the cardinal directions, I then started to throw in NE, SW etc and ultimately things like NNE. This of course is where it started to get interesting as to how precise I could be, and is what motivated the need for bearings. After a brief discussion about using angle measures, and the need for two lines to create an angle (one, the direction of travel, the other a line pointing due North) and the need to measure clockwise (otherwise two different directions for the same angle), we moved on to Activity 2...
Activity 2: Find your bearing.
Leaving the hoop in the middle we tied a piece of wool to it and then stretched it out and taped it down to create a North line. I then threw the hoops around the hall and got teams of three to try and measure the bearing from the centre hoop to their assigned hoop. They used the board-sized protractors and more wool (typically each group had one person stood in the hoop in the middle, one person standing on a line to their assigned hoop, and then one person measuring) and had to be accurate enough to satisfy me to score points. This was my checking and consolidation exercise, used to pick up on an early misconceptions (i.e. people not measuring clockwise etc). This finally led on to the fun Activity 3....
Activity 3: Jump in the hoop.
To finish with we went back in to the teams and each team lined up at different points around the room. I put 2 of the board practors down back to back (and overlapping a bit) to create a makeshift 360 degree protractor and we played a game where I would shout a bearing, and the first team to put their circle on the bearing and stand in it scored the point. Each team then had to run back and give the hoop to the next one in line, and join the back of the queue ready to go again. The scramble to get hoops down was a definite sight to behold!
I cant say I have ever enjoyed the start to a topic more; however taxing it was really to manage all of the practical elements (I think I was as exhausted as some of the kids by the end of it), it was definitely worth it!