Geographic Skills and SOLO (Functional Knowledge)

One of the realisations I had earlier in the year was that I could better help my students in their use of Geographic Skills to show their understandings. They were not seeing a pathway for improvement. Solution: Create visual rubrics. My experience with previous rubrics has been that the more words in them, the less they are read. I am a huge fan of Pam Hook’s visual rubrics and my creations are really adaptions of her work but specifically for a Geographic context.

The first was for drawing a Precis Sketch or Map. I was sick of students saying “I can’t draw” and thinking that was the end of it. What they were really saying I think was “I do not have any effective strategies for improving and I need your help Mr Perry). Enter, the Rubric:


My vision is that next year, I have these as Posters around our Geography rooms as visual reminders to students and staff of pathways for improving.

The second example came from marking yr13 student work and realising that they were not understanding how to apply a visual diagram to their written work. This was frustrating to me as I had spent heaps of time talking through the assessment  specifications which all say “your answer may be supported or enhanced by maps,diagrams or visual”. Again,  my failing, the skill of doing this hadn’t been made visible enough. Rubric time:Image

This one was really gratifying as when I talked it through with students they clicked and immediately saw how to improve for themselves. The quality of work in following assessments dramatically improved. Talking with one of my yr13 students who has just sat his Scholarship exam, this was super useful as there is always a modify or create your own diagram questions – extended abstract diagram skills.

Right, what i should really be doing is putting these ideas together for my ICOT presentation PowerPoint. More to come.

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