SPIT SPOTTER! CALSHOT SPIT AND ITS DEVELOPMENT
Designed to support a school trip to Red Funnel Ferries
GEOGRAPHY Key Stage 4
Variants: High Ability students
Human and Physical Geography
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This is a geography resource which engages students with the environment of Southampton Water and The Solent, whilst on their Red Funnel ferry journey across to and/or from the Isle of Wight.
It includes pre-visit, on-site, and post-visit activities. This resource focuses mainly on the physical geography of the area. The title of the resource: ‘Spit spotters’ gives it away – the aim is to learn all about spits! Students will learn some ‘background’ on the physical processes which lead to the development of spits (and indeed other landforms) i.e. long-shore drift and deposition.
On board the ferry, they will learn about the stages in the development of spits, and their key characteristics, and they will have the opportunity to observe and sketch Calshot Spit as they pass close
to it. On the higher ability worksheet, a further extension tasks also promotes students to consider the (many) human uses of the spit and the potential issues this might create.
A follow-up, post-visit activity guides students to a website where they will conduct further independent research into Calshot Spit and produce a presentation.
The pre-visit activity starts by introducing the idea to students that
the coast is a dynamic, constantly changing system, and that many different factors affect its shape and morphology both in the long-term and in the short term. The pre-visit activities focus on the short-term influences of physical processes, and students will learn what long- shore drift is as a fundamental concept in understanding how spits form.
The activity ‘what is long shore drift’ is differentiated on the higher and lower ability worksheet but the outcome will be the same; students define the term long-shore drift. They then develop their knowledge through a sentence sorting activity based on what they have read, and also annotate a diagram to explain the process
of long-shore drift. Students also need to understand why deposition occurs, as spits are one of the coastal landforms of deposition, and a ‘true or false’ activity encourages them to consider why deposition occurs (under what conditions) and to try to explain their reasoning. These activities form the basis for their understanding of the on-site tasks. If desired, teachers could introduce spits before the ferry journey and an excellent animation can be found here to assist with this:
On board the ferry, Calshot Spit lies roughly half way through the crossing, providing the opportunity for students to learn about the formation of a spit before they then see one ‘in the flesh’. They are provided with some information to read and a diagram – both should be studied carefully. The ‘spit story’ activity aims to give them the opportunity to demonstrate how well they have understood the processes involved in the formation of a spit, through some creative writing.
The activity can be adapted to suit the ability and preferences of students, i.e. a cartoon strip or series of diagrams with a ‘slogan’ may be preferable to writing a full ‘story’. A combination of good imaginations and good geography is the key!
Students will see Calshot Spit at the mouth of Southampton Water, where it meets The Solent. A frame has been provided for students to sketch the spit as they pass, and to label its main features. More able students may also add annotations to explain how/why it formed here (and why it is this shape). All students could take some photos as they pass; these may be useful in the presentations they will produce later.
There is an extension activity for more able pupils to examine the human uses of the spit, of which there are many. Photos provided in the worksheet are labelled to show what the various buildings are, and students should think about the impact (positive and negative) of these human activities on the spit.
The post-visit activity uses the New Forest District Coastal Management Plan which can be found at the following website:
Here, they will find further information about the spit, its importance, issues being faced, and how it is being managed. They are given a set of criteria/headings that they must find out about. Putting together their own primary fieldwork (photos/sketch) with what they find out through researching this secondary source, they will produce a presentation on Calshot Spit.
Key Skills Practised
Understanding key processes physical geography
Conducting fieldwork by making observations and applying their observations to specific tasks
Drawing a field sketch
Carrying out independent research
Students will learn what long-shore drift is and how the process operates at the coast. They will also learn about deposition, and when deposition occurs to form landforms.
During the Visit
Students learn about the formation of spits, and they then make observations and draw a sketch of Calshot Spit as they pass.
Students conduct their own further research into the spit using an excellent website, and produce presentations of their findings (both through primary fieldwork, and secondary research).
Students will be able to define what long-shore drift is, and will be able to explain the process. Students will understand what deposition is, and be able to explain what conditions lead to deposition occurring. Students will be able to define what a spit is, and explain its formation. Students will know the key features of Calshot Spit. Students will conduct independent research to find out more about Calshot Spit, and will put their own findings together with this research into a presentation.
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This page was last updated on: 01/06/2016