Notes & comments: This lesson was designed to help students visualise contours spatially. The students were given a template to enable them to build a small contour model (7cm x 7cm). The students could then compare the 3D model to a flat contour plan to identify for example ridgelines, valleys and peaks.
In terms of the effectiveness of the lesson, many of the students threw their models away at the end of the lesson. Subsequent tutorials and the term test indicated that at least half the class still didn’t understand basic concepts and could not correctly identify valleys, ridgelines and peaks.
In future, students should build individual models, as opposed to working in pairs, and should be encouraged to keep their models as a reference for the rest of the term.