Arthur lives on Chyrose Farm in Pendeen, a remote village at the tip of Cornwall right by the sea. Arthur is 84 years old and has farmed all his life. He has seen a lot of changes in his lifetime and remembers working his land with horses. Like many farmers, he knows every field by its name. Although Arthur still lives on his farm, he now rents his land out to his neighbours who use it for cutting silage and grazing.
What to look for…
- See how many field names you can remember.
- See if you can work out why these fields have these particular names.
Alternatively, watch this digital story on YouTube here.
Ideas for discussion…
- Why do you think fields have names?
- Do any of you have your own special names for places you know? If any pupils live on a farm, do they know any of their farm’s field names?
- What field names can you remember from Arthur’s story?
- Can you work out why each field got its name?
Ask a local farmer…
- Do any of your fields have names?
- Can you talk through some of these names?
- What factors would have influenced what name each field was given?
- Have the names changed over time?
- Can you give an example of how you might use a field name in a sentence?
- Do you have any favorite fields?
- What stories would these fields tell if they could? (What changes have they seen?)
Find your school on Googlemaps and look at the land around it.
Discuss this land and the characteristics of each field or area.
Do the pupils have any stories about any of these spaces?
Make a key for your map, thinking about these characteristics.
Add symbols (real or interpretive) to each space and put these into a Key. Give each space a name and add this to your map. This can be done by working on print-outs of this map or by taking a screen shot and working on a computer program such as Photoshop.
Get Hands on…
- Large reasonably strong paper or card (this can be pieced together from separate sheets if necessary).
- Marker pen.
Get children to zoom in or out of the map so that there are the same number of spaces (fields or areas with clear boundaries) as children in the class.
Using as projector or magic whiteboard, enlarge your chosen Googlemaps area onto large paper or card.
Get pupils to takes turns tracing the outline of each space using a black marker pen.
Cut out all the spaces and hand one to each child.
Lead the children through an imaginary journey across their section of land.
Get children to close their eyes, whilst holding their piece of land. Prompt children to imagine what their section of land is like;
- Feel the edge of your land and imagine walking around it- what’s around the edges of your land?
- Imagine walking across your land- What does it feel like under foot? What is the ground like? Are their any paths? Do you have to walk around anything?
- Think about what time of year it is- is there anything growing on your land?
- What sounds can you hear on your land?
- Can you smell anything?
- Imagine running your hand across your land- what does it feel like?
- Are there any traces of the past on your land-what story would it be telling you?
- What are you going to call your piece of land?
Using wax crayons draw marks onto your land.
Include symbols, words and details.
Encourage children to be creative.Consider Birds Eye views and drawing from above.
Name your land
Either using wax crayons or a key for the whole class, get each child to name their piece of land.
Using paint to add a wash over your land.
Encourage children to think about colours.
What does the colour represent on their land?
How does that colour make them feel?
Look at an object or area of land and see how many tones make up each block of colour.
Piece together your class map.
Once dry the map needs to be pieced back together like a field jigsaw; their own plot of land in a larger context.
An alternative method (as in this photo) is to use clear acetate; cutting 2 field shapes per person.
1. Paint onto one side of the acetate using washable acrylic paint, applied with cue tips.
2. Whilst paint is wet, sandwich the matching piece of acetate on top of the paint to seal. Press together.
3. Use black permanent markers to draw onto the top of the painted field (after sandwiched together) to add detail to the field.
(Note: with this technique it is important to make sure children paint onto the correct side of acetate, so that the fields can all be pieced together into the map)