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Teachers’ notes | What future?

Learning objectives:

  • To consider the role of technology in improving life in the future
  • To speculate about alternative futures
  • To consider how sustainable development today can safeguard the lives of future generations

Guess the Gadget

This starter activity – where students have to identify a GPS digital mapping device – reinforces the idea of how technology has revolutionised life in Antarctica. This could be used in conjunction with the what (not) to wear activity that looks at changes in clothing and transport. To extend the activity, you could ask students to work in groups to design their own gadget that could help those living and working in Antarctica.

Which view of the future? (dig it up – let it be)

This is a group activity that uses Edward De Bono’s ‘six thinking hats’ decision-making technique that examines one of two views of Antarctica’s future from a variety of standpoints. Instead of allocating roles to individual students, all members of a group adopt each standpoint (‘hat’) together in turn.

The instructions for the activity could be displayed on the Interactive Whiteboard, although it would be a good idea to download, print and distribute a set of ‘hats’ and recording sheets to each group beforehand.

The two views of Antarctica’s future – “dig it up” and “let it be” are available as sound clips and as text-based downloads. During the activity you may want to use the activity timer to enforce a five minute limit on the time groups spend on each ‘hat’.

Reporting on the future

Using one of the newspaper templates provided, “Reporting on the future” is an individual task to follow up and reflect on the outcomes of the Which view of the future? activity. Both templates include sentence starters that cover the perspectives of the different ‘hats’ to help students structure their writing.