You'll find lots of ideas below about how to engage learners with their local area. These may be particularly useful as pre- or post-visit activities to embed learning.

Get Outdoors!

The history of your local area is all around you! We encourage you to get out into the open and explore your locality.

These activities are designed to help you do just that.

They cover a range of cross curricular topics and have a Local History focus.  They  are intended to complement field trips, walks and outside investigations of your local area.

Many of the activities have been tried and tested by school pupils many of whom visited Chat Moss, a  large area of peat bog covering Irlam, Barton, Little Woolden, Cadishead and Great Woolden Mosses. They can, of course, be adapted to suit your own locality.

Remember to remind everyone to be a responsible walker! Respect private land by sticking to public footpaths. Be aware of farm and general traffic, and leave the wildlife in peace.  

The 'night soil' train - Chat Moss


Starter Activity - Alphabet Acrostic

Look around you! Use all the letters in the alphabet to describe the area and things you can see around you. Try and think of as many words as possible for each letter of the alphabet. Download the worksheet provided for this activity.

Alternatively, use the name of the place you are visiting to form your acrostic.

Starter Activity - Where am I?

Arrange a visit to an area near your school, for example a local park.

Ask the children to draw  themselves  and the things that they  can see around them.

View Finders Activity


Viewfinders are a great way of focusing attention on details or buildings and encouraging learners to look carefully at something.

  • Download the  template provided and photocopy the viewfinder onto A4 white card. 
  • Cut out enough for one per pupil. Cut out around the edge then cut out the centre, you may need a craft knife to cut out the middle sections of the viewfinders.
  • Hold the viewfinder towards what you want to draw. They can be used to focus on a specific area or object. See how it frames the object. Draw what you see inside the frame.
  • Practice focusing at school before you explore your local area. 
  • Look at one small area and describe it to other pupils. Can pupils guess what is being described?
  •  Use the viewfinders to help with making sketches of particular areas or objects on your trip out of the classroom.

Plenary Activity - ideas for the classroom

Creative writing:

Read all about it! Write a newspaper article on one of the following subjects: –

Your visit to a local area

A historic event or well known local person from the past


To get you started, here are some tips:

  • Choose a topic
  • Get out and feel it, hear it, see it 
  • What’s it doing? 
  • Think of it as a person – what game is it playing? 
  • Make it rhyme or not – it’s your poem so it can’t be wrong 
  • About 8–12 lines 
  • Have fun!


Choose a photograph to study. 

Develop the dialogue between 2 characters from the photographs. Work in pairs and act out these unique conversations.


Interview Me!

Invite people from local community to come in and talk about their experiences

Prepare questions to ask and interview them.

Use the answers to these questions to inform debate, literacy or creative work

Creative Activity - Lasagne sheet mosaics

by artist Mark Mennell

Try creating a mosaic depicting the story of your local area. Use old photographs for inspiration. This worksheet will show you how to do it using card and lasagne sheets!

Some suggested ideas to get you started:

  • Local History
  • Natural History (plant life, birds, animals and insects local to the area)
  • What you like to do at school or a self portrait
Lasagne Sheet Mosaic - Artist: Mark Mennell

Creative Activity - Wooden spoon puppets

by artist Nerissa Cargill Thompson

Create  a puppet show to tell some of the stories of your area. Look at old photos  and use these to help you identify the characters and design the costumes for the puppets.

Wooden spoon puppets are quick to make  and will let you easily create your own puppet characters to tell stories.

Find or create a story that you like and want to turn it into a puppet show and let this guide the puppet characters that you make.

Creative Activity - Drawing Exercises

by artist Julie Mosley

Pupils will really enjoy these quick fun activities! The drawing with two hands activity really engages both sides of the brain.

Creative Activity - Felt Making

Artist: Jane Dennerly

Create a large textile wall hanging using a variety of different techniques and stitches. The completed felt pieces can be used to make a variety of different things, such as pictures, mobile phone covers and purses. The felt can easily be stitched and buttons, beads and ribbons can be attached to embellish your piece.

Felt Making - Artist: Jane Dennerly

Creative Activity - Wax Resist

by artist Julie Mosley

This technique gives a similar effect to the designs used when making textile wall hangings.

Wax Resist - Artist: Julie Mosley