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Topics - Daniel Raven-Ellison

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What could you have climbed after walking up your stairs 10, 20 or 100 times?
If 1000 students walked up 3 floors, what could they have collaboratively climbed the height of?

Over 10 days starting next week I'm walking the height of Everest by only using stairs in London buildings. Working with Ordnance Survey we have created a cool calculator that students can use to see what they could have climbed the height of by entering in how many steps they have walked up.

As well as playing with basic geographies of distance, location, scale and relativity... I am looking forward to exploring London's skyline.

During the 10 days it would be great if you wanted to join in at your school in some way... I will be very pleased to reply to any tweets. I will also be monitoring #StepUpMountain and responding to things there.

Can you see links to your work?

Many thanks.

General Discussion / A Greater London National Park*
« on: April 14, 2014, 10:26:09 AM »
What would a National Park City be like?

A couple of weeks ago I worked with a small team to create a website for the Greater London National Park* (*Officially a Notional Park). The site is a provocation that is based on a serious idea. While the site focusses on London, clearly other cities could be suggested too...

Please do take a look at the site which mirrors official National Park websites:

The "Help make it real" section gives a visions and reasons for the park:

And you will find a Student challenge at:

I also wrote a short piece for Nat Geo Education that you can read at:

It is clearly a controversial idea... I would love to know what you think.

Promotions / Mission:Explore Water
« on: January 03, 2014, 07:49:34 PM »
New for 2014, Mission:Explore Water is a series of creative and inspirational activities that help children to learn all about water.

Download the student book and teacher notes to discover 51 different activities that investigate:

- Rain
- Rivers and flow
- Harvesting water
- Using water
- Waste water

Brimming with outdoor and exploration-based activities, Mission:Explore Water is an original and engaging way to teach and learn about water. It is also overflowing with ideas for taking part in:

> February 2 - World Wetlands Day
> March 14 - International Day of Action for Rivers
> March 22 - World Water Day
> March 23 - World Meteorological Day

Free, illustrated, innovative, cross-curricular and printable Mission:Explore is available now. Please support our Thunderclap and download yourself a copy:

General Discussion / The Great Nature Project
« on: September 04, 2013, 02:50:14 PM »
The Great Nature Project - a great bit of citizen science from Nat Geo..

"For 125 years, National Geographic has dedicated itself to inspiring people to care about the planet. Now we want to ignite the world's appreciation for, and awareness of, biodiversity during a worldwide celebration in September 2013. Our goal is to encourage one million participants from around the globe to go out into their neighborhoods, and take and upload a photograph of a plant or animal with the hashtag #GreatNature.

Use this collection of resources to dig deeper into biodiversity, explore citizen science, and develop photography skills. Plan your own species inventory during a bioblitz or learn about conservation of weird and wild flora, fauna, and everything in between. We encourage you to make the Great Nature Project your own—after all, we are all explorers."

"The Mission:Explore online Summer Camp is going to be 100 days of warped adventures, wild activities and daring challenges. Join the Summer Camp community and from June 1st you will be sent daily missions to explore the great outdoors, no matter where in the world you are.

Carefully crafted by our camp challengers, you will be sent missions to attempt by National Geographic, National Parks, the RSPB, Scouts, John Muir and other exploration experts.

Complete the daring missions outdoors and you will develop your expertise in Mission:Exploring and discover new things about yourself and the world around you. You'll have some random fun and be able to pick up some rewards too."

General Discussion / #GuerrillaGeographyDay - Feb 7
« on: January 29, 2013, 06:59:52 PM »

The next Guerrilla Geography Day is on Feb 7th and focusses on the theme of Gender Representation. It's a radical piece of fieldwork and it would be great if you could join in some way.

I hope this looks of interest. Do let me know if you have any questions, thoughts, ideas or comments!


General Discussion / #GuerrillaGeographyDay - Nov 7
« on: October 01, 2012, 02:10:06 PM »
November 7th is the first ever Guerrilla Geography Day. It was suggested by Steven Mouldey in New Zealand and is being collaboratively developed at:

Please do take a look and get involved if you can. If you have any questions please do let me know.

Promotions / TGC Geography Camp in Derbyshire this November
« on: September 09, 2012, 10:14:04 PM »
Free on November 30th - December 2nd? It would be great to see you for....

The Geography Collective ~ Derbyshire Camp
Guerrilla Geography
Hide, Seek, Scavenger, (wo)man hunt and woodland games
Geographies of Beer with City Farmers (Real Ale included)
Mapping the boundaries of your freedom with Matt
Game Design for Cities with Jana
Something to do with nature and play with Juliet
Life beyond detention: Women, Home & Mental Health with Menah
The Geography of... - The (re)start of a collaborative book
Creation of The Guerrilla Box
Geography Curriculum by The Government with Alan
Summer Festivals 2013 Planning
Freestyle landscape Painting
1:1:1 Micro-Expeditions
TGC Big Meeting
Lift shares organised
Dance with Christina
Certificates of (non-)attendence
Guerrilla Geography Day 2013
Writing for Mission:Explore workshop
A walk, some serious silliness and other stuff
More TBA

Promotions / Win 30 copies of Mission:Explore Food
« on: July 21, 2012, 12:00:24 PM »

Promotions / Mission:Explore Food - Available to download
« on: June 29, 2012, 09:30:58 AM »
In advance of the offline digital launch on Saturday we’re very pleased to share Mission:Explore Food with you, online and on iBooks. The printed edition will be available from September. Please do 'grab' a digital copy and let us know what you think about it.

Graphicly – View online
(Use the code Obbligato for 50% off. Limited offer.)

iBooks – Download onto iTouch, iPhone or iPad

We're also looking for some schools to visit in September/October time. We will be offering mission workshops, talks and more. If you would potentially like to be part of the Mission:Explore Expeditionary Tour please let us know below.

What some people are saying about Mission:Explore Food

“Oh blimey the book is BRILLIANT!!!!! It needs to be in every school in the country!” Emma Freud

“This is a brilliant book.” Rob Bushby, John Muir Award Manager, John Muir Trust.

“It’s not a book for the bookshelf; it’s one to have out, finger-marked and grubby from all the activities that lie within. Brilliant – I love it!” Bob Digby.

“A must have book for any adult wanting to grow their own well balanced child!” Huw James, Science Junkie.

“Bear Grylls meets Jamie with a hint of Guerrilla.” Bob Lang.

“Do you know a child that loves getting their hands dirty and playing with their food? Then this is the book for them! Packed with fun missions and guerrilla gardening, Mission:Explore Food will get children thinking more about where their food comes from. Right, I’m going to plant an ugly vegetable…” Ruth Hendry, Planet Science.

“This is an amazing book. It’s anarchic and chaotic (in a good way). It is also cleverly set out to entice all those who take eating for granted to think a little bit about things that sometimes don’t get thought about at all! Most important of these? Soil!” David Lambert.

“Reading this book is like climbing into another world: where guerrilla geographers live. They like stinky smells, bleugh tastes, behaving strangely, imagining things that couldn’t exist and then making them anyway, laughing inappropriately, and learning some serious geography in the process. Once you are in, you will never escape. Your eyes, ears, tongue, nose, feet, hair, brain, um … sandwiches are in the blender. A masterpiece of food geography. Probably the only book I will ever recommend to my undergrads, buy for my kids, and use as a plate.” Professor Ian Cook, food geography boffin, University of Exeter.

“This wacky and wonderful book engages the reader with challenging missions of exploration into one of our most fundamental needs – food. Accepting the missions sets the guerrilla explorer on a curious journey of discovery that is personal, quirky, geographical and ethical. Can you live on £1 a day? How many people in the world have to? Can you recognise endangered fish? How do we avoid eating them? Once basic training is complete the explorer investigates everything from growing, harvesting, cooking, eating, waste and soil accompanied by tips and warnings that any intrepid explorer would need to heed in a dangerous environment where even the world might just turn upside down. If you only buy one book on food this should be it. As it says in the introduction, ‘this book will change the way you see food forever’.” John Lyon.

“Geographers are fond of tracing where things come from, following connections between distant places and thinking about relationships and inter-dependencies. When we think about food, we often talk about closing the links along the supply chain from ‘farm to fork’ or ‘plough to plate’. But, all too often, these ideas are expressed in abstract terms like global food security and sustainable intensification. This exciting new book avoids these abstractions and takes a much more direct hands-on approach, providing us with a whole new set of resources for understanding the world of food. Using the language of exploration and discovery, readers encounter recipes for nettle pesto and elderflower pancakes and are invited to engage in culinary cartography, fantasy farming and guerrilla gardening. Mission: Explore Food provides a fresh way of understanding some fundamental things about the stuff of life through participatory research and action-orientated learning. Take the challenge: get down and dirty with the Geography Collective and City Farmers.” Professor Peter Jackson, University of Sheffield.

General Discussion / Mission:Explore Food party at Hackney City Farm
« on: June 18, 2012, 09:37:38 PM »
We're having a little party to celebrate the printing of Mission:Explore Food, out next book. We'd love to have you along if you can make it and children are very welcome.

Full details here:

Promotions / Collaborate on Mission:Explore for free
« on: April 26, 2012, 09:15:06 PM »
We have just started a new, free and open group on Mission:Explore. Any number of teachers can join this group to create mission-based activities and collaborate on a joint project.

Be with the first to join the group and start collaborating:

If you have any questions please let me know.

An opportunity for your students to win a £100 award from Ordnance Survey to develop a food-related solution in your community that involves the use of maps. Take a look at:

Not only is this a great project, but would also look good on CVs.

You may also like this very cool Viewpoint badge from OS:

If you have any questions please let me know.

Promotions / Geography Gamification
« on: March 08, 2012, 12:40:58 PM »
We've just released private groups on MissionExplore.Net. This means that you can now use the website to:

- create your own geographical hunts, trails and games,
- make an unlimited number of missions and online rewards,
- map local learning activities to specific places.. like nature reserves and graveyards,
- have as many admin users as you like, across as many subjects and schools as you want,
- motivate your pupils through a private leaderboard, points and rewards,
- only members of your private group can see your missions and badges,
- track which missions your pupils have done,
- use the same activities with different classes and from one year to the next,
- automatically register as many pupils as you want,
- set alternative and creative homework that involves exploring the real world.

..and much more.

If you have any questions please do let me know.

Promotions / Would you like a Private group on Mission:Explore?
« on: February 22, 2012, 03:33:19 PM »
We've just released new Private groups on Mission:Explore. By having a group you can create mission activities that only your pupils can see.

  • Geography, science, history, art and other teachers can use Mission:Explore to create outdoor trails, hunts and rewarding games.
  • Subscribe to have your own affordable, secure and private group with its own reward system.
  • Create an unlimited number of private learning activities.
  • Choose to make mapped activities or ones that can be done anywhere.
  • Set challenges as a creative homework or part of a local study.
  • Share an account and learning activities across multiple schools for international, transition and other projects.

Ask before March 1st and I'll give any member of SLN a free Private account for a year in return for a little feedback in the future. You can contact me at daniel if you're interested.

I hope that some of you will find this really useful for engaging students with geography in new and creative ways.

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