Draw like a geographer: Field sketches

Last updated: 15/11/2023
Contributor: Fiona Sheriff
Draw like a geographer: Field sketches
Main Subject
Key stage
Includes answers
Resource type
Complete lesson

Help students learn about the importance of field sketching and practice this geographical skill with this complete lesson and printable worksheet.

What’s included?

This lesson covers tips for students on drawing field sketches, how they can be used in field work for recording observations and evaluating the advantages and disadvantages of field sketches.

The resource includes a complete PowerPoint lesson and accompanying printable worksheet.

How to use this resource

Get students thinking about why field sketches might be useful for fieldwork and qualitative data collection using the starter activity before taking students through the step by step process of drawing a field sketch using a photograph. Take the opportunity to get students out of the classroom, on the school grounds or beyond, to practice drawing field sketches, either using the printable worksheet or a sheet of paper.

For GCSE students it’s important to understand the advantages and disadvantages of field sketches. Having completed the process themselves, students can then evaluate field sketches as a data collection method and practise answering an exam-style question.

Sample — How to draw a field sketch

  1. Draw a box frame on your piece of paper, this should fill at least half of your page. Using a pencil and a ruler divide your page into four using dotted lines. Give your field sketch a title.

  2. Go outside and choose the view you wish to sketch.

  3. Draw in the skyline and any major features such as buildings, forests and hills. Remember that these don’t need lots of detail but need to be clear.

  4. Draw in the features in the foreground and add details such as cracks or joints in rocks, pathways and lampposts.

  5. Add annotations to provide more information, for example picking out key physical and human features.

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