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What is Hong Kong Like?

In this lesson pupils view a series of engaging photographs of Hong Kong that will aid the development of geographical vocabulary, description and a strong sense of place.

Key Questions

  • What is Hong Kong like?
  • What are the geographical features of Hong Kong?
  • What is the landscape like?
  • What is the weather like?
  • What are the city and the countryside like? How are they different?

Key Ideas

  • Hong Kong is a world city of trade and finance in China with strong historical and modern links with the United Kingdom.
  • Hong Kong is in South China; 10,000km away from the United Kingdom.
  • Hong Kong is in area a small city region with contrasting urban and rural environments in close proximity and with extreme weather.

Subject Content Areas

  • Locational knowledge: Pupils develop their contextual knowledge of the location of globally significant places; Hong Kong is a world city of trade and finance in China with strong historical and modern links with the UK.
  • Place knowledge: Pupils consider what Hong Kong is like as a place to live, including the human and physical environment. They develop their geographical vocabulary to describe photographs of a broad range of landscapes and places in Hong Kong. 
  • Human and physical geography: Pupils discover the human and physical environment of Hong Kong and they develop their geographical vocabulary to describe photographs of a broad range of landscapes and places in Hong Kong. They learn key geographical vocabulary like weather, hill, coast, sea, harbour, city, town and village.
  • Geographical skills and fieldwork: Learn geographical description and interpretation of photographs to gain a sense of place.


Additional Resources

  • Printed copies of photographs from the PowerPoint presentation for each table group
  • Range of versions of the word mat (based on ability or Key Stage) with different images placed in the centre of the mat for each table
  • Paper for recording geographical descriptions of photographs

Web links

To watch a video of Hong Kong during a plenary go to Vimeo

You may wish to show a second video of Hong Kong, go to YouTube

Learning Objective

To describe images of Hong Kong using geographical vocabulary. 


Pupils view the first photograph on the What is Hong Kong like? PowerPoint presentation (see downloadable resources) for 20 seconds only. They try to remember as much as they can about the image, and then re-draw it themselves and add labels.

Pupils then compare their drawings with their talk partner and show pupils the image once again for them to see what they included and what features of the place they missed out.

Main Teaching

Start a whole class discussion through posing the questions included in the PowerPoint slides:

  • Do you already know anything about Hong Kong?
  • What do you think you are going to see in the photos?

Use the What is Hong Kong like? PowerPoint presentation to display a series of photographs of Hong Kong and pose the slide title questions to initiate discussion about each image.

Note: The notes section of each slide has important questions for the teachers to ask pupils as they are viewing the photographs, as well as information on where exactly the photograph was taken.

Define the following terms as they appear in the series of images:

Harbour A place on the coast where ships moor and ‘port’ (a place used by ships to load and unload people and goods)
Hill A naturally raised area of land
Weather The state of the atmosphere at a particular place and time including heat, cloudiness, dryness, sunshine, wind, rain
City An urban area of significant size and importance
Village A group of houses and buildings in a rural area that is larger than a hamlet and smaller than a town
Beach A pebbly or sandy shore by the sea

Explain that every day hundreds of ships leave Hong Kong for other ports across the world.  Each container is full of goods ‘Made in China’. 

Ask pupils to bring a photo of one thing made in China from home for a class display.

Main Activity

Ensure each table group or pair has a word mat with a different photograph of Hong Kong in the centre. Take the images from the PowerPoint presentation to produce a broad range of images for the pupils.

Pupils use the Geographical vocabulary word mat (see downloadable resources) as a guide to create sentences with geographical vocabulary to describe the various human and physical features of the place shown in their photograph.

If pupils complete this, they can swap their word mat with another group or pair to increase their range of geographical vocabulary further.


Pupils read out examples of their sentences created during the main activity. ‘Two stars and a wish’ from other pupils can be used as a form of peer assessment.

Play the two videos by clicking the hyperlinks on slide 22 and ask pupils:

  • What did you see in the video that was in the slides in this presentation?
  • What is not in the video that you learned about in the photos?

Pose further questions for whole class discussion:

  • Have you ever been to a place similar to the images of Hong Kong in the photographs?
  • Are you surprised by any of the photographs of Hong Kong? Is Hong Kong as you imagined? 

Further study
More able or KS2 students can visit this site to view ten of the best time-lapse films of Hong Kong during a computing lesson or homework activity. You could ask the students to critically appraise the videos and report back to the class.


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