Saturday, August 27, 2011

Social Studies Unit 1: Geography

Sorry I have been such a slacker on the posting but I have been soooo busy! I wanted to share an idea a fellow teacher had for teaching the geographical understandings required for our students in the fourth grade.

My United States Scrapbook:

Materials: Construction paper (about 2 per student), index cards, small maps of the United States, crayons, glue, scissors

My colleague had previously made a Powerpoint presentation last year as a way to study for the CRCT and we used it to teach from this year. Each student has their book already put together, blank and ready to be filled. I cut the index cards in half so I wouldn't have to a) give so many and b) they would fit on the folded construction paper

1) Have students fold construction paper in half (hamburger style)
2) As we talked about these places, I showed the students the area on the map and they were to color in the area as well.
3) After finding the areas on the map, we took out our "imaginary" cameras and took polaroid pictures of what we had seen. While part of this was from pictures and some from imagination, they turned out surprisingly accurate!
4) Here's the fun part - kids today don't know about polaroids and the fun they used to provide. So we taught them to "shake" the polaroid to help the picture come out faster! THEY LOVED IT!
We pointed out cool, imaginary things that we saw, snapped our picture *CLICK*, shook the polaroid, and quickly drew the picture on the index card.
5) After visiting all the places in the United States, we glue our books together placing the pictures and the maps with each other on the pages. The student were able to decorate and place other exciting things they learned on empty pages as well.

I felt like this was an amazing way of teaching geography rather than simply coloring a map and hoping they remember. I'll have to snap a picture of them because they turned out simply adorable! So check back for a visual!
And the best part was, "Ms. _____, that's the Liberty Bell that we took our trip to see!"

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