Grade: 3-5

#4310. Let's Explore Our Community

Social Studies, level: 3-5
Posted Thu Dec 11 09:05:25 PST 2008 by Mrs. K. McGrath (Mrs. K. McGrath).
Hillcrest Elementary, Dearborn Heights, USA
Materials Required: internet, outline map of Michigan, many creative materials
Activity Time: 90 minutes+
Concepts Taught: cardinal directions; community landmarks

Let's Explore Our Community

Student Teacher's Name: Mrs. K. McGrath Date: December 10, 2008

Grade Level 3 Topic/Unit: Social Studies School: Hillcrest Elementary District: Crestwood

By using cardinal directions (north, south, east, west), students will be able to describe the location of community landmarks as well as state landmarks in relation to their school.
In order to locate these community landmarks, students will work in small groups to identify ways they could find this information on the internet.
I will focus on meeting the following benchmarks:
State of Michigan Social Studies Standard 3-G1.0.1.
Michigan Educational Technology Standard 1.b.7.

Learning Resources and Materials
Students will need the following materials:

a. cardboard boxes, including shipping boxes or empty food boxes, as well as construction paper and many coloring materials that can be used to create the community and state landmarks

b. large pieces of bulletin board paper cut out to make a life-size outline of the state of Michigan, tacked onto an available bulletin board in the classroom with a map key indicating the cardinal directions

c. access to a computer with internet access

d. a blank outline map of Michigan, with a map key showing the four cardinal directions

Development of Lesson
I will ask my students what landmarks and places they consider important in a community and in the state overall. Then I will ask them to apply this to Michigan and in particular our community. We will generate a list of places that should be included on a map of our community such as the library, our school, the police/fire station, a hospital, a post office, etc. Then we will generate a list of places that should be included on a map of our state including the Mackinaw Bridge, the state capitol building, the Erie Canal, etc.
After generating our lists of important places in the state and in our local community, I will tell the students that we are going to be making a life-size map of the State of Michigan. I will tell them we will be learning where these places are in relation to our school. We will need to use the computer to find other important landmarks and places in our state and community. I will ask the children to determine how they could find this information on the internet. They will need to perform a search for these places and we will continue our list. When we feel as though we have enough locations (at least 1 location for every 2 students), I will create a school for our map and students will group into pairs to use the boxes and coloring materials to create one of the landmarks from our list. They can be as creative as they would like!! They will place their landmark in its correct location on our life-size state of Michigan. We will discuss, using the map key with the cardinal directions, where some of these locations are in relation to our school. Students will then be given a blank outline map of Michigan in which they will be asked to place ten landmarks they consider important to the community and the state in their correct locations on their maps. When this is completed, I will follow up by asking the students a series of questions related to their individual maps, as well as to our life-size map about which directions these landmarks are from our school.

I am fully aware that some students may need additional assistance and if so, I am prepared to offer that. I will walk around continuously to make sure that the students understand what is expected of them. I will help those children who need assistance with searching for community landmarks on the internet and completing their maps. If they have additional trouble, I will help them. I also understand that I may need to allow for additional time to complete this assignment.

For the classroom project, I will evaluate the students based on their participation in researching community and state landmarks as well as creating a landmark using the creative materials given to them. I will be able to identify if students succeeded in meeting the standards by reviewing their individual maps and their answers to the questions given to them in which they will have to use the cardinal directions to answer.
The students will be able to take their individual maps home with them and I will ask them to share them with their families and in that way, they will be able to reflect on what they have learned. Together with their families they can think of other community places/state landmarks that could've been added to the map and the location of these places in relation to their home using cardinal directions.
This lesson will impact my future curriculum decisions because I find it is more meaningful to work together as a class to create a final project as a whole for everyone to enjoy.
Teacher Reflection