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Community Treasures (Rivers and Trees): An Integrated Curriculum Unit
Unit Length: 6 weeks
From the National Council for Teachers of English
http://www.ncte.org/standards/standards.shtml, the National Council for Social Studies http://www.socialstudies.org/standards/toc.html, and the National Council for Geographic Education http://www.ncge.org/publications/tutorial/standards/. Students should know:
- how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information (NCGE Standard #1)
- the patterns and networks of economic interdependence on Earth's surface (NCGE Standard #11)
- how human actions modify the physical environment (NCGE Standard #14)
- how physical systems affect human systems (NCGE Standard #15)
- Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of how people create and change structures of power, authority, and governance. (NCSS Standard #6)
- Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the ways human beings view themselves in and over time. (NCSS Standard #2)
- Social studies programs should include experiences that provide for the study of the ideals, principles, and practices of citizenship in a democratic republic. (NCSS Standard #10)
- Students read a wide range of print and nonprint texts to build an understanding of texts, of themselves, and of the cultures of the United States and the world; to acquire new information; to respond to the needs and demands of society and the workplace; and for personal fulfillment. Among these texts are fiction and nonfiction, classic and contemporary works. (NCTE Standard #1)
- Students employ a wide range of strategies as they write and use different writing process elements appropriately to communicate with different audiences for a variety of purposes. (NCTE Standard #5)
Students should be able to:
- demonstrate an understanding of geography and its effects on lifestyles and culture
- apply basic economic terms and principles
- understand United States government and history
- understand and apply principles of citizenship
- read with understanding and accuracy
- write effectively for different purposes and audiences
Students should be able to:
- understand that people in the United States make the laws and rules they follow
- use map skills to locate and distinguish among varying land forms and geographic features
- know how people depend on natural resources and make decisions about them
- understand that there are three branches of government with different responsibilities
- understand factors that influence community development
- pronounce, use, and understand vocabulary from all subject areas
- read content area materials to gain and apply information
- recall main ideas and details, sequence events, predict outcomes, draw conclusions, and classify them
- write short narrative, descriptive, and expository works with a main idea and supporting details
- write for real-life purposes, including memos, letters, and reports
Source: Standards and benchmarks were written and provided by the Hamilton County Schools.
- What is a community?
- How do laws show the needs of a community?
- What good is this map anyway?
- Treasure Hunt Performance Task
- Third Grade Congress Performance Task
- Friendly Letter
- Narrative Paragraph
- Collect various maps in a data bin several weeks before beginning unit.
- Post essential questions in the classroom.
- Brainstorm the word concept "community" with students. Create a web of responses.
- Discuss urban, rural, and suburban communities.
- Play SimTown as a class, focusing on elements of a community. Allow kids to play individually or in groups.
- Send kids on a "treasure hunt" in the school using a map with written directions to model the map performance task.
- Give a didactic lesson on types of maps and map symbols.
- Conduct a shared reading of A RIVER RAN WILD and SONG OF THE TREES.
- Conduct an author/artist study of Lynne Cherry.
- Compare/contrast illustrations in A RIVER RAN WILD with a map.
- Administer vocabulary activities for both books.
- Give a didactic lesson on narrative paragraph and friendly letter.
- Write narrative paragraph about A RIVER RAN WILD.
- Write friendly letter to characters in SONG OF THE TREES.
- Conduct seminar discussions about both books.
- Review process of bill becoming law. Show "Iím Just a Bill" from SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK.
- Use student maps (from performance task) to complete treasure hunts.
- Hold Congress sessions and have a "signing ceremony" to sign bills into law.
- understanding and following directions
- thinking critically
- classroom set of SONG OF THE TREES by Mildred D. Taylor
- classroom set of A RIVER RAN WILD by Lynne Cherry
- classroom set of student atlases
- SimTown computer software
- posters, rulers, crayons, and templates for map making
- SCHOOLHOUSE ROCK video
- overhead projector
- computer with TV projection