Teaching 5th grade social studies is a whole new world for me. Yes, I hope you're singing Aladdin's "A Whole New World" right now. Last year, I think I mentally blocked out all things social studies so I could completely focus on communication arts and science. Thankfully, I have brilliant coworkers and friends who are willing to share their wisdom with me.
To kickstart our year in social studies, we started off with a little review of geography. After some super-duper-email-long-distance-collaboration my wheels were spinning. Micaela (a fellow former Fellow) suggested a brochure. I decided to run with it!
In the task, students were asked to create a brochure about one of the five regions of the United States. The brochure had to include the region's climate, bodies of water, states, vegetation, and natural resources. The majority of the information was found inside our textbook. In addition to researching a specific region, I asked the kids to pick a spotlight city to research. Let's just say, it was VERY confusing for 75% of my class. Today, I updated my document (at the conclusion of the project) and plan on presenting and explaining it differently next year. Instead, it was suggested by another coworker (collab! collab!) that students identify five cities within that region and find their latitude and longitude.
Overall, the kids seemed to enjoy the creative aspect of the project. They were able to illustrate, search on the internet, and put their own creative twist into it. Today, while presenting I loved listening to my students assume the role as a travel agent. I was also able to easily modify this task for some students. Instead of creating full blown brochure, I had some students create a poster of specific information instead. It worked very well!
Next, we're jumping into Native Americans then moving forward toward the Explorers. Just in time for Columbus Day.
Enjoy your Friday, friends!