Monday, October 21, 2013

Mapping Out an Exploration

Social studies is one of my favorite subjects to teach. Now wait, that's a bold statement! Science is equally spectacular and I love seeing students creativity come to life through their writing.... Okay, I retract my previous statement: I love it all. 

Last year, I blogged about the Explorer Trading Cards my students created. In 5th grade, we have very few standards addressing early exploration and the explorers of the new world(s). In my opinion, in order for students to understand the Revolutionary War, Westward Expansion, and the Civil War there has to be some background knowledge there. So - we still cover it, even if it is brief!

This year I decided to tweak our project and focus on map making AND exploration. In small groups, students researched one early explorer and focused on recreating a map of their journey. Some groups struggled to identify where on a map these explorers visited. It brought up great discussions of resources and geography of our Earth. 

Next week, we will briefly discuss the 13 colonies and then hop right on into the Revolutionary War. Fellow 5th grade teachers, what are YOU studying in Social Studies?


  1. I am a fellow fifth grade teacher and all I teach is Social Studies!!! I looooove it! In fourth grade, our kids learn from beginning to industrial revolution and then we pick up in fifth grade from civil war on to present day. LOTS to cover and I wish we had more time to get all the fun things in :-/

    Fabulously Fifth

  2. I teach 5th grade social studies also. Our curriculum is about the 5 regions of the United States. We currently are learning about the Northeast region.

  3. Our curriculum goes from early man to the American Revolution. Right now we are studying Native Americans.

  4. WoW! So jealous of you right now and your timeline of teaching - I am usually a little bit further than this in the year! I just finished a refresher on Government (review from 4th but we are required to take them to the capital in November). And we JUST started Native Americans. Around Christmas we start Exploration - one of my favorite parts to teach :) Thanks for the idea!

  5. Great idea! Where did you get your ship???


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