Monday, April 18, 2011

Geography Enrichment

I never thought I'd say this, but I'm so excited about geography!  I'm sort of ashamed to admit that geography has always been one of those units that I only taught because it was in my standards. I have certainly always believed that it is important, but I've always had a difficult time making it fun for my students.  I finally found a way to be excited about geography with this geography enrichment project, where students complete three different activities from a choice board.  Each of the choices on the choice board are from the three highest levels of Bloom's Taxonomy (analysis, synthesis, and evaluation).  I've compiled everything you may need for the unit together including teacher directions, check points to ensure students' progress, independent study contract, daily work log, choice board, student directions for each task, and a rubric. You can get this geography project here!

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Famous Americans

Despite the fact that I have absolutely zero artistic ability, I still try to include art in my instruction.  I believe that art helps engage my students, allows them to retain information better, and it's a lot of fun!  During our Famous Americans unit I like to incorporate art through the creation of our American Heroes book.  We have nine different historical figures that we study during this Georgia social studies unit, and within the unit, students complete one art project per person studied.  Their art work and information writing in placed in their American Heroes book.

This is my favorite activity!

For the Paul Revere picture, I print out a small picture of Paul Revere and then students glue the picture on a white piece of construction paper and complete the picture.  They not only finish drawing Paul Revere, but also finish the scene of Boston.  They typically try to include things in their picture to show what they have learned about Paul Revere (silver smith store, bell in church steeple, red coats, etc.).

The Frederick Douglass picture shows a small piece of a large quilt that students make to represent Frederick Douglass's life.  Students draw an important event from his life in each square, and then they glue the squares together to make a quilt.

The school picture shows a scene from Mary McLeod Bethune's school in Daytona, Florida.  In that project, students have to cut out and glue every feature of their picture.  Not only do students have to think about what they might have seen at Mary McLeod Bethune's school, they can also learn about depth perception in this activity.  The other picture shows a student's crayon resist of a fireside chat given by Franklin D. Roosevelt.  The picture also shows how students glue their information below the picture.  Some years I've had students write their own research, while other years I've had students copy a prewritten passage for handwriting practice, and this year I simply printed out the passage. 

You can get printable directions FREE by clicking on the picture below!

There are many more projects in this unit!