1)Geography (Standard texts are taken mostly from National Geographic Expeditions)
by Cherry Withers
a)The World in Spatial Terms :
a1. Understand how to use maps and other geographic representations, tools, and technologies to acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
a2. Understand how to use mental maps to organize information about people, places, and environments in a spatial context.
a3. How to Analyze People, Places and Environments on Earth's Surface.
Project Brainstorm (estimated 4 lessons):
(Note: Please see Etoys Illinois classroom maps projects). Children will draw a map of their classroom, learn to scale this map and put it in a larger map of their school and perhaps city. They can put this in a maze game and they can learn how to go from one place in the map to another. The maze can identify which areas are designated to which group of people: example: where is the teacher's lounge in the school? Where is the police department in the city? Have them divide the classroom/school/city into grid. Satisfy: a1-a3.
(Note: Use/modify map objects from Pangea project) Children will be shown a world map with the longitude and latitude grid. They can estimate the location of their state/country based on this grid. Satisfy: a1.
b)Places and Regions : Children will learn to analyze their country into formal, functional, and perceptual regions.
Project Brainstorm (estimated 2 lessons):
"Where in the World is ______________? " (Note: Use/modify map objects from Pangea project) Children can be shown an outline of the world map or their country's map. Have them color the map based on different criteria (formal, functional and perceptual). Have them create a guessing game for their friends based on these criteria. Example: Have Seymour the turtle find Alan the mouse by giving him several clues about the region: go to the area of the country that has a lot of mountain, trees, and have predominantly loggers as residents. If Seymour "walks" to the right place Alan will show up.
c)Physical Systems: Students will learn to identify the different physical forces that shaped their region. "Physical processes can be grouped into four categories: those operating in the atmosphere (i.e., climate and meteorology), those operating in the lithosphere (e.g., plate tectonics, erosion, and soil formation), those operating in the hydrosphere (e.g., the circulation of the oceans and the hydrologic cycle), and those operating in the biosphere (e.g., plant and animal communities and ecosystems)."
Project Brainstorm (estimated 2 lessons):
Students can write a digital media book that illustrates some of the different physical forces that shape their region. Have them make a prediction on what their region will look like given the recurrence of such force. Scripting can be done using animation of what an earthquake, avalanche, tornado, etc. looks like.
d)Human Systems: Students will use Etoys to learn how human settlements and overpopulation affects the quality of life and interaction of the citizens of a region.
Project Brainstorm (estimated 1 lesson):
"The Case of the Disappearing Space": Students can do a simple model of what happens to a moving object when its space is limited. Put moving objects in a playfield with their different color pen tools down. How long did it take for the objects to fill the space with pen trails and how much overlap on those pen trails? Now put "restrictions" on the space (model of homes/settlements) and/or produce copies of existing objects. Compare the pen trails. What inferences can they make based on that?
e)Environment and Society: Students will learn how human actions affect their environment.
Project Brainstorm (estimated 3 lessons):
(Note: I will be using/modifying the map objects from Pangea project and will be using 2009 Population Reference Bureau data: www.prb.org)
The teacher can illustrate the different population count of each continent, population per square kilometer, and the metric tons of emissions.
Have students do the same illustration for their own continent (dividing the region by country). Students can hide/show regions by putting different colors on the map for a range of emissions, population density, and total population.