We just finished our geography unit and I am so thrilled to be done. If you know me, you know that I am a strong believer in project based learning. I like to tie all of the assessed standards into one strong unit if at all possible. Some units are easier to do than others. I also am not a big fan of worksheets or a lot of prep...ha ha ha! So, here is a fun unit that covers almost all of Oregon's new SS(Geography) standards for third grade.
The Cover-I found a fun oval shaped map that has all the continents on it and had the kids water color paint. This was a great way to introduce the unit in the fun way.
The next step was to create the learning targets. I wanted my students to know what they would be learning, and this learning target page doubles as a table of contents. The opposite page is just a pocket for the mini-projects that they will collect throughout the unit.
The next two pages are about the seven continents. The students are expected to locate them on a map. In this project they were to recite 3 facts and draw a picture that reminded them of the continent. The expectation was for them to color the background or create a border.
I don't have a picture of the next pages(6&7), but one of them has a picture of a globe showing the Northern and Southern hemispheres. The other page has another shot of a globe showing the Eastern and Western hemispheres. Each page describes the equator or the prime meridian.
Pages 8 and 9 are a big centerfold map. The expectation was that each continent was colored and labeled. I decided that the page was still a little bare, so I had them define ocean, continent, equator and prime meridian. As well as label each hemisphere. The labeling practice was good for them and the defining is my version of a glossary.
Page 10 is divided into 3 equal sections. In each section they define the term and draw an example. The three map terms I need then to know are compass rose, map key and map scales.
Page 11 is a page that shows what natural resources are, and it shows what natural resources we have in Oregon. This was by far the kids favorite. I let them go crazy with it and they had so much fun and were so creative finding ways to get all of the major resources into one piece of art.
Pages 12 and 13 address our newest standard. The students need to be introduced to the local Native American Indian tribes. This one is a little tough to teach because there is not a lot of information on"local" tribes. Luckily we only have to introduce the tribes. I made an input chart with the information I could locate. I was able to find the location, population, and a local tribal ran business.
Pages 14 and 15 were my favorite pages to teach. They were about the local landforms in the Pacific Northwest. This is a new standard that used to be 4th grade. The kids love learning about these landforms and have a lot of background knowledge already. The expectation was for them to draw the land form, define it and then write/draw a "LOCAL" example. Scholastic has a great supplemental book for landforms, so the prep and research was minimal.
Pages 16 was a handwritten reflection from each student about what they learned and what they enjoyed most about the project.
The back cover was another pocket to store other projects. I used it to put the grading rubric in as well. I know this is the kind of project that parents hang on to for a long time.
Please feel free to email me if you have any questions!