Upper Primary Grades 3 and 4
Our Towns, Regions, and States in the World
Students in the third and fourth grades can expand on the content in the data base they compiled while in grades K, 1, and 2. By introducing their towns, regions, and states from various perspectives, environmental, economic, historic, through art, composition and comparison with student sin other parts of the country and world. Using a data base for student exchanges like Kids Jam, students can make easy comparisons for class presentations.
To compliment global exchange projects, background stories on this site like Everyone's Birthday Party, in the Earth Riders Stories section would also help students make larger connections between the history of life on earth and human history. Japanese children enjoyed this story in every primary school grade.
Finally, interdisciplinary activities in Science and Social Studies through the GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) program at http://globe.fsl.noaa.gov/ would give another important angle for studies of the connections between human and natural history. This program is a weather and environmental data base that allow students to contact classrooms in over 80 countries to exchange information in a secure network freely. The activities can be incorporated into a class or after-school club easily. See my Japanese 4th, 5th, and 6th grade club's activities between 1995 and 1998 here (worldclass.net/childviews/Japan/nakatoyo/ecovol.html). The following standards for Georgia QCC (Quality Core Curriculum) third and fourth grades provide great themes for the data base and exchange projects:
Identify the features of a river (e.g., source, mouth, delta, bank); name the Earth's seven continents, four hemispheres, and four oceans (Geography 3.17;20;18).
Describe and classify the physical and
human characteristics of urban, rural, and suburban communities; compare the impact of
climate, landforms, human and natural resources, transportation and communication on the
location, growth and development of mountain community, desert community, and coastal
community; describe the cultures of the American Indian nations found in Georgia including
the Creeks and Cherokees and describes the interactions with the settlers. Describe
the local community in regard to origin, growth and change over time (location/geography,
natural resources, history of local community, goods and services produced, types of jobs,
government (organization and purpose), provision and funding of public services, and
impact of technology/tools. (History 3.20;21;23).
The Cyberschools plan:
"Each third grader will do a project on their city.
They will need to do a history of their city. They will also need to give some basic demographics. (Size, population, industries, tourism, etc.) Each class will want to write about interesting sites to see in their city.
They will need to draw these attraction, scan a picture or take a picture. It might be advisable to have each student do one area of the city. This way, they will be able to write in more depth. Then all the pieces can be put together for one big project. After they have finished and posted their projects then they will be able to compare and contrast their city to others. In a sense they are creating a virtual tour of their city."
Science (perfect for G.L.O.B.E. participation!)
Use weather instruments to collect data and measure factors (such as temperature, humidity, air pressure, wind speed and direction)(4.29).
Interpret simple weather maps and charts and makes forecasts (4.30).
Differentiate between weather and climate and identifies Earth's climate zones (4.31).
Discuss the effects humans have on weather and climate and vice versa. Describes the climatic effects on removal of tropical rain forest; burning of fossil fuels; seeding of clouds; use of flourocarbons and emissions from internal combustion engines (4.32).
Names ways that regions may be identified including climatic, physical, political, cultural, and economic (4.5).
Identifies physical regions within the United States and describes major physical features of each region (4.6).
Describes the impact of climate and physical environment on the lifestyles of American Indians (Plains, Eastern Woodlands, Southwestern, and Pacific Northwest (4.8).
Identifies the areas explored, reasons for and results of early explorations by Marco Polo (4.9).
Compares and contrasts the explorations of France, Spain, England, and Portugal during the 14th, 15th, centuries (areas explored, motivation behind explorations, obstacles encountered, and accomplishments (4.10).
Describes the impact of early Spanish explorers on native populations in Georgia (4.11).
Describes how the French and Indian War resulted in expansion of United States Territory (4.15).
The Cyberschools plan:
This is where fourth grade will learn all about the different parts of their state or providence.
They will need to look at the local government. They will also want to do individual projects on areas of interest. This will help to create a virtual tour of their state.
Demographics will be important to report so there can be a comparison. Each class will want to compare populations, cities (Third grade pages can be used), plants, animals, natural resources, etc... There are many spin-offs of this project. Probably the most fun would be to run your own class government. You could also write all the areas in your state and have them send you brochures. You could also try to pass a law about some area of concern. As all the class pages are linked together, it will data base will be compiled. This project will spring board off the cities done by the third graders. Over time their will be extensive information available.
The G.L.O.B.E. (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment) page, http://globe.fsl.noaa.gov/
Nakamichi, Japan Eco-Volunteers' Club 1995-1998 here (www.worldclass.net/childviews/Japan/nakatoyo/ecovol.html)
Everyone's Birthday Party (exploring the history of space and human history as a birthday adventure)
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