This project involves the major geographic theme of Human-Environment Interaction. What is that? It is how people affect the environment and how the environment affects people. The physical surroundings of where a person lives makes a big difference in each personís life. The land and weather affect the crops, foods, clothing and buildings people have. In turn, people often try to change the natural landforms to better suit their needs. Sometimes everything works well and sometimes it doesnít work out well. Damming rivers to make lakes, cutting forest to make room for houses, changing the habitats of the animals that are there all have a strong impact on the earth. There are several main objectives to this project. It serves as a precursor to our study of Pan Asia, where we look at the Asian continent from a historical viewpoint and cultural perspective using concepts from the book Guns, Germs and Steel as well as a scientific aspect with the study of the areaís volcanoes and earthquakes. Finally, it is the first significant introduction to researching skills at this grade level. All the elements of the project, class overviews, pictures and grading rubrics will be uploaded on the class web site under a link titled The Latitude Project.
For a daily update on what your children are doing go to Day to Day Work.
For a look at the final rubrics, please go to final evaluation rubrics
The main questions that your children will be answering are listed below. The bolded words are the key ideas they will be looking for.
1. What is the approximate and exact location of my city?
2. What are the climate, landforms, animals and plants of my country?
3. Because of the climate, how do the people dress and why?
4. Because of the landforms, where do people live in my country?
5. Because of the plants and animals, what kinds of foods do the people traditionally eat?
6. What kinds of changes to the environment have people in your city tried? What was the result?
The students will be practicing several steps of the ASIJ research cycle (http://www.asij.ac.jp/elementary /iTeacher/techint/research_cycle_intro.htm) at school on January 27th to February 3rd. They will be working, in research groups, in the classroom, the library and the computer lab to locate the key information they need to answers their questions using specific researching skills.
Defining: In class, the students will identify keywords and phrases that will help them locate and find the information they will need. They will prioritize sources. PowerPoint presentations by Ms.Clark on encyclopedias and use of other non-fiction databases will kick this off.
Evaluation: There will be one process grades given for key word generation and question generation with one given for resource mapping. All the grades in this project will be assigned according to rubrics specific for each element.
2. Locating: The students will do intensive researching in the library and the computer lab. They will learn, and practice, key researching skills using various encyclopedias, non-fiction resources and student specific web sites. The value added web sites they will use are KidsClick and The Internet Public Library. The links for these two sites are on the class web site under research skills on the left hand margin.
Evaluation: A process journal will be kept of the researching skills that the students used as well as the notes that the students took. There will be six grades given for this section. A grade will be assigned for use of the encyclopedia , non-fiction book use, and web searching. There will be a note-taking grade as well as two behavioral grades assigned for behavior while researching. The students will be able to take their process journal home with them to help them do their assignment.
4. Organizing- From February 4th to February 11th, there will be no regular homework assigned. This is the time for your children to developed the project that they wanted to present to the class. They might want to do some extra researching from home before they start their project. What is the role for you as parents? To be facilitators, guides and perhaps time organizers. Some of these projects will require the purchase of supplies, perhaps a person to run the video machine or someone to do a quick edit of a paper. However, the students should be doing the bulk of the work. Regardless of the amount of wheedling, begging and pleading that may ensue!
Evaluation: Each night, the children will need to record a diary entry, located in the process journal, giving a summation about what they did that night. This will need to be signed and dated by you. The diary entries are worth two process grades. The project options are listed in the parent signature form at the end of this document.
5 and 6: Presenting and Assessing- Student projects are due on Wednesday, February 12th. Each group will present their projects on the days that follow. The children need to be prepared to give an oral overview of what they did and the project itself. The students will receive two grades for the presentation and three for the project itself.
______Create a time capsule for your country. In a container include items that would represent the answers to the various questions which you would present to the class. Each item must have a written caption.
______Write a play with finger, sock or stick puppets that answers the questions and
present it to the class.
______Design a travel brochure which advertises the answers. You may use Publisher and import the pictures if you wish or do it by careful drawing.
_____Write a short commercial with your answers. Record it on a cassette tape or CD being sure to put your name, the country and the city on the cover.
_____Construct a mobile that represents your answers in picture forms. Captions somewhere on the mobile are required
______Write a series of poems that answer your questions. (One poem per question.) Haiku, acrostic or a simple aa,bb,cc,d pattern would all work well.
______Write a story from the perspective of a person who lived in the city. Within the story have situations, quotes or objects which happen in the story which give the answers to the questions that you were given.
______Make a jigsaw puzzle. Have a pictographs and a political map on it explaining your answers.
______Make up a board game for people to play to learn about your answers to your questions.
Project and page constructed and maintained by Bridgette Fincher
Saturday, October 31, 2009