Social Studies and Language Arts Multi-age Projects

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Pepperdine Masters in Educational Technology and Leadership 2006

SDSU Principal Certification





Children, and teachers, learn best when the environment is child-centered and makes use of integrated subject matter within the framework of a generative, process-oriented approach. The teacher should serve in a mentorship role. All the projects listed below were tied to core questions that the children researched which expanded their own world view. Many are multi-aged in nature with technology being but a tool, one of many, to express the required elements. There are marked advantages of having a cross-age ties. Aside from the affective "gee whiz" of being paired up with a child a different age, ownership and responsibility of all levels of students towards their own learning increases; the depth each child assimilated the information improves; and the students' abilities to work with others in a cooperative and supportive way are reinforced.


Chinese New Year 2005

Reading, Research and Technology


In this cultural alphabet project, the students read fiction and non-fiction books, formed primary and secondary questions and then went out to interview their parents and other adults in the school. They then wrote articles based on the interviews and reading followed by a construction of a KidPix picture.



The Weather Project Winter 2005

Reading, Geography, Science Systems, Mathematics and Technology

The purpose behind this project is to help students understand the food that an area produces is affected by the location, climate, and amount of water found there.

*In language arts, use a variety of fiction and non-fiction books to learn about the content area information. The students will write a variety of poems and an expository text to report about a given climatic areas. They will also be writing their own Weather play as a summation activity.

*In geography, be able to identify the seven continents and major oceans; be introduced to basic geographic mapping skills; and read and produce physical maps.

*In science, identify the four basic Earth systems and then use that knowledge to integrate the other parts of the project together. Also learn about weather systems and conduct science experiments and demonstrations connected to the water cycle. In doing so, they will find the answers to the three essential questions of the Weather, Sun and Air science unit of second grade.  

*In math, chart weather patterns and make bar graphs of the data.

*In technology, use Web Quests to research various parts of the projects; gather data from value added sites; and use Apple Works and Kidspiration to present what they have learned.

The Latitude Project Winter 2003

Social Studies, Science, Researching, Language Arts and Technology

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. There were several main objectives to the project. was a precursor to the fourth grade study of Pan Asia, where we looked at the Asian continent from a historical viewpoint and cultural perspective using concepts from the book Guns, Germs and Steel. It was scientific study of the area’s volcanoes and earthquakes. Finally, it was the first significant introduction to researching skills at this grade level. All the elements of the project, class overviews, pictures and grading rubrics are included in the site.

The Basho Project Fall 2002

Social Studies,  Researching, Language Arts and Technology

Who, and what, we are is fundamentally shaped by where we live. The geographic study of Place, with its focus on the natural and human attributes, was the lens 4-F used to tackle this first unit of the year. The students wrote their own Place poems about the area that they called home. They, then, went on to study of  the Japanese haiku master-Basho. Interestingly, that year was the 300th anniversary of his pivotal work The Narrow Road to the Deep North. In researching Basho, the students focused on:

*       seeing where Basho visited from the geographic eyes of Place.

*       understanding  Basho as a man who was changed by the places he visited.

*       and discovering  how Basho wrote what he saw and felt in a poetic form.

They then published what they learned using both print and the electronic media. Please click on the stations names to read what the student pairs wrote.

The Tama River Project  Fall 2001

Social Studies, Researching, Language Arts and Technology

 In this site, two groups of students from the American School in Japan explored the effect the Tama River had on the people who lived there. The ninth grade Asian Studies class viewed the river from the perspective of Asian river society characteristics while the fourth grade students from the geographic theme of Place. The individual student's sites show this comparison as each buddy pair answered questions based on the fourth grader's trip to Fuchu-no-Mori museum. This museum explores the history of our local city of Fuchu, which is situated on the Tama River, from prehistoric times to the present. Scattered throughout the site, in brown, are quotes from Mimi Le Bourgeois, who graciously gave us permission to use excerpts from Water Walks in the Suburbs of Tokyo, by Sumiko Enbutsu and herself, to provide supplementary background information.



Nihon Mika-en House Project Spring 2001

Social Studies, Researching, Language Arts and Technology

Houses speak volumes about the climate, the culture and the people who lived within their walls for those who know how to listen. The second field trip of the 4th Grade Bunka month was a trip to Nihon Minka-en. This open air Japanese folk house museum is filled with transplanted pre-Meiji era buildings from mostly the Kanto Plain area. All the classes were sub- divided up into small groups under the watchful eye of a parent chaperone. Each group was given a specific house to report about according to its original location, building materials, interior, furnishings and tools; and grounds. 4-F and 4-C, who were involved in a Tokaido Road simulation together, went by clan to do the reports and write the opening paragraphs of their Japanese mystery stories, which made use of their assigned buildings as the setting. Please click on the pictures to see the 4-F reflections on what they saw.

Our Material World Project 1997

Social Studies, Researching, Language Arts and Technology

How do seven and eight year old international students view their world? Are these views shared by thirteen year olds in the same school? Will a second grade student see how habitats in Japan, Bosnia and Mali affect the people who live in them? Can an eight year old construct a robust hypermedia stack from start to finish? For answers to these questions, and more, come explore 2F's and 8-H's second year of a multi-age project based on the CD-ROM The Material World.  



The William Stafford Poem Project 1996

Language Arts and Technology

Reading a poem, and then making it your own, is the heart of this web project generated by my second grade class at the American School in Japan in the spring of 1996. Within the context of our integrated study of sound, the class read William Stafford's picture book The Animal that Drank Up Sound. So that the students could better understand, and assimilate Stafford's poem, the class discussed the poem page by page and then translated it into "kid language". Each page of the ensuing web project was constructed by each student using a stanza from Stafford's poem. Per page, the original stanza is on the right and the students translation on the left with the students original piece of artwork at the top. Each child made their own page along with links to the connecting pages using Front Pad and Kid Pics. 




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