Technology in the Social Studies Classroom



Part 1 - Geography

Day 1: 
Activity 1: Introduction 
In order to get an overview of geography, you will watch the YouTube video MR. LIP The Five Themes of Geography (YouTube, 2007, Mr.) posted under the Tasks tab. While watching the video, jot down the five themes of geography and a short definition. To increase your knowledge, you will read the defintions in Teaching the Five Themes of Geography with the Newspaper (Dill, 2010) which is posted in the Tasks tab. You will increase your understanding of each theme. 

Activity 2: Booklet
Together with four of your peers, design a small booklet with five pages, each of them focusing on one of the five themes you examined in the Introduction. Give a brief definition of each theme and provide an  example for the theme. E.g. describe where the location of your home city is. Use pictures from GoogleImages or your own drawings to illustrate your example. 

Day 2:
Activity 3: Researching a Native American tribe
Using the sources posted in the Task tab (Watson, 1999; Native Language of the Americas, 2008; Athropolis Productions Ltd., 2005), as well as Google, collaborate with two of your peers and choose a Native American tribe from the map of Native American tribes posted in the Task tab. Research your tribe based on the following questions: 
1. Where is your tribe located geographically?
2. Which climate does the location have?
3. How did your tribe gather food?
4. What is the relation between climate, location, and food gathering?

Individually write a short essay on how the environment influenced your tribe's actions. 

Day 3, 4, and 5:
Activity 4: Design your own country
Now that you know that the environment influences individuals in their every-day lives, create your own country with two of your peers. Describe your country's name, location, region, place and environment, and its influences on humans' dress, food, and habits. Be creative and present your country to your fellow students with an illustrated poster. 

Part 2 - History

Day 6:
Activity 1: Introduction to the problem 
When was the last time you ate succulent Fajitas at the local Mexican restaurant? Not long ago? Well, due to the current situation in the United States, you got lucky. Immigration is currently presenting a problem to the United States, and is to be solved by a wall between the United States and Mexico. What do you think about immigration in the United States? Find out by watching the three YouTube videos on immigration (YouTube, 2007, Immigration; YouTube, 2007, The US, YouTube, 2009), located in the Task tab. 

Activity 2: Personal effects of immigration
How does the historical event of building the wall between the U.S. and Mexico affect you? In order to find out, start an email-journal to your teacher, in which you jot down foreign products and effects that impact your environment. Where does the food that you eat come from? Where are your clothes from? Do you use foreign words when you are talking? Where are your friends and ancestors from? Use Google to research answers to these questions. 

Day 7, 8, 9:
Activity 3: Effects on others 
In collaborative groups, research http://www.bbc.co.uk and http://www.cnn.com, as well as the articles in the Task tab (Oak, 2010; Global Security, 2010) for information on the Mexican wall. Design a questionnaire that will help you to interview four immigrants on how the event of building the wall to restrict immigration affects them personally. Are they in favor of or against the wall? Conduct the interviews within Day 7, 8, and 9.

Day 10:
Activity 4: The Mexico-U.S. wall decision
Looking at the results of your journal and interviews, decide whether you are for or against the wall. Write a letter to the U.S. government, convincing them of your opinion about the wall, and stating whether the wall should be eliminated. 

Part 3 - Economics (Microeconomics)

Day 11:
Activity 1: Introduction
Students will be asked whether they own a Nintendo Wii game system. Students will be asked how they got the system and will answer that they or their parents/relatives, etc. purchased it at the store. Students will be asked whether the Wii was expensive, the answer most likely being "yes". Students will then be informed that they will watch a video about how the price of the Wii magically dropped. Students will watch the YouTube video on the Wii scenario (YouTube, 2007, Supply), and are told that they should pay attention to the details, taking notes on the price drop and the features of the Wii 1 and the Wii 2. 

Day 12, 13, 14:
Activity 2: Interviews
Students will be presented with the question why the price magically dropped from 400 to 100 dollars. In order to answer this question, students will work in collaborative groups to interview 10 Wii 1 owners, asking questions about when they bought the Wii 1, what they paid for it, whether it was hard to get a Wii, why they bought it, if they are still happy with it now. In their collaborative group, students will then design a chart on the outcomes of the interview, including including time of purchase, price, popularity of the Wii, and availability. Students will see that the price dropped with time, and that it became easier with time to find a Wii at the store. Students document their conclusions in a journal and present it to the class: The more time passed, the higher the availability (supply), the lower the price, the less popular the Wii was (demand). Students will be taught that availability is called supply and popularity is called demand. 

Day 15:
Activity 3: Researching supply and demand
Students will now research supply and demand, using the sources available in the Task Tab (Word IQ, 2010; Social Studies for Kids, 2010), in order to help the Nintendo company answer the question why the demand for the Wii 1 is now low. Students will take notes on supply and demand and their interrelations throughout the research process, and are allowed to use Google and other sources for vocabulary clarification. 

Day 16, 17, 18:
Activity 4: Role-play for the Nintendo corporation
Students will design a role-play to help the Nintendo corporation, in which they state their outcomes of the interview and research activities. The role-play will be recorded and posted on YouTube as a reply to the Wii scenario and will include answers to the following questions: 

1. How did limited supply of the Wii 1 at the beginning influence demand?
2. How did demand influence the price of the Wii?
3. Why did the price for the Wii drop? 
4. How did advertising the Wii2 influence the demand for the Wii1?

Day 19, 20:
Activity 5: Mindmap wrap-up
Students will design a minmap on the relations between supply and demand, using SmartDraw, a graphic organizer program, which is previously introduced by the teacher and relatively easy to use. Students will draw conclusions on when the best time to buy a product is, and how buying products influences the companies. These conclusions will be drawn throughout a whole-class discussion while presenting the mindmap. 

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