Grade Level Content Expectations
4th Grade Social Studies:
G1.0.1: Identify questions geographers ask in examining the United States (e.g., Where is it? What is it like there? How is it connected to other places?
G2.0.2: Compare human and physical characteristics of a region to which Michigan belongs (e.g., Great Lakes, Midwest) with those of another region in the United States.
4th Grade Language Arts: Speaking: Discourse
S.DS.04.03 Students will respond to multiple text types by reflecting, making connections, taking a position, and/or showing deep understanding.
Technology Communications Tools: By the end of 5th grade each student will:
1. use basic telecommunications tools (e.g., e-mail, WebQuests, IM, blogs, chat rooms, web conferencing) for collaborative projects with other students.
Source Choices: I have to admit that it was difficult to find quality sources that used the same definition or breakdown of regions. I decided to use the U.S. Census Bureau's breakdown of regions, which breaks the U.S.A. into four major regions. I then chose sources based on this breakdown of the U.S.A. I pulled in books as well as videos from Discovery Education and other websites that had varied information about the four regions so that students would be able to find everything they needed for their I-Charts.
Inquiry Process Steps:
Immerse: Students are immersed in the language of the project in a concept wheel vocabulary exercise at the beginning that introduces them to the words that they will be working with throughout the entire project.
Investigate: Students investigate their particular region by watching videos and researching information to complete an I-chart organizer that helps them organize the information they discover about their region.
Coalesce: Students take the information they have learned and synthesize it when they complete a Read, Remember, Represent and Retell page. Each student will create a visual of their region that will help them before they create their final presentation. At this point, they are putting down on paper the things that are popping out to them in their minds about their region, be it physical or human characteristics, interesting facts or anything else they have learned along the way.
Go public: Students practice presenting in front of the small group they have been working with before they present in front of their parents.
Conclusions presented: Parents are coming in for a special presentation day to watch their children present the PowerPoints they have created to the class.
Audience's role: Each member of the audience (parents included) will be given a stickynote to write down one thing they learned about the region, and whether or not they think they would ever move there once the presentation is done. These will be collected around the room on posters with the different region names for students and parents to view after the presentations are complete.
Differentiation: Students choose which region they would like to move to and research based on their interests and the Geography Interest Inventory that they complete.
Summative: Students print out a copy of the final rubric so that they can see the four GLCEs (see above) that they will be evaluated on as they complete the WebQuest and put their PowerPoint presentations together.
Formative: The teacher will formatively assess students with a checklist as students make their way through the WebQuest, ensuring that students are completing each step of the process accurately and to the best of their ability. Students will be informally assessed to see that they are completing the vocabulary Concept Wheels, the I-Chart, the Read, Remember, Represent, and Retell strategy activity, and the PowerPoint presentations.