50 Nifty United States

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Oregon Standards

SS.05.GE.03.02 Identify the names of the fifty states and their location relative to other states.

SS.05.GE.04.01 Identify and locate major landforms, bodies of water, vegetation, and climate found in regions of the United States.

SS.05.GE.04.02 Identify the type of economic activity, population distribution, and cities found in regions of the United States.

EL.04.WR.01 Use a variety of strategies to prepare for writing, such as brainstorming, making lists, mapping, outlining, grouping related ideas, using graphic organizers, and taking notes.

EL.04.WR.02 Discuss ideas for writing with classmates, teachers, and other writers, and develop drafts alone and collaboratively.

EL.04.WR.14 Create interesting sentences using a variety of sentence patterns by selecting words that describe, explain, or provide additional detail and connections.EL.04.WR.14 Create interesting sentences using a variety of sentence patterns by selecting words that describe, explain, or provide additional detail and connections.

Geography is a huge part of the standards, and this is a great way for language learners to feel successful learning about a state's geography while still able to feel comfortable with their language abilities.  The ABC book format allows students to keep it as simple or detailed as they feel comfortable.  These ABC books serve as a creative, new spin on common state reports, as well as the implementation of Webquests as a means to gather the information in a more organized fashion.

Students are practicing research skills as well as learning about the different landforms, history, etc. about the states so that we can compare and contrast the differences between them in a culminating sharing activity.

There is sooo much to learn about each of the states.  Also, if for some reason a student struggles with finding enough information about their role, they can buddy up with a team member to find more about another role as some roles have far more information than others.  This might also be a good way to strategically assign roles to students based on their abilities or on topics that motivate them moreso than others.

I feel like my culminating project needs further explanation: When students compile their information to  make an ABC book, they will organize their findings to cater to different letters of the alphabet.  For example, for an ABC book on Oregon, the B could be for beaver, the state animal and the M could be for Mount Hood, a popular mountain.  Students should draw a picture and write a small paragraph of facts for each ABC entry.  It is not required that each letter of the alphabet be represented as that may be easier for some states than others, and in some cases, impossible.  It is simply an interesting and unique way to help students to organize their findings.

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