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America the Beautiful

By Angie Cary
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"How can we explore the United States with technology?"
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Grade Level: 5

Curriculum Areas:
Focus: Technology
Secondary: Mathematics, History/Social Science, Geography, English/Language Arts, Computer Science, Science

Topic:
Technology

Themes:
American Life, Diversity, Traveling, Water systems

Duration:
2-3 months
Summary
In this project, 5th graders will explore America utilizing a variety of internet functions. First, students will build their research skills and internet fluency, conducting research of a famous historical or geographical element of America's development. Secondly, students will create a website report of their findings. Third, students will plan and budget for a trip with their family through the U.S. with a WebQuest). Simultaneously, students will collectively be collecting postcards from the 50 states, mapping their location and tracking distances traveled. Students will complete the project with a better understandings of America's rich diversity and how to utilize internet to answer their own questions and share their own work.

Rationale
Technological fluency and teamwork are among the most important skills to learn. In this project, students practice reading, researching, organizing, synthesizing, and summarizing in their reports while gaining the skills to build a basic website. This will piggyback their Writers' Workshop experience. They will practice using a variety of tools to plan a trip, while also gaining understanding of the life skill of budgeting (while practicing real-world decimal computations). This motivating framework will provide a modern spin on the tradition state reports and geography units!