Teacher Guide for an "Inquiry Leading to Understanding" Project

Kidding Around California

By Cindy Richardson, Patricia Kephart
Meet the Authors

"What gives a city its "aura" -- makes it feel special?"

and Standards



 Student Guide

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Understandings and Standards

Core Understandings
  • Cities are communities.
  • Cities are shaped by thier environment.
  • A city's growth is dependent upon it's natural resources.
  • Cities have common characteristics.
  • Cities generate their own identity.
Learning Objectives
  • Students will create a powerpoint presentation about their city.
  • Students will learn how to do Web-based research.
  • Students will write informational paragraphs.
  • Students will make an oral presentation to the class.
  • Students will collaborate and design a travel book from their powerpoint presentations.
California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Four
ELA.4.1.0. Writing Strategies
Organization and Focus
ELA.4.1.2. Create multiple-paragraph compositions:
a. Provide an introductory paragraph.
b. Establish and support a central idea with a topic sentence at or near the beginning of the first paragraph.
c. Include supporting paragraphs with simple facts, details, and explanations.
d. Conclude with a paragraph that summarizes the points.
e. Use correct indention.
ELA.4.1.3. Use traditional structures for conveying information (e.g., chronological order, cause and effect, similarity and difference, and posing and answering a question).
Research and Technology
ELA.4.1.5. Quote or paraphrase information sources, citing them appropriately.
ELA.4.1.7. Use various reference materials (e.g., dictionary, thesaurus, card catalog, encyclopedia, online information) as an aid to writing.
ELA.4.1.9. Demonstrate basic keyboarding skills and familiarity with computer terminology (e.g., cursor, software, memory, disk drive, hard drive).
Evaluation and Revision
ELA.4.1.10. Edit and revise selected drafts to improve coherence and progression by adding, deleting, consolidating, and rearranging text.
ELA.4.2.0. Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.4.2.3. Write information reports:
a. Frame a central question about an issue or situation.
b. Include facts and details for focus.
c. Draw from more than one source of information (e.g., speakers, books, newspapers, other media sources).
Listening and Speaking
ELA.4.1.0. Listening and Speaking Strategies
ELA.4.1.5. Present effective introductions and conclusions that guide and inform the listener's understanding of important ideas and evidence.
ELA.4.2.0. Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
ELA.4.2.2. Make informational presentations:
a. Frame a key question.
b. Include facts and details that help listeners to focus.
c. Incorporate more than one source of information (e.g., speakers, books, newspapers, television or radio reports).
History and Social Science
Grade Four. California: A Changing State
HSS.4.1. Students demonstrate an understanding of the physical and human geographic features that define places and regions in California.
HSS.4.1.1. Explain and use the coordinate grid system of latitude and longitude to determine the absolute locations of places in California and on Earth.
HSS.4.1.3. Identify the state capital and describe the various regions of California, including how their characteristics and physical environments (e.g., water, landforms, vegetation, climate) affect human activity.
HSS.4.1.5. Use maps, charts, and pictures to describe how communities in California vary in land use, vegetation, wildlife, climate, population density, architecture, services, and transportation.