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Teacher Guide for a "Unit of Practice" Project

Fun, Sun, and Hurricanes?

By Sandra Baird
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"How does the climate and geography affect the way people live and work in the Southeast?"


 Standards and
Learning Objectives






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Elements of Geography

Instructional Time: 50 minutes a day for 2 days

The teacher will have the students look at a landscape photograph from National Geograpic's Archive.

Students will then be asked to sketch the landscape based on their recollection, and complete a journal entry describing what they saw.

In an effort to explain the aspect of land and its uses, a transparency of the six elements of Geography will be projected on a screen.

After students have brainstormed their thoughts on each element, the teacher will clarify the elements by going over the following guided questions:

1. Location: Where might this place be located?
2. Places and Regions: What is special about this place? What makes this place different from other places? Is this place similar to other places near it?
3. Physical Systems: What physical processes shape the features and patterns of the place? What is the weather like? How has the climate affected this place?
4. Human Systems. How might people, goods, and ideas travel into and out of this place.
5. Environment and Society: How have people affected this environment: How might the environment affect the people?
6. Uses of Geography: How do human features influence historical, current, or future events.

The class will be divided into six groups(selected), and each group will be assigned an element. The landscape photograph will be displayed again.

The groups will brainstorm for 7 minutes and record their ideas based on the clarifying questions. If time allows the groups should share some of their findings. Discuss how this information compares to their original observations.

As a class, discuss the advantages of using the six essential elements to interpret and understand landscapes.

Kenosha Unified School District Academic Content Standards
Social Studies
Grade 4
SS.4.23.2. Understands how human actions modify the physical environment.
SS.4.23.2.A. Knows the ways people alter the physical environment (e.g., creating irrigation projects).
SS.4.23.3. Understands how physical systems affect human systems.
SS.4.23.3.A. Understands how humans adapt to variations in the physical environment and climate (e.g., choices of clothing, housing, agriculture, recreation, and food).
Information Literacy
Grade 4
Information Seeking
IL.4.1. Knows how to define the problem and identify the information need.
IL.4.1.A. Recognizes situations where information is needed to resolve a specific problem or question.
IL.4.1.B. Determines what information is already known about the problem or question.
IL.4.1.C. Determines what additional information is neede.
Evaluate and Interpret
IL.4.5. Knows how to record, organize and interpret selected information.
IL.4.5.D. Draws conclusions based on the information gathered.

1.Landscape PhotoWeb SiteHardware:
LCD Projection Device
Internet Access
2.Six Elements of Geography TransparencyTransparenciesHardware:
Internet Access
Overhead Projector

3.Six Elements of Geography Transparency 2TransparenciesHardware:

4.Landscape Drawing HandoutHandoutHardware:

5.Geography Journal HandoutHandoutgeographyjournal.doc

Method of Checking for Understanding:
Observations, Student Work