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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Research Topic

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Research that City

Instructional Time: 1 hour a day for 4 days

Teacher gives mini lesson on doing research covering the various resources available. Teacher reviews essential question (what makes your city feel special?) and subsidiary questions (location, specialties, important things) to keep research focused.
Students will use index cards to collect information from written materials. Each card is titled indicating which question it answers. Cards are kept in a large envelope. Students get a handout on note taking. They will use its strategies for this project.
Teacher sets up library corner for city research projects.
Class works in pairs at computers in computer lab. Students will set up a folder on the computer for images. Students use Web Resource page for links.

California Content Standards
English and Language Arts
Grade Four
ELA.4.1.0. Writing Strategies
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).
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).
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.4.1.3. 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.

1.Library booksBook
2.Note Taking TipsHandoutnotetaking.doc

Method of Checking for Understanding:
Student Work, Interview/Conference