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Teacher Guide for a "Unit of Practice" Project

Fun, Sun, and Hurricanes?

By Sandra Baird
Meet the Author

"How does the climate and geography affect the way people live and work in the Southeast?"
 Overview


 Invitation


 Standards and
Learning Objectives


 Tasks


 Interactions


 Situations


 Assessment


 Tools





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Student Guide

Elements of Geography
Look at a landscape photograph from National Geograpic's Archive.

Sketch the landscape based on their recollection, and complete a journal entry describing what they saw.

Use a transparency of the six elements of Geography projected on a screen.

After brainstorming 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.

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

Each group brainstorms for 7 minutes and records ideas based on the clarifying questions. If time allows, share some of the 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.
You will need:
1.Landscape Photo - Web Site
2.Six Elements of Geography Transparency - Transparencies
3.Six Elements of Geography Transparency 2 - Transparencies
4.Landscape Drawing Handout - Handout
5.Geography Journal Handout - Handout

Southeast Population Growth
Research your assigned state's population growth using the internet.

Create a timeline of the population of their state on Timeliner. The timeline will begin with the first year of census in that state and end in the year 2000.

Work between Timeliner and your site on the internet to complete the activity. Hot links are provided so that students can easily find the information needed.
You will need:
1.State Populations - Web Site
2.State timeline direction - Handout
3.Southeast Population Growth Rubric - Web Site

Life in Florida
Fourth grade students at Grewenow Elementary in Kenosha, WI will take part in a video conference with elementary students in Orlando Florida.

The conference will enable you to learn about the climate and geography of each area and find out how the climate and geography affect the lives of people in each area.

Brainstorm with the whole class a possible list of questions that they might want to ask the class from Florida.

An example of possible questions is: What is the temperature today? What is the normal high and low for this time of year? Does it ever snow there? If so, what is the biggest snow fall that you ever remember? How does the climate affect the way people live and work there? Does the climate enable you to do certain sports in your area that people in a different region might not be able to do? Do you ever have hurricanes or tornadoes where you live? How does this affect you daily life? Does your area have specific jobs there that we might not have in our area?

Reflect on the video conference. Use the reflection sheet provided to compare the climate and geography and their affects on the lives of those people in Wisconsin with those in Florida.
You will need:
1.Video Conference with Florida School - other
2.Video Conference Reflection Handout - Handout

Southeastern States
Brainstorm collaboratively to create the fields for a database, a way of collecting information about each state as we investigate the affect of climate and geography on the lives of the people that live in the Southeast. As the students are brainstorming, the teacher will facilitate the activity by using Inspiration to keep track of the information.

As part of a group from one of 6 groups, work together to create a four record database. The records represent the states in the Southeast. Each group will be assigned a total of 4 states. Two of these states will be the group's target states. The group will be assigned two additional states to research. When the database is finished each group will be able to share information from their additional states with another group. That information will be helpful to other groups that were assigned those states as their target states. This will enable each group to get some varied information on each target state.

Go to the internet to search for information for their database. Copy and paste from the internet to their database.
You will need:
1.Tennessee Web Site - Web Site
2.Southeast Region 4 Web Site - Web Site
3.US Parks Web Site - Web Site
4.Louisiana Web Site - Web Site
5.Bens Guide - Web Site
6.Cybersleuth-kids - Web Site
7.World Almanac for Kids - Web Site
8.Maps..reference..geoshelf - Web Site
9.Mississippi State Web Site - Web Site
10.South Carolina Web Site - Web Site
11.Mardi Gras Web Site - Web Site
12.Alabama Web Site - Web Site
13.West Virginia Web Site - Web Site
14.Florida Web Site - Web Site
15.Virginia Web Site - Web Site
16.Georgia Web Site - Web Site
17.Louisiana Web Site II - Web Site
18.Mississippi Web Site II - Web Site
19.Arkansas Web Site - Web Site
20.Kentucky Web Site - Web Site
21.North Carolina Web Site - Web Site
22.Netstate Web Site - Web Site
23.Southeastern States Database Rubric - Web Site

Come Visit Our State
Work together in 6 groups to create a 2 minute iMovie for each state. Each group will be assigned their two target states that they researched while doing the database.

The group's task is to create an iMovie that will sell tourism for their state. Create a fun movie that will make people eager to come and visit that state.
Information that was obtained in the database will be used as background information for the iMovie.

Tasks for creating the imovie will be described and assigned by the teacher. The teacher will select a camera person, grip, actors, and script writers.

The teacher will act as the director to coordinate the movie. The teacher will also edit the iMovie.
You will need:
1.IMovie Rubric - Web Site

Can We Move to the Southeast?
A persuasive letter will be displayed and discussed as an example for the task that you will be asked to do.

You should now have a background of knowledge about different areas in the Southeast. Write a one page persuasive letter to your parents trying to convince them to move to a particular city or state in the Southeast.
You will need:
1.What is a Persuasive Letter? - Web Site
2.Friendly Letter Parts - Web Site
3.Friendly Letter /example - Web Site
4.We Want to Move to the Southeast - Web Site
5.Friendly Letter Parts Transparencies - Transparencies
6.Sams-letter Handout - Handout
7.Persuasive Letter Rubric - Web Site

Trip to Disneyworld in Orlando
Congratulations! You and your classmates have worked so hard on this project that you are going to Orlando, Florida. You will have 7 days for you trip.

Students will be given a $5000.00 budget for each group of 4 people. The group will include a parent and 3 students. Groups will be assigned.

Your group will have to keep a written record of your expenses. The categories are: food, automobile expenses, hotel accommodations, admission expenses, and miscellaneous expenses. During your trip you will consider the following: car rental, gasoline $1.50/gallon, hotel accommodations, food expense of $25/day per person, and Disneyworld admission.
Good luck and have fun!

Use the travel budget to keep up with your trip.
You will need:
1.Enterprise Car Rental - Web Site
2.Map Quest - Web Site
3.Avis Car Rental - Web Site
4.Hertz Car Rental - Web Site
5.Walt Disney World - Web Site
6.TravelBudget Handout - Handout
7.Travel Budget Handout - Handout
8.Student Directions to Disney - Handout
9.Expedia Web Sight - Web Site
10.Travelocity Web Site - Web Site
11.Hotels - Web Site