1 Unit Plan 8th Grade Geography Ciara Timothy SOST 450- Professor Johnson Contents: 1. Student Handout 2. Day to Day Outline 3. MN Graduation Standards and Benchmarks 4. Differentiated for Content, Process, and Product 5. Academic Language 6. Spiral Curriculum 7. Unit Exam Multiple Choice and Essay Question(s) Physical Features Impact on Humans (8 th Grade World Geography) Sample day to day outline for a Unit Plan in SOST 450, MSU- Mankato Ciara Timothy Minnesota Social Studies Standard: V. Geography. C. Physical Features and Processes. The student will use basic terminology describing basic physical features of continents studied. 1. Students will locate and describe major physical features and analyze how they influenced cultures/civilizations studied. 2. Students will describe and locate major physical features in their local community and analyze their impact on the community. Essential Question: How do physical features of a region impact civilizations and culture? The students will: 1. Locate and describe major physical features and analyze how they influenced cultures/civilizations studied.
2 2. Describe and locate major physical features in their local community and analyze the impact on the community. 3. Evaluate the importance of physical features in a community and explore how the culture of a region would be changed without that feature. Evaluation. The students will: 1. Create a group project in which they will be asked to identify a physical feature in the community and research the historical background, the significance, and impact on the community. Through the project, they will also evaluate the outcome of the community if that physical feature did not exist. 2. Complete a test (multiple choice and essay questions) on the physical features of Africa, on the cultural relevance of the people studied, and the effects the physical features of a region have on the people. Day to Day Outline: Day 1 1. Define what a physical feature is and the different types of physical features that inhabit the world. Academic Language: Physical feature: mountain, river, plains, volcano, plateau, hill, lake, ocean, island. Students discuss what they know about the term physical feature and give examples. Once the class has brainstormed the possible outcomes, a four minute video is played to see how they did. (Physical Features of the Earth, Earth). From the video, students are to add physical features to the list made before the video and/or eliminate terms that they had written down that are not physical features. Individually, students will write down each physical feature into their vocabulary journal by defining and sketching the term. Teacher will lead discussion on physical features before and after the video. Day 2
3 1. Be introduced to the unit and understand the units' expectations. 2. Express concerns, questions, and excitements about the unit. 3. Label a political and physical map of Africa. 4. Make predictions about how they think the physical features of Africa play apart in the lives of the people. Academic Language: Political map, physical map Teacher hands out unit handout to students, students review handout, and teacher specifies expectations of unit. Teacher asks for questions/concerns from students about the unit. Teacher hands out two blank maps of Africa to the students: one will be labeled with countries and capitals; the other map will be colored, labeled, and students will create a key for the physical features. Students will be allowed the use of classroom computers, maps, textbooks, and teacher's help to accurately label maps. Students make predictions on back of physical map how they think African people utilize the physical features and describe their perceptions of Africa. Day 3 1. Identify the ways in which the Baka depend on and utilize the resources of the rainforest. 2. Develop an understanding of the ways humans impact the environment. Academic Language: Baka, tropical forest, ecosystem, dam, logging, deforestation, poverty, isolation, global scale Teacher will start off the day with the academic language on the board. Students are to begin class with writing their own predictions of the definitions and sketches of the vocabulary into their vocabulary journals. Students will watch a nine minute video (Tropical Forests under Threat: Voices from the Baka, posted by The World Bank, Teacher will pause the video at certain points, pose questions about the Baka, impacts humans have on the environment, and student reactions. How do the Baka use the rainforest? What is logging doing to the ecosystem of the rainforest? Once the video is over, the teacher will go through the vocab and help students develop a deeper understanding of vocabulary by having students add or revise to their previous definitions and sketches. Half of the class will fill out a graphic organizer on the pros and cons of the logging industry on the rainforest; the other half will fill out a graphic organizer on the pros and cons of the Baka
4 people on the rainforest. Students will pair up, one logger and one Baka, and debate which side has the right to be impacting the rainforest's ecosystem. Teacher will be monitoring the debates. Students prepare their reading from the textbook, Chapter 21: Section 1 for tomorrow's class. Day 4 1. Develop an understanding of the people of Niger who use agriculture as a means to survive. 2. Examine a fictional account of the people of Niger and compare and contrast the accuracy to the textbook section on West Africa. 3. Create a metaphor and metaphorical drawing representing what agriculture means to the people of agricultural societies. Academic Language: agriculture, zonal, Sahel, Desertification, savanna, cultural aspects of the people Umuofia (from the fictional book), Week of Peace, yams, rainy season, Students will have prepared the vocabulary from the textbook reading as homework from the night before. Teacher will go around the room and check on completion of terms. Teacher poses questions about the reading. What did the students find most interesting? What kind of ways do people of West Africa utilize the physical features of the region? Teacher performs a read aloud from Chinua Achebe's Things Fall Apart (Achebe, Chinua. Things Fall Apart. Nigeria: First Anchor Books, 1959.) Students will participate during the read aloud by jotting down terms or ideas they find relevant during the reading or visualize what they see as they listen and sketch a drawing. Teacher poses questions during and after read aloud. How did the physical surroundings impact the culture? In what ways did the people of Umuofia utilize the land to survive? Teacher will hand out the metaphorical drawing handout, explain expectations, and provide an example. Students will get time to create their metaphors, draw their representation, and present to the class. Teacher will walk around to check for understanding. If time remains, students prepare thoughts, questions, and previous knowledge they have about the Nile River. Day 5
5 1. Students actively participate in watching a documentary on the Nile River. Academic Language: Nile River, pollution, foreign affairs Teacher hands out a sheet of paper with the guiding questions students should be thinking about during the film. How does the Nile affect the people who live along the river? In what ways to people use the Nile? How does the Nile affect the governments of the countries that the Nile runs through? What are the concerns for the future of the Nile? Students will actively watch and listen to Al Jazeera English's part one of Struggle for the Nile: Masters No More, documentary ( 47 min). Day 6 1. Develop an outline for the essay question on the Unit test. Teacher will pose the question: "In what ways does the Nile River affect the people, culture, and foreign affairs of African nations that it runs through?" A class discussion will be used to help students outline their essays. The teacher will have the class discuss the questions they were to look for during the film. How does the Nile affect the people who live along the river? In what ways do people use the Nile? How does the Nile affect the governments of the countries that the Nile runs through? What are the concerns for the future of the Nile? Students will develop an outline for the essay question portion of the unit test using their notes from the film from Day 5. Day 7 1. Review for the unit exam. Students will review the materials handed out in class, vocabulary in the vocabulary journal, the outline for the essay, and notes on the videos watched in class. Teacher will be available for questions from students, facilitate discussions, pose questions to deeper understanding, and provide feedback to students.
6 Day 8 1. Take the unit exam. Students take the unit exam. After completing the exam, students are asked to reflect on the physical features that their community has to offer. How do the people of the community use the land? What does the land provide to the community? How do you as a member of the community use the physical features? Day 9 1. Review tests results. 2. Understand expectations for the Physical Features of the Community project. 3. Be assigned to groups for project. Teacher will pass back student exams and review areas where students showed a lack of knowledge when it came to the essential question of: How do physical features of a region impact civilizations and their culture? The teacher will lead into the Physical Features of the Community project by handing out project guidelines and explaining expectations that will lead to a group presentation at the end of the unit. Presentations are 20 minutes long, must incorporate every student, and need to meet the requirements from the project rubric on the handout. Students will be assigned to five groups (assuming the class is 30 students, 6 students in each group) and will elect group roles (roles based on the strategy from Bring Learning Alive: Problem Solving Groupwork) Groups will begin brainstorming what physical feature of the community they want to pick. Groups must make a case for their physical feature to the teacher before research can begin. Day Analyze questions about their physical feature from the project. 2. Research the historical significance of the physical feature in the community. 3. Collect data about the community's impact on the physical feature and vice versus. Groups will research using primary sources, classroom computers, the school computer lab, history books, and community records. Researched information will be presented to the class
7 orally and visually. Groups are asked to research specific questions. Why is this an important physical feature of the community? How does the physical feature impact the people of this town? In what ways does the community benefit from the physical feature? And, in what way does the physical feature hinder the community? Are there any risk factors involved with the physical feature (past, present, future)? Teacher will be available for questions, feedback, posing questions when groups are stuck, and being a resource to the students. Day Continue research on projects. 2. Explore the possibility of their physical feature never existing in the community. 3. Decide presentation order. Groups will continue researching on the project. Teacher will add an additional element to the groups to analyze and include in their project. Some groups will be given: What would the community be like if your physical feature was never present in the community? Other groups will be given: How will the community change if you woke up tomorrow and your physical feature was no longer present? Groups are required to present this element of the project in a physical representation using a group skit, newscast, radio station, or another form of performance approved by the teacher. The teacher will hold a drawing to determine the order that the groups will present. Day Continue production on the Physical Features of the Community project. Students get one last class day to work on their projects. Day 13
8 1. Present group projects. 2. Actively participate as audience members. Two groups will present the Physical Features of the Community project. Students not presenting will actively listen and watch presentations. At the end of each presentation students will fill out an assessment and provide feedback to the group presenting. What did you find interesting? What could have been improved? What worked best? Day Present group projects. 2. Actively participate as audience members. Two groups will present the Physical Features of the Community project. Students not presenting will actively listen and watch presentations. At the end of each presentation students will fill out an assessment and provide feedback to the group presenting. What did you find interesting? What could have been improved? What worked best? Day Present group projects. 2. Actively participate as audience members. 3. Reflect on the unit as a whole. The last group will present the Physical Features of the Community project. Students not presenting will actively listen and watch the presentation. At the end of the presentation students will fill out an assessment and provide feedback to the group presenting. What did you find interesting? What could have been improved? What worked best? Teacher will wrap up the unit by providing feedback on what went well and what could have been improved. The teacher will express the ways in which s/he saw progress in the students understanding of the essential question: How do physical features of a region impact civilizations and their culture? The teacher will then ask the students to use the rest of the class period to reflect upon the unit as a whole. What was your favorite part? What do you think could work better? Did you have fun? What didn't you like?
9 MN Standard and Benchmarks: V. Geography. C. Physical Features and Processes. The student will use basic terminology describing basic physical features of continents studied. 1. Students will locate and describe major physical features and analyze how they influenced cultures/civilizations studied. 2. Students will describe and locate major physical features in their local community and analyze their impact on the community. How they are met: Throughout the Unit, students were constantly learning basic terminology describing physical features of continents. Each student has a 'vocabulary journal' in which important terms and concepts are identified by words and sketches. Through the exploration of African culture relating to the landscape of Africa, students addressed benchmark number one. Benchmark number two was matched up with the Physical Features of the Community project where students provide researched information on the impact that the physical features have on the community. Differentiated for Content, Process, and Product Learning Objective Locate And describe major Physical Features And analyze how they influenced cultures /civilizations studied. Content Process Product Used in Unit All students will have an understanding and identify the physical features of the world through pictures and descriptions. While learning about the physical features, students will adapt an understanding of how three different cultures/civilizations are affected by the landforms. If high performing students do not feel challenged enough by the activities used in class, they can be given additional documents and readings. Then, they will be asked to debate their results. ELL and lower reading level students can be given additional supplements, hand-outs, guided notes, or an outline of the movies/book readings that are explored in class. Vocabulary journals help ELL and students with lower reading levels by giving them the chance to express definitions by pictures and sketches. Providing videos gives a chance for students to focus less on reading and more on connecting with relationships. Students who have trouble writing the essay can express their knowledge by formulating a graphic organizer instead. Vocabulary journals are used almost every day of the unit. Students will watch documentaries on Days 1, 3, and 5. The essay development is on Day 6.
10 Describe and locate major physical features in their local community and analyze the impact on the community. Each student will be able to identify the physical features in the community around them and the way they impact the community as a whole. Students will be split into groups to work on the classroom project. The teacher will be making the groups to make sure ELL and lower level readers are paired with students who will be good matches for these students. If the higher performing students of the groups are not feeling challenged, they will be given additional roles, information, or activities (depending on their role in the project) to provide in their final product. This project requires each student to have a particular role in the development of the project. Having specific roles allows for students to succeed at something they are good at. A lower level student or ELL can help in the research project by collecting resources, or providing the visuals for the presentation. On Day 9, the students will be introduced to the project, understand expectations, be split into groups, and assign group roles. Evaluate the importance of physical features in a community and explore how the culture of a region would be changed without that feature. It is essential that all All students will Groups are students evaluate the participate in this required to importance of process depending develop a physical features in on which role they performance piece a community. As a group, during the picked in the community to add to their presentation. By community project, project. This adding a creative students will use critical thinking process is performed and performance piece, it helps skills to explore the decided by the ELL and lower effect on the community if their students through group reading level students to focus physical feature was investigation. The less on the no longer there. ELL and lower level reading research and more on the developing The teacher presents this on Day 11.
11 students are paired the performance. strategically with This requires higher level creativity, thinking students expression, and in their group. If leadership skills ELL and lower that the advanced reading level students may not students are not know how to providing enough execute. group contribution they will be given additional handouts with visuals and asked to answer the question in essay form or orally to the teacher. Academic Language: The academic language in this unit is vital for the students to understand; without that understanding they would not be able to build upon new information throughout the unit. For this unit, and part of my classroom procedures for the class, students are required to have a vocabulary journal. This journal gives students creative freedom with how they set up their journal. The only requirements, however, are that students must 1. Define the term in their own words, 2. Define the word by academic standards, 3. Sketch a drawing or picture depicting the word. Spiral Curriculum: Throughout history students have been complaining about their social studies classes, "Why are they so boring?" "This is pointless." "Who needs to know this stuff?" Social studies educators need to look for outlets to make students want to pay attention in class, participate with enthusiasm, and tell their friends that their favorite subject in school is no longer Chemistry but, now, Social Studies! Educators can hope to achieve this goal by using a spiraled curriculum. Spiral curriculums use a variety of strategies for teaching and strays away from the mundane lecture format too many of us are familiar with. According to Jerome Bruner, in the History Alive article from class, 'all students can learn if a teacher shows them how to think and discover knowledge for themselves.' This is essentially the basis for a spiral curriculum. Students are given the tools, step by step, to be able to come to conclusions on their own. Teachers are there to facilitate the learning and deliver the information
12 in a scaffolding effect. Students should be given activities that start at a level of basic understanding and work up to critical thinking skills. With my Unit plan on physical features, students start with the basic terms associated with physical features like mountain, river, plains. Then, the class takes a look at three different societies in Africa who have a more complex way of living with each society. The Baka people in the unit live in the rainforest and live off of the land and resources that are already present in nature. The students are to recognize the relationship Baka have with the rainforest and build on their understanding of terms. The people of West Africa use agricultural systems of the plains to produce food and products; while at the same time depend on the climate patterns for success of crops. The students are required to compare and contrast information from two different sources on the people of West Africa. From that knowledge, they are to build a metaphor and metaphorical drawing to explain the relationship of the people to the land. The next part of the Unit has the students analyzing the relationship of many countries, cultures, and governments and the impact that the Nile River has on all of them. The students develop an essay for the Unit exam that considers each relationship that the Nile has with each group. Finally, the students are required to work collectively in groups on a project that requires them to investigate a physical feature in their community. This project requires students to tap into personal knowledge, use research skills, creative thinking, and role playing to accomplish the project. This project incorporates a skill from every scaffold level of the Unit on African cultures. Using the spiral curriculum can really transform the Social Studies department. Students and educators benefit from this type of curriculum. Teachers are able to see progress in students learning by giving students higher level thinking activities. Students benefit from the spiral curriculum because they find new ways to solve problems, and develop critical thinking skills. Most importantly, the spiral curriculum is a really neat way for students to take control of their own learning, and the best part is that they don't even realize they are doing it! Unit Exam Multiple Choice and Essay Question(s): 1. How do the Baka people of Cameroon utilize the rainforest? 1. By means of collecting revenue from the logging industry. 2. By means of shrimping the rivers for profit. 3. By means of consuming the rainforests resources in order for the society to survive. 4. By means of both collecting revenue from the logging industry and surviving off the natural resources. 5. Which best explains why the Nile River is causing conflict between African nations? 1. The Nile's water supply is diminishing and countries are panicking. 2. Egypt is concerned that too many dams built upstream will result in Egypt's water supply vanishing. 3. African Nations with the Nile River running through it all want to control the rights to the water.
13 4. African Nations are concerned with pollution and cannot come to an agreement on a solution to the problem. 1. Based on the picture above, which is most likely to occur to the land? (Hint: Use your knowledge from what you learned in class and pick the best option.) 1. The lake will eventually run out of fish because the local inhabitants fished too much for food. 2. The trees will be used to make paper by the logging industry. 3. The mountains will soon be flattened by construction workers to make room for houses. 4. The local inhabitants will gladly accept an offer from businesses to build a ski resort on the mountain. 5. The people of West Africa and the Baka people in Cameroon were similar in that they 1. Mistreated the land for profit. 2. Respected the land and used it as a resource for survival. 3. Used agriculture as a means to produce food. 4. Depended on local businesses to buy their products for survival. Essay Question: In what ways does the Nile River affect the people, culture, and foreign affairs of African nations that it runs through? I chose this essay question because I thought it would be a good assessment of the students understanding, not just on the Nile River portion of the Unit, but on the unit as a whole. With this question the students had to pay attention to a video, analyze the important affects the Nile has on the people and countries surrounding it, and express their knowledge of how a physical feature can impact societies in many different aspects.