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Countries Around the World

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Keywords: cultures worldstudies poetry
Subject(s): Technology, Geography, Writing, Reading, Social Studies, Science, Speech and Language, Foreign Language
Grade 2
School: Fairfield North Elem School, Hamilton, OH
Planned By: Eddie Thompson
Original Author: Eddie Thompson, Hamilton
Teacher Step 1

Pair students (Try to get a combination that likes working together, preferably a combination with at least one that likes to speak in front of a group.)
In order to gain the most information about a variety of cultures I recommend that you assign countries that best represent the whole world. (I picked the countries we would be learning about, then let the students draw a country from a hat.)
Mini Lesson As a word study lesson I put the country names on a grid. The students cut them out then did a sorting activity (all the countries that begin with A etc. All the countries in Africa etc.) Then we put the country names in ABC order.
Mini Lesson [Teachers can download (K), (W), (L) cluster maps to the desktop.]
Mini Lesson ]Teacher can print out world map, make an overhead and have the students draw a large size world map on butcher/ chart paper.] Complete by having the students tag the map with their new countries name and run the string to their celebration destination.
2. You will prepare for your presentation by learning about your new nation.

Make yourself a briefcase to collect information in.
Draw pictures of thing you want to remember from your links.
Teacher Step 2

Mini Lesson The students will need to keep a portfolio/briefcase of their project. I recommend one that has a suitcase/briefcase appearance a pattern is provided. There is an Ellison Cutter at the SanDiego City School Instructional Media Center that I actually used. It is certainly non-essential, but if you have volunteers that can cut the pages for you before the lesson it is worthwhile.
Mini Lesson [Teachers can download (K), (W), (L) cluster maps to the desktop.] so that as students aquire information from their resources they can immediately organize it.
Students will use their resources to learn about their new country. The students will draw pictures or series of pictures showing some of the ways in which cultures are different and the same.
Mini Lesson Money exchange is an international reality. I recommend including money activities within this unit (possibly making a wallet or a "book about money").
3. Transportation arrangements need to be made.

You will need a badge for security and identification.
Is your passport in order?
Decide how you will travel and order your tickets.
You might need a compass to find your way.
How will you pay for your trip?
Teacher Step 3

The students will learn about transportation. Any experience you can bring in or draw from will enrich the lessons
Mini Lesson Student draw or cut out pictures that show different modes of transportation and sort them into groups Air/Land/Water.
Mini Lesson Student photos should be taken. These will be used for their identification badges and their passports.
Mini Lesson Student height, weight, and eye color should be recorded for I.D.s.
Each student should make a Passport. If you have access to a real passport, show it. I used a copy of my daughters passport and ran it off on blue construction paper. [Teacher can download pertinant info.] The students fill in the blanks.
Mini Lesson I made a copy of an airline ticket and an itinerary blanking out the destinations etc. and making up a ficticious airline and gave each student an envelope for it. This then went in their briefcase.
Mini Lesson We had a minilesson on directions and they made a construction paper compass.
4. Now you are ready to take on your task.

Teacher Step 4

Student will read examples of rebus poems on the internet so that they understand what they are.
Students will complete their rebus poem. [Teachers can download the poem to the desktop if they have ClarisWorks.] The poem evolved into a book. We completed a page a day based on a mini-literacy lesson (usually stemming from a read aloud or shared read.
5. You are ready to present at the celebration.

Invite guests to your celebration.
Display your Mini Lesson work around the classroom.
Arrange your room conference style.
Decide which partner will do the reading and which will support with technology.
Celebrate learning about our brothers and sisters in other lands.
Teacher Step 5

Mini Lesson You can make the celebration as big or small as you are comfortable with. I recommend inviting parents. I video taped my last group. It became a valuable assessment tool for oral language.
Mini Lesson Find recepies from other countries. If you do invite parents I would ask if any could provide refreshments.[Teacher can download suggested refreshments list.]
On the designated day student will present their poems. One partner should read while the other manages the overhead. The technology support partner could point to the words on the screen while the reader is reading.
Mini Lesson If any songs are known or available they should be used during or after the reading of the poems.

Lesson adapted from a Primary Webquest designed by Maggie Bower
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Students will be connecting their learning of the cultures into poetry. We will be utilizing the technical arts to integrate word processing, digital images, etc.
The follow up would be to utilize the cameras for documenting the life of a child in the US and sharing that info with students half way around the world. Sharing seasons throughout the school year and comparing them to changes in their homeland.
Materials: Mobile Labs, Hi-Def Camcorder
Other Items: 1 flip video mobile lab