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Around the World in 10 Days - Landmark Project

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Keywords: geography, powerpoints, reading, writing
Subject(s): Technology, Geography, Writing, Reading, Information Skills, English/Language Arts, Spelling, Grammar, Math, History
Grades 4 through 6
School: Sagebrush Elementary School, Aurora, CO
Planned By: Nathan Kraai
Original Author: Nathan Kraai, Aurora
Standard 1: Read and Understand a Variety of Materials
Standard 2: Writing for a variety of purposes and audiences

The Hook: Read Ben's Dream by Chris Van Allsburg to the class. Have students identify the landmarks and where they are located in the world. Discuss how landmarks help us to recognize places, even locally.

I then utilize a projector and laptop to show kids pictures of landmarks around the world, including those locally. We brainstorm why Mount Rushmore was created, or what was the reason for building the Great Wall. We talk about our schema and what we know already about some of the famous landmarks. We talk about what we would like to know about some of these landmarks. Then the project begins.

Students, using their research skills, must complete the "Around the World" project culminating in a powerpoint presentation as if they were a travel agent trying to sell us on purchasing the trip. Utilizing laptops, students work in pairs to plan a trip around the world, stopping at 3 landmarks used in Ben's Dream. (Statue of Liberty, Big Ben, Eiffel Tower, Leaning Tower of Pisa, Parthenon, Sphinx, St. Basil's Cathedral, Taj Mahal, Great Wall of China, and Mount Rushmore)

Students begin by planning their route utilizing Google Earth. They must figure out in which part of the world the landmark is in, including what city, country, and continent. Once figured out, they must research the cheapest airfare for two people to the location of the first landmark. Then students dive into answering questions about the landmark chosen.

-What is the landmark? -Who was it built by? -Why was it built? -Describe the landmark in detail including physical characteristics. -What is it used for today? -Interesting facts

They move on to researching flights from landmark 1 to landmark 2 and complete the same questions for landmark 2 and so on through landmark 3. They must also research airfare to get home after landmark 3.

Once they have all the data and research completed, it is their job to create a Powerpoint presentation that includes all of this information along with pictures or videos of the landmarks to share with the class. Being creative is key. The rubric is designed to grade on both presentation and content.

Materials: Projectors, Flash/USB Drives