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Geography of Our School

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Keywords: Flip Video, maps, geography, school
Subject(s): Video, Social Skills, Technology, Geography, Information Skills, Social Studies, Journalism
Grade K
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Williamsburg Elementary School, Reidsville, NC
Planned By: Lauren Kirkman
Original Author: Lauren Kirkman, Reidsville
Subject: Social Studies - Kindergarten

Materials/Resources Needed for Map Unit: FlipCameras, ActivBoard, GoogleEarth, NatGeo for Kids, Nonfiction map books for reading center and read alouds, tactile maps for student exploration

Focus: Students will be able to locate significant locations in their school, describe their functions, and place them on a map of the school.

North Carolina Standard Course of Study Social Studies Goal 5: The learner will express basic geographic concepts in real life situations.
Objective 5.01
Locate and describe familiar places in the home, school, and other environments.
Objective 5.02
Create and interpret simple maps, models, and drawings of the home, school, and other environments.
Objective 5.03
Describe the functions of places in the home, school, and other environments.

North Carolina Standard Course of Study Technology Goal 2: The learner will demonstrate knowledge and skills in the use of computer and other technologies.

Essential Questions: How can I find important places in my school? Why are these locations important to me as a student?

Review/ Introduction: What is a map? What are some different types of maps that we have already studied and how are they used? Refer to ongoing list of maps and their uses. Find Williamsburg Elementary school on Google Earth and explain that today we will be making a map of the inside of our school.

Before: As a class, students brainstorm a list of the important sites in our school. From the list, the class will choose the five most important and discuss the functions of each. (Possible locations: classroom, cafeteria, office, library, gym, music room, communal bathrooms, computer lab)

During: Students, in groups of three, will be assigned one location in the school.

• They will answer the following four questions about their location:
1. Where is the site located? (Students will describe the location of their place using positions words like ‘next to,’ ‘beside,’ and ‘in front of.’)
2. How often is it used? (Daily, weekly, monthly)
3. Why is it important? (Why do we need this location in our school?)
4. How would your time at school be different without this site?

• Students will answer their questions together in their small groups with guidance from the classroom teacher and assistant.
• Then, the teacher will assign a role to each student (recorder, reporter, and interviewer).
o The recorder will be in charge of operating the FlipVideo, the interviewer will ask the questions, and the reporter will answer the questions.
o Before going to their location, the recorder will demonstrate the ability to operate the camera, and the reporter and interviewer will practice asking and answering the three questions about their location.
• Then, the student groups will go to their locations and film the interview.

After: The teacher will embed the student videos in shapes that resemble each site on a flipchart. The class will use directional words (up, down, right, left, next to, between) to instruct the teacher where to place the locations and how to connect them in order to make a map of the school.

Closure: The teacher will play each video for the whole class to view.
• The class will discuss the parts of the project they thought were exciting and the parts they thought were challenging. The teacher will ask why they felt that way.
• The students will discuss the answer to the essential question:
o How can I find important places in my school? How do these locations help us learn?
• She will also ask:
o What do you know about your school now that you might not have thought about before?

Modifications and Differentiations: Students will be working cooperatively in groups of three. The teacher will assign roles in the groups based on student need.

Assessment: The teacher will use a rubric to assess each student. She will be assessing participation, thorough answers and performance of assigned role. The teacher will also give students a rubric for self-assessment of the same goals.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Various books will be available in the reading center about making maps. These books will be on or close to the students' reading level. The teacher will also lead up to this lesson by reading books about maps and geography during read-aloud.
Extensions: The flipchart containing our videos will be used at the beginning of next year to orient new Kindergarten students to our school.

Links: Link to Google Earth
Link to National Geographic for Kids
Materials: Whiteboards, Flip Video, Networked Projectors, Video Tools, Flash/USB Drives, Social Studies, Integrating Technology