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A Trip to the Mall... Washington D.C.

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Keywords: Resource Book Making
Subject(s): Information Skills, Art, Photography, Civics, Social Studies, Health and PE, Video, Animation, Spelling, Technology, Geography, Grammar, Geometry, Science, Journalism, Special Needs, Writing, Drama, History, Music, Reading, Math, English/Language Arts
Grades 3 through 5
NETS-S Standard:
  • Creativity and Innovation
  • Communication and Collaboration
  • Research and Information Fluency
  • Critical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making
  • Digital Citizenship
  • Technology Operations and Concepts
View Full Text of Standards
School: Morehead Montessori School, Durham, NC
Planned By: Sharon Thomas
Original Author: Sharon Thomas, Durham
Students are divided into group. The teacher takes students on a brief tour of Washington D.C. using an active board through sites such as those suggested below:




then rank the places of interest and creating a persuasion paragraph as to which museums and monuments they feel they should be granted to research.

Students as a class create a board game. Each group creates question/answer cards for their museum and or monument to add to the game. The students also work together to create the game board which is a map of the Mall in D.C. . This is in the form of a map. Rather than using dice to move around the board, students will create coordinate cards that will take them from one site to another. Students will also use geometry, measuring skills to create a 3-D replica of the museum/monument for the game board.

The game pieces are made from "shrinky dinks" in which the groups designate a symbol to represent what our Nation's Capital means to them such as a drawing (or photo) of George Washington. Students should be separated into sub-groups for the game and more than one game board is meant to be created. The game is not intended to have a "winner" it is intended to have a set time to play. Students then reflect on the game by creating a way to measure accuracy of questions answered right or wrong (perhaps an excel spreadsheet that can be turned into a graph). Students should also generate a "Questions I still have..." list. A copy is to be kept by the student while the other to the group who created the game cards.

The "Questions I still have..." list can then be used for groups to revise, edit, extend their work. This list will also be used in the next section of the project.

Students then take the board game a step further using Science Boards to create a virtual version of the board game. The Science Boards will be turned into "booths" to represent the museum/monument. Through the use of clip art, photographs, maps, etc. Student will create the inside of their museum/monument. Brochures, posters, postcards, etc will be created for tourists who visit the booth. Students who designed the booth will take turns being tourists for other booths and tour guides for their booth. The Science booth should include but not be limited to photos, maps, 3-D replicas of aspects found in the actual place.

Students then revisit the board game created by playing the game again with the same time length and group. Students can then compare/contrast and reflect on what happened in terms of their knowledge from the first and last time playing the game.

Students then write an informational essay about an aspect of our Nation's history based on what they have learned. At this point, all students should have access to any notes etc. taken while completing the first stages of the project.

There are MANY extensions. Students can use the game board to measure distance between sites to determine things such as how many miles estimated would be walked based on places visited. Healthy Living can be taken into account as the effects of exercise in order to be able to visit each place. Students can do a fundraiser by inviting parents before a PTA or other school event. Each booth would have a donation box as the real museums and monuments do. Students can then use money skills to total funds gathered. The money can be used toward another classroom project, field trip, or contribution to the local community. If the students are able to visit D.C. fundraising could go toward activity trackers such as Fitbit. Students could track actual distance, calories burnt and more when they go on their field trip to compare to projections made through the "game" aspect of the project.

Students can create a scrapbook of the trip from any stage of the project. The scrapbook can be donated to the classroom or media center library for future classes to use as a research source or to extend upon.

There are also music components as students can create a wikki site of the project in which participates can "click" on a site to visit and get an audio tour, historical piece of music played, sound bite of a famous quote. A cd of the game, booth tour, and actual field trip can be created for students to take home.

Students of all learning styles will be able to participate as there are several ways incorporated into the project for creating, learning, and reflecting. Students do not need to be grouped by ability or limited in any way as this is a project in which unique talents are encourages, it is also designed to enable students to support each other throughout each stage.

Assessments can be made minute-by-minute observations, photos taken and then shown to students to reflect upon in a teacher conference about what was happening (good, problem solving, what would do differently), students can generate tests about their part of the project to give to others (just to name a few).
Most of the supplies can be found in the school, parent donated, or from money raised be other projects.
Cross-Curriculum Ideas
Please see the Lesson Plan as music, art, history, math, language arts, collaborative groups, and more are incorporated.
Field Trip to D.C., scrapbook of virtual trip, informational essays, extension research projects based on interest, home projects using this project as a springboard to create a board game for local community.
Materials: Whiteboards, Digital Cameras, MP3 Players, Microphones, Calculators, Elementary, Graphing, CDs and DVDs, Hard Drives, Printers, Camera/Video Accessories, Flash/USB Drives, Keyboards, Headsets, Mice, Ports and Hubs, English/Language Arts, Reading, Literacy, Writing, Math, Social Studies, ESL, Books, Games, Office Suite, Word Processor, Art Tools, Spreadsheet, Keyboarding, Inspiration, Authoring and Publishing, Web Page, Slideshow, Clip Art, Worksheets, Animation, Music, Pro Composition, Internet Services, Student Resources, Assessment, Integrating Technology, Hardware Devices
Other Items: 5 shrinky dink paper, $6.99 each, total of $34.95
cardboard , $N/A each
15 science boards, $3.99 each, total of $59.85
paper: construction, card stock, and or or white copy paper, , $? each
1 printers (color), $100.00 each, total of $100.00
1 cds pack, $9.99 each, total of $9.99
5 flashdrive, $9.99 each, total of $49.95
5 digital camera, $50.00 each, total of $250.00