Friday, September 25, 2015

Revamping Regions

As I {previously shared}, I'm in charge of social studies long range plans.

I thought I'd just be able to reuse what I made last year, but after I looked at it again with fresh eyes, I decided that I needed to just start over. 

I wanted to focus more on the landforms of each state so students could see how regions were geographically similar.  I wanted to include vocabulary that they'd hear in the FOSS Landforms Kit (which is being taught in humanities).  I wanted to be more consistent with each state including the same information (images of state flag, state quarter, state seal) and the same basic layout.

This, unfortunately, is a massive undertaking but all the fifth grade classes are not only using it, but enjoying it as well. 

Last night, many, many hours after my contract time ended, I finished the introduction and Intermountain region powerpoint.  Coming in at 119 slides, it took quite a while to upload to Dropbox and TpT.  I designed it to be a ten day unit, with the first being an overview of what defines a region and how they're created.  The next eight days focus on the eight states in the Intermountain region, with one day at the end for a test.  I zoomed in on Yellowstone National Park, so that could be a day within itself.   

You can snag it {here}.

I designed the lessons to be about 15-20 minutes per day, since that's all we seem able to squeeze into our schedules.

This weekend I'll jump into the West Region with an additional topics on volcanoes, the Northern Lights, and tectonic plates.  From there, I think the Great Plains and the Midwest will be the next two regions, followed by the South, New England, and Mid Atlantic.  After all the states are covered, we'll be working on Native American Indians, Exploration, Plymouth, Colonial Times, the American Revolution, and the foundation of our government.  The year will end with a civics and government unit.

Hopefully this year (lucky #7) will feel like the last year that I have to keep reinventing the wheel and working so hard to create curriculum for my students.  There will always be tweaks and trying new things, but I feel like a first year teacher all over again.  It's a little rough this year.  But at least it's Friday!

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