Saturday, October 15, 2011

Six Weeks In

It is amazing how fast the first term is flying by. We are still focusing on geography skills and last week finished learning all the Five Themes of Geography. Now we are taking some time to apply what we have learned. So, in the computer lab we are using Google Earth to gain background knowledge about some of the places we will study this year, and we are using the Five Themes of Geography to categorize information for such places as the Ziggurat of Ur, the Great Pyramid of Giza, and the Great Wall of China.
This next week we will continue to learn new map skills by looking at different map projections. This lesson has its fun elements when we talk about what the word distortion means. I then show a picture of a very distorted Arnold Schwarzenegger which gets the children’s attention. Students thereby learn that flat maps cannot be accurate representations of the round earth, and have distortions. We then compare different map projections and learn that the Mercator map projection severely distorts Greenland. (Growing up the Mercator was the map I remember using the most.)
Students will also start a large map this week to practice locating some important places we will be studying this year. This map will be due Oct. 26th, and I will provide some class time to work on it. However, kids will probably also need to work on it at home in order to make sure it is completed.
Below are some pictures of students practicing reading fluency and using the iPads to do some country research.

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