In social studies, students have a hard time understanding why it was difficult for certain ancient civilizations to remain isolated from other peoples.
My goal is to use the internet to expose students to simulations of natural barriers so that they have an understanding of why it was nearly impossible to get around these barriers.
This would be especially useful for the urban population as they are rarely exposed to natural barriers.
Phase II: Objectives and Assessment
Objective: To provide a hands on experience on a sixth grade level that focuses on natural barriers and how difficult it was and is for people to get past them.
Throughout this unit, students will do the following:
Look at different civilizations and major natural barriers that kept them isolated from the rest of the world.
Use internet simulators to have a hands on experience and understanding as to why these barriers were, and still are, difficult to get around.
There will be ongoing assessment based on each of the activities and simulations that the students participate in
Phase III: Integration Strategies
Instructional method: Constructivist
The various assignments will stem from the discussions of ancient civilizations and how natural barriers supported their culture. Ultimately, the students will review a topographic map of the world and create their own civilization. They will describe the natural barriers that bar or promote that civilization.
Support for student projects will be given during the science block. Students will discuss in more detail the scientific reason certain natural barriers, like mountains, exist.
Students have been exposed to the Internet for research and have used Microsoft software such as Word, PowerPoint and Excel.
Introduction Activity – Mountains
As a whole class, students will watch a video showing a flight over the Himalayan mountains and Mount Everest.
Students will discuss how mountains could pose difficulty for ancient civilizations.
In their journals students will create conjectures as to what difficulties people going over Mount Everest on foot would experience.
Activity – Climbing Mount Everest
Students will then partake in a simulation game which allows them to experience climbing Mount Everest in present day. The simulation link is below.
Climb Mount Everest Purposes Game will Serve:
The first is to introduce all the equipment and modern technologies needed to climb Mount Everest.
The second is to engage the students as there are several puzzle type activities during the game.
The third is to expose to the students the understanding that even with all the modern technology that has been created, many people still never make it to the top of the mountain.
Reflection After the students have played the simulation, students will reflect on all the modern equipment that is required to climb Mount Everest. They should reflect upon these in their journal. At the end of the activities the teacher will collect the reflection journals and assess the understanding and critical thinking skills that stemmed from the activity.