Begin your presentation with an introduction of yourself and how you came up with your problem statement/question.Courtney FusonElectronic and Educational Resources Librarian at Belmont UniversityMEd in Instructional Technology candidate at Lipscomb UniversityI came up with this unit by reviewing the various standards and thinking about what activity would incorporate several different standards and still be interesting to both teacher and students. I had recently been reminded of Flat Stanleyand thought it would make a good project.
Flat Stanley is an activity that has grown out of a classic children’s book written by Jeff Brown. In the book, Stanley is flattened by a bulletin board. He discovers that his parents can mail him to visit friends around the world, so he goes to visit them. Classrooms around the world participate by signing up to receive and send Flat Stanley and by taking him on adventures when he visits.Students document the adventures using photographs and narratives and send those back with Flat Stanley.
This unit will primarily focus on Social Studies standards, but will also incorporate a number of both Reading and Language Arts standards as well.This unit is designed to last at least two weeks, with a minimum of one hour per day spent on the unit. Description of learning group: This class is a typical heterogeneous third grade class with a variety of skills and abilities. All learning modalities will be utilized in order to differentiate instruction.20 students: 3 gifted 13 average 4 Tier 1 Response to Intervention 9 boys and 11 girlsThe school serves grades 3-6 and has a total of 620 students. The school is 2.8% African-American, 1.3% Asian/Pacific Islander, 2.8% Hispanic, and 93.1% White. 32.6% of the students are economically disadvantaged. 49.8% of the students are female and 50.2% are male.
Standards 3 and 4Research and Information Fluency - Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate, and use information.Plan strategies to guide inquiry Locate, organize, analyze, evaluate, synthesize, and ethically use information from a variety of sources and mediaEvaluate and select information sources and digital tools based on the appropriateness to specific tasksProcess data and report resultsCritical Thinking, Problem Solving, and Decision Making - Students use critical thinking skills to plan and conduct research, manage projects, solve problems, and make informed decisions using appropriate digital tools and resources.Identify and define authentic problems and significant questions for investigationPlan and manage activities to develop a solution or complete a project Collect and analyze data to identify solutions and/or make informed decisionsUse multiple processes and diverse perspectives to explore alternative solutions
Fuson Exit Presentation
A Problem-Based Learning Unit Courtney Fuson
Unit Topic: Social Studies Culture encompasses similarities and differences among people, including their beliefs, knowledge, changes, values, and traditions. Students will explore these elements of society to develop an appreciation and respect for the variety of human cultures. Geography enables the students to see, understand and appreciate the web of relationships between people, places, and environments. Students will use the knowledge, skills, and understanding of concepts within the six essential elements of geography: world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical systems, human systems, environment and society, and the uses of geography. Grade Level: Third Grade
Understand the diversity of human cultures Discuss the cultures and human patterns of placesand regions of the world. Understand how to use maps, globes and othergeographic representations, tools and technologies toacquire process and report information from a spatialperspective. Recognize the interaction between human andphysical systems around the world.
Compare cultural differences in various regions ofthe United States and the world. Describe similarities and differences in the waygroups, societies and cultures address similar humanneeds and concerns. Compare ways in which people from differentcultures think about and deal with their physicalenvironment and social conditions.
Recognize some of the major components of aculture. Determine similarities and differences in the waysdifferent cultural groups address basic human needs. Recognize that the world is made up of manypeople, and their history may differ from thestudent’s own by examining artifacts such as acultural time capsule or a cultural suitcase. Compare a different community in the world withtheir own by examining generalizations, subcultures,similarities and differences
Locate places on a map using cardinal andintermediate direction. List similarities and differences of local places andregions with other places and regions. List the basic components of earth’s physicalsystems. Describe how environments and regions differaround the world.
Find a specific location on a school or communitymap. Determine the climate of a specific region of theworld using a map.
Students apply digital tools to gather, evaluate anduse information. Students use critical thinking skills to plan andconduct research, manage projects, solveproblems, and make informed decisions usingappropriate digital tools and resources.
What does Flat Stanley need to know about wherehe’s going in order to better fit in with the newculture? What does Flat Stanley need to take with himin order to be dressed appropriately for his newenvironment?
CIA Factbook World Book Encyclopedia Flat Stanley website U.S. Department of State United Nations Library of Congress Library resources
Students will be assigned to groups to create theirFlat Stanley. They will be asked to create anautobiography of their Stanley to send with him on histravels. Students will introduce their group’s Flat Stanley tothe class, using the Stanley and autobiographycreated previously.
Students will take Stanley on outings in thecommunity and write about those activities to startthe journal that Stanley will keep on his travels and togive them journaling practice. The teacher will use the Flat Stanley website toprovide a list of possible destinations for Stanley.Each group will choose a destination and research itto find out what Stanley should take with him andwhat he should expect.
Students will create a flat suitcase to go withStanley on his trip using their research. Students will present their research to the classusing the flat suitcase. Students will also presentphotographs or images of the things Stanley canexpect to see.
Students will also use their research to create a listof questions to send with Stanley to find out moreabout the culture of the selected location. Stanley will be sent to the locations that wereselected. Students will compare the information theyresearch with the information that is sent back withStanley.
Students will be assigned to work in groups of 4. Groups will be diversified by the teacher to ensure amix of ability levels. Students will be responsible for dividing the labor intheir groups. Students will need to determine who isresponsible for creating the suitcase, who would bethe record keeper of the group, who will run thecomputer, etc.
Students will present their findings before the class,using suitcases that they have created for Flat Stanleyto explain the items he would need and usingappropriate images to explain the cultural differenceshe would encounter.
Students will present the differences between theinformation they found before Stanley’s trip and theinformation that was returned with Stanley. Studentswill discuss whether or not they packed appropriatelyfor Stanley’s trip.
Students will use computers for research andwriting. Students may also use computers, printersand scanners when creating their suitcase or imagesfor their presentations. Students will be able to use PowerPoint for theirpresentations. Students will also be allowed to create short videosinstead of written journals if they prefer.
The teacher will use a computer and projector forsome of the direct instruction. The teacher will help students in their use of thecomputer, for both word processing and theirpresentations. The teacher will assist students in their use of videoequipment and provide students with the equipmentand hosting necessary to complete their assignment.