Social studies lesson plan #1


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This is a sample lesson plan for 5th grade social studies class.

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Social studies lesson plan #1

  1. 1. Lesson Plan for Social Studies5thGradeTitle: Landforms of the United States Date: September 13, 2010Core Standards:5.3.3 Places and Regions: Name and locate states, regions, major cities and capitals, majorrivers, and mountain ranges in the United StatesMaterials/Resources: photocopies of game board (1 for every pair of students) for Message in aBottle, markers such as buttons, game cards (1 set for each pair of students )(, , Copy of poem theLand of Nod by Rl Stevenson(, Indiana SocialStudies: The United States Making a New Nation by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt Publishers,Website:, paper maps that students have been workingon, crayons or coloring pencils, promethean boardObjectives:• After instruction, students will l will be able to locate the landforms found through theUnited States on a map of the United States as evidenced by students correctlyillustrating their maps.• After instruction, students will be able describe various landforms both verbally and inwritten form.• After instruction, students will be able to identify various landforms and their latitude andlongitude by using pictures of the different regions.Introduction/Motivation/Springboard: Students will begin by playing Message in a Bottle.They will use longitude and latitude coordinates to locate “lost” passengers. After the game,students then talk about using latitude and longitude to find various regions of the United States.This is a review game to help students build upon previous knowledge of the United States. Itwill make a good introduction to landforms and where they are located.Procedures/Activities:1. Teacher will discuss who Robert Louis Stevenson was and read his poem: Into the Land ofNod.2. Ask students to give their idea of what this poem is about.3. Help them to conclude that it is about a dream, but that it is important to the lesson becauseit presents various landforms.4. Ask students to describe any landforms found in this poem.5. Write students’ answers on the board.6. Have students tell what they already know about landforms found in the United States.7. List these on a KWL chart.8. Show pictures of people riding across the United States on their bicycles.9. Discuss how some people take on such an epic journey and tell about the landforms theymust cross to complete this adventure.10. Discuss the headings found on pages 22-24 of their textbook.11. Ask students to create questions based on the headings.12. Students take turns reading Pages 22-24 in their social studies textbook.13. Have students discuss the information they have read about various landforms.14. Review the vocabulary.
  2. 2. 15. Use website: to help students locate the landformsthat they read about today.16. Compare the east coast with the west coast in terms of landforms, climate, plants andanimals found there.17. Students use a printed map to label the regions such as coastal plains, interior planes,Appalachian Mountains, etc.Closure Activity/Extensions/Homework: Have students discuss where they put each of thelandforms on their maps and what symbols they used to create their maps. If they were unableto complete maps in class, take them home and do them as homework.Reflection:Students enjoyed the review game, Message in a Bottle. They were interested in the bicyclistswho ventured across the United States and had many questions. Some students had heard ofpeople riding in various bicycle tours, however most had not. One student volunteered that heraunt rides in RAIN (Ride Across Indiana).Students were not eager to create questions about the reading based on the section headings,however this skill is one that is essential for an active reader. It will help them to stay focusedon the reading material.I was surprised to find that they could not compare and contrast the east coast with the westcoast. They have very little experience with areas other than this area. We discussed takingtrips, and I found that only one or two students had ever left Evansville. I was astounded thatmost did not even know where Newburgh or Boonville was. They have had few opportunities tolearn about the world around them. I asked my cooperating teacher about this and she repliedthat most of these children come from families that do not own vehicles and they have little needto travel from this city. Everything the students and their families have need of is here inEvansville. This was a surprising idea for me because I grew up out in the countryside, and wehad to travel out of our area in order to buy groceries, clothes, see movies, etc.The lesson provided stimulation for those students who are visual by use of the map activity. Ithelped those who are kinesthetic by allowing them to draw and color. The game also allowed
  3. 3. for some limited movement and interpersonal communication. Furthermore, thecomparison/contrast activity allowed those students who are logical to think in opposite/samedirections. Linguistic students were able to analyze the poem and compare information found inthat poem with real life landform structures. Students were also able to share knowledge in theform of what they knew, demonstrate their comprehension of the material by identifying andlocating various landform areas on the map, They applied their learning by creating the map andlabeling it with the various landform areas. Analysis was done by comparing and contrasting theinformation about the different areas of the country. Finally, students were asked to Synthesizetheir learning by creating a replica of a landform map using the information they had read aswell as the visual information provided by the maps on the internet and their textbooks. Thislesson provided many different ways of helping students to grow in their knowledge.
  4. 4. Stevenson, Robert Louis (1850–1894). A Child’s Garden of Verses andUnderwoods. 1913.18. The Land of NodFROM breakfast on through all thedayAt home among my friends I stay,But every night I go abroadAfar into the land of Nod.All by myself I have to go, 5With none to tell me what to do—All alone beside the streamsAnd up the mountain-sides of dreams.The strangest things are there for me,Both things to eat and things to see, 10And many frightening sights abroadTill morning in the land of Nod.Try as I like to find the way,I never can get back by day,Nor can remember plain and clear 15The curious music that I hear.
  5. 5. Analysis of Teaching After Each LessonI expected that students would be able to locate and identify various landforms on a mapof the United States after instruction. All of the students were expected to learn the samematerial however various methods were employed to help students with different learning stylesto be successful.Students were given the opportunity to review previous material with a longitude/latitudeactivity. This was intended to help them review and remember how to locate places on a mapusing longitude and latitude. It was also intended to help them form an idea of where variouslandforms are located.Instructional strategies used included:• Direct instruction—I told students what the various features on the map that wasprojected on the board represented.• KWL chart—students were asked what they already knew about different lakes, rivers,and other bodies of water. This information was written on a graphic organizer on thepromethean board for all to see. Students were encouraged to contribute by askingquestions based on the section headings as well. They were then asked what theyexpected to learn from each reading based on the questions they formed.• Comparison/contrast—Students were asked to compare the east coast with the westcoast and discuss the differences and similarities.• Hands on activity—students were provided a map to illustrate with various regions.They were to label the map and include a key. This is one of the core strategies for mapmaking in this grade level.Learning Activities included:
  6. 6. • Analysis of a poem—Students read and discussed the poem, The Land of Nod. Theyidentified landforms mentioned in this poem.• Reading organized information—students read the pages in this unit that pertained totheir study of landforms in order to gain knowledge of the various features of the UnitedStates.• Creating a map—Students created a map using a hand on experience. This engagedthem artistically as well as providing a visual manipulative to help them learn thematerial.Resources needed:• Copy of the poem, “The Land of Nod” by Robert Louis Stephenson• Blank paper maps that can be obtained from any social studies map or online asprintable downloads.• The internet• Computer, projector, and promethean boardNo differentiated instruction was needed for this lesson.The criteria for student success were: students had to pay attention to the discussion,actively read the material, and participate in creating a map with various landforms. Studentswere kept engaged in the activities by allowing them to move from their seats to the boardduring direct instruction, reading out loud during the reading of the textbook, and by giving thema creative activity to help them learn where various landforms are found.
  7. 7. In monitoring students, I listened for their answers to know if they were understandingthe material that was presented. I gave correction when an incorrect answer was given. Duringthe map making activity, I circulated among the students and helped by answering questions,asking questions, and prompting students to use their resources. I helped them to refocus onthe activity when I saw them beginning to talk with a neighbor or leave their seats.I gave encouragement to those who were doing well in the form of verbally telling themwhat they were doing right. I also said things like, “I like the way ___ is working quietly onhis/her map.” Or “I like the way ___ is creating a key, using different colors, etc.” Thiscommunication helped students to know what was expected without seeming negative.I discovered that some were still confused about where to find different landforms. I alsodiscovered that, even though they have done other map activities, they do not seem to be tiredof maps yet.I promoted understanding of different points of view by presenting a poem written byRobert Louis Stephenson. This poem was apropos to the lesson because the unit in thetextbook was written about a trip that Robert Louis Stephens took by train across the UnitedStates. I also provided pictures of cyclists crossing the United States and discussed with themthe crossing of the Continental Divide, the mountains in the west and the mountains in the east.Students were able to contribute to this discussion because some had relatives who ride andsome were just curious about making such a journey.Based on the work of the students, I will adjust this lesson in the future by providing abetter understanding, through the use of pictures, of landforms and areas outside of their owncity. I will also extend the time they are allowed for working on the map. Many did not advancevery far on this project during the time allotted.