Beyond Rocks and Regions | United States Geography Project

 

Throughout this United States Geography project, children use technology to work up Blooms Taxonomy as they gain, organize and share their knowledge. The launch page allows kids to quickly and accurately research geographic information in engaging ways. Instead of searching through dusty archives in a library, kids are able to interact with websites, engage in the material, and step outside their surroundings by viewing first hand the geographic landscape of their chosen state via digital tours, videos and images. The use of graphic design and web 2.0 to create their final project allows kids to share their knowledge in very creative and limitless ways. The independent nature of this project, which would not be available without much of the technology used, allows students to work together and take full ownership over their project. Overall, technology enhances a dry and possibly boring geography research project into an exciting, higher-level geography project beyond rocks and regions.

Learning Objectives

  • Describe the geographic characteristics of a state in the United States with the assistance of maps, the internet, atlases, and other reference materials.
  • Examine and apply this geographic information by designing a vacation brochure with graphical elements.

Materials

Gaining Knowledge

  1. Children work with a partner to search through state tourist booklets and select a state they would like to visit. Discuss in pairs why they selected their state and which geographic features stood out as most appealing.
  2. Think-pair-share to discuss the importance of geographic features beyond rocks and regions. Ask questions such as: “How does geography affect our daily lives? (In often overlooked ways, from basic living structures to travel and tourism.)
  3. Introduce the United States Geography Project. Share the activity guide and example final product with children.
  4. Children work with their partner and use the launch page to research their state.
  5. Children look through each website to find information about their state. Next, they will begin to compile the facts that are most interesting to them and thus may be interesting to other tourists using mind map software or a graphic organizer of their choice. Students may utilize online encyclopedias, websites, maps, atlases, and other reference materials to gain knowledge about their state.

Organizing Knowledge

  1. Feedback must be given for the completed mind map or graphic organizer. If you feels more research needs to be done, the students should return to the gaining knowledge process and add more information to their mind maps.
  2. Next, children should generate and submit 3 hand made brochure designs for feedback.

Sharing Knowledge

  1. After feedback is granted, children should choose a design and begin working on their vacation brochure using MyBrochureMaker.
  2. Feedback should be granted from the instructor and other children before the brochure is finalized.
  3. When the project is finalized, they should print and fold the brochure and submit the project for a rubric-based grade.

TIP: Create a geography library with the projects.

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