We are about half way through the unit so far...this week we are working on the Midwest Region. I wanted to share how I implement the Regions Stations in my classroom. The stations are the same for each of the 5 Regions...the states inside the region are the only thing that change.
Each week they get a new journal page that they trim to fit into their journals. We color in the region and then list all the states in that region. (left side) Then on the right side, they research through a variety of resources to get as much information about the climate, landforms, economic resources and landmarks. The cool thing is they find out so much more about these states through the research!!
Here's a look at all the stations:
Last summer I contacted the Visitor's Center for each state and requested a guide from their state. 48 out of 50 states sent stuff for us! Most came with a travel guide and a map. The kids would spend all day at this station if I'd let them...they love looking through all the pictures of places they could visit one day. :)
I put the climate map at one table grouping and a landform map at another table. The kids have the opportunity to use these maps to answer journal questions in addition to the information they've found elsewhere.
The QR codes are also apart of the States and Regions Unit...kids love getting the iPads and exploring the website about each region
The kids LOVE the maps! I had a group of kids who spent about 20 minutes today looking for Devils Tower in South Dakota (because they found a picture in the SD Tourism Guide) They knew they were looking near the Black Hills National Forest, but just couldn't find it. Eventually one of my kids announced they needed to look at the Wyoming map and sure enough, they found it. Such a proud moment for this group of 4-5...they were determined to find Devils Tower!
On of the last stations in the room is the natural resources map. I found a map online that had the natural resources listed for each state. They look at this and then cross reference in the state books to find out if it is also an economic resource.
And just because, I'll share a few other fun things going on in Room 207...
This is our History Timeline. As you can (clearly) tell...It never got finished last year. I am determined to add to it when we finish colonial life this year. :)
This is something new this year...and sorry its not "Katie-fied" yet, I'm working on it. The Secret State of the day. I pull a "capital, state" card and post it to the board each day. All day I use this capital and state as my form of getting the classes attention. I say "Helena" and they say "Montana" ...and get quiet. To be honest, I just randomly said it all day, because they were SO on task at the stations, I rarely had to redirect.
Where Am I? Board. This is another new thing to the classroom this year. (and available in my TpT store) Students can research the answer on their own time. This weeks clue says: "I am visiting the Empire State Building." The kids job is to research and figure out where I am, then write their answer on a Post-It note. I use this as an extra credit assignment so they can turn it in on the assignment they want the extra credit applied to.
That's pretty much my Social Studies classroom at the current moment...