A Map of Your Community Thematic Unit

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Our Map of our Town!

The only thing more important to a child beside themselves and their families are the communities in which they reside. This week we have been studying our community as part of our Social Studies curriculum.

To begin the unit, I introduced my students to Google Earth. It is fabulous! I started with the earth small in the sky and then brought it in closer and closer. I then zoomed into the United States. We talked about our country,  the United States. Next we zoomed in to see the markings of the individual states. Then we zoomed to our state, Utah. We looked around at the names of some of the communities. We then began to look for our town. We scrolled to the south-eastern side of the state and found it! (This caused some excited cheers)! We then took a look around our town to see some of the sites. Next we went to street view to see our individual houses. We looked for businesses, hotels, the swimming pool, hospital, etc. Anything that had meaning to the students!


Next, we made up a song to the tune of  "The Sidewalk Went All Around." and also of that tune, "The Green Grass Grew all Around." (A song my class is very familiar with). I drew along as we sang to give more concrete meaning to where our town fits in the scheme of things.

We have a planet. It is our earth.

The best little earth. That you ever did see.

And the twinkly stars go around, all around.

The twinkly stars go around.

And, on that planet. There is a country.

The best little country. The ______!

And the twinkly stars go around, all around.

The twinkly stars go around.

And in that country. There is a state.

And it's call _______. The bestest state!

And the twinkly stars go around, all around.

The twinkly stars go around.

And in that state. There is a town.

______ our town. The best little town.

And the twinkly stars go around, all around.

The twinkly stars go around.

And in that town. That ______ town.

There is my house. The best little house.

And the twinkly stars go around, all around.

The twinkly stars go around.

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The Next Step:

Now it is time to put our Google Earth map making skills to work! Each child was assigned to make a family project of something in our community. A favorite building, a favorite site, a favorite place, etc. The model could be made from 2D or 3D (a little common core there) shapes. The students then could bring in their models as finished. Below are a few examples of projects.

In class, we constructed roads, vehicles, our own houses, paper doll versions of us (photos with a white screen showing action), and painted landscape, etc. Here is the project as it is being constructed.

Can you see the rock crawler on top of the red rock cliff? As the students got into this project they began to create for it during free choice. The rock crawler is such an example.

I kept this wall display for a full month. It never grew old and the children loved it! We could put the bulk of our Social Studies Core into this one activity.

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