|Standard I Standard II Standard III
|| Students will understand how geography influences community
location and development.
Determine the relationships between human settlement and geography.
Human Settlement and Geography
Students will learn about why people settle and how ecosystems influence community development.
- Geographic Features and Human Settlements
Exploring the relationship between geography and settlements. Students will understand that people settle where there are geographical features that sustain life. They will take away that most major population centers are around water, food, and geographical features that help with safety and life sustaining supplies. Students might get confused that people just settle because of recreational or business attraction rather than life sustainability.
- Identify the geographic features common to areas where human settlements exist.
- Use map features to make logical inferences and describe relationships between
human settlement and physical geography (e.g. population density in relation to
latitude, cities’ proximity to water, utilization of natural resources).
- Compare the shapes and purposes of natural and human-made boundaries of
cities, counties and states.
Objective 2: Activities
Describe how various communities have adapted to existing environments and
how other communities have modified the environment.
: Develop and understanding of how
various communities have adapted to or modified existing environments in order to survive
: “A River Ran Wild” by Lynne Cherry, several books of each ecosystem please see book resource page, Ecosystem T-chart (pdf)
, foldable books
: ecosystems (biomes), desert, plain, tropic, tundra, grasslands, mountain, forest, wetland, economic development, community development
Teacher starts by reading the book, “A River Ran Wild.”
Teacher has placed several books of each ecosystem (i.e. desert, plain, tropic, tundra, grassland, mountain, forest, and wetland) around the room. In groups students will do a gallery walk using a t-chart (See attached t-chart) to help them understand a little about each ecosystem. They find the ecosystem on the chart and then list two interesting facts about that system.
Students choose the ecosystem that appeals and interests them most and creates a foldable book about that ecosystem including facts they have learned and drawings they have created.
Students will share books they have made with the class.
Assessment is the completed t-chart and the foldable book.
Objective: Describe the major world ecosystems
Materials: Online resource available at http://www.mbgnet.net, Let’s Learn About Biomes Organizer (pdf)
“Here is the…” book series about biomes: (By Madeleine Dunphy). This series includes beautiful, colorful illustrations and a cumulative style that shows the relationships between the plants and animals of the particular biome being read about.
Here is the African Savannah
Here is the Coral Reef
Here is the Southwestern Desert
Here is the Arctic Winter
Here is the Wetland
Here is the Tropical Rainforest
Teach your third-graders about world biomes by using the website www.mbgnet.net (Missouri Botanical Gardens). Have the students fill out the information they learn about on the website and write the information on a graphic organizer. This activity also addresses animal and plant adaptations. It can be used for all 12 biomes on the website, or limited to the six specific to the third grade core. One class session should be dedicated to each biome studied.
List of World Biomes: rainforest, tundra, taiga, desert, temperate, grasslands, rivers & streams, ponds & lakes, wetlands, shorelines, temperate oceans, tropical oceans
Adaption: The graphic organizers can be filled out in a whole-class setting. Students can volunteer the information to the teacher, who models the writing of words or phrases.
- Community Adaptations
This is a lesson on how communities have adapted to the environment. Students will understand that people need to make unlivable areas livable by diverting resources.
- Describe the major world ecosystems (i.e. desert, plain, tropic, tundra, grassland,
mountain, forest, wetland).
- Identify important natural resources of world ecosystems.
- Describe how communities have modified the environment to accommodate their
needs (e.g. logging, storing water, building transportation systems).
- Investigate ways different communities have adapted into an ecosystem.
Objective 3: Activities
Analyze ways cultures use, maintain, and preserve the physical environment.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
: Students will understand the impact of humans on the environment
: Uno’s Garden
by Graeme Base
Ask your students: How do we use the physical environment? They will probably suggest some kind of recreation. Ask about other ways the physical environment is used. If the students can’t think of any, use some questions like the following to prompt discussion:
- Do we need the physical environment to grow our food? –agriculture.
- Do we use the physical environment to get energy? – coal/heat, dams/wind/solar for electricity.
- Do we use the physical environment to make things we need? – Raw materials for industry. Gems, minerals, forests, oil, gas, fossils, wildlife, water.
- Discuss the importance of having these resources available to us and what would happen if we didn’t have them.
Read Uno’s Garden
- What is the human impact on the environment?
- How can communities change the environment?
- Talk about air, land, water and noise pollution and what we can do about them.
Optional Learning Activity: http://www.water.utah.gov
Go to water education, there is a word search, concentration game about conserving water and a coloring book.
- Students will discuss the impact of reduce, reuse, and recycle.
- Students will engage in research to determine what natural resources are.
- Students will discuss the effects of water, land, air and noise pollution.
- Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Students will understand that the only way we will be able to continue on the earth the way we are now is to reduce, reuse, and recycle. They will generate ideas to limit usage of natural resources in all areas.
- Identify ways people use the physical environment (e.g. agriculture, recreation,
- Compare changes in the availability and use of natural resources over time.
- Describe ways to conserve and protect natural resources (e.g. reduce, reuse,
- Compare perspectives of various communities toward the natural environment.
- Make inferences about the positive and negative impacts of human-caused change
to the physical environment.
|| Students will understand cultural factors that shape a
Evaluate key factors that determine how a community develops.
: This is a great way for students to compare their community with other communities in the state or the world.
: Newspaper, Venn Diagram
Take a newspaper and select articles from different sections of the paper. It is best to select a newspaper outside of your community. For example, I live in Kamas (a small rural town) so I chose the Salt Lake Tribune. Laminate the sections of the newspaper. Talk about the layout of a newspaper and ask questions like:
- Why are newspapers important?
- What can we learn from newspaper?
- What can we learn about people and their culture from the newspaper?
Divide the class into pairs. Give each pair a section of the newspaper. Have the students read the article together. Give them a Venn Diagram. On one side of the diagram place HOME and on the other side place the name of where the article takes place. Have the students compare where they live to where they are reading about. Then have them share their ideas with the class. The Venn Diagram is a great form of assessment.
: Timelines allow teachers and students to document important events in the development of cultures and changes overtime due to inventions.
: Timeline (pdf)
, Suggestions for Timeline Events (pdf)
- You may want to have the students do a personal timeline before starting on a world.
- There are thematic timelines, e.g., inventions, toys, cultural, personal life
Writing: Personal narratives. Students can interview different generations in their family.
Math: Number lines, Skip counting
Book Suggestions for finding timeline information
- Modify the timeline according to your classroom needs. Timelines can be laminated, so students can write on it and/or place sticky notes on it as information is discussed.
- Have a basic
|1,000 Years Ago on Planet Earth
||Sneed B. Collard III
|Meeting the Millennium
||Elena Dworkin Wright and Alyssa Mito Pusey
|Windows on Literacy: My Town Used to Be Small
|Windows on Literacy: Time Lines 1900-2000
|…If You Lived 100 Years Ago
|Living Long Ago: Everyday Life Through the Ages
||Felicity Brooks and Helen Edom
|You are There: Transportation From Cars to Planes
|Toys! Amazing Stories Behind Some Great Inventions
|Eyes on Adventure: Exploring Great Inventions
: Students will learn about different cultures
: Cultural Observation Sheet (pdf)
, assorted reference books about different groups of people your class is studying, pictures, expectations rubric
: Teacher models filling out the cultural observation sheet. (See attached sheet) Could use this sheet as an overhead or make a poster or draw it on the white or chalk board.
- Divide the class into four to six groups.
- Give each group one copy of the cultural observation sheet and the assigned text. (i.e. trade books, pictures, web sites, etc.) The teacher will determine the content of the text and provide the text, etc.
- Teacher assigns roles in the groups such as: scribe, discussion leader, reader, and director. (You may have different names and a different way, that’s okay- just so that everyone in the group has a role and is participating)
- Groups of students complete their cultural observation sheet.
: Students are given poster board and create a poster about their culture using the cultural observation sheet as a guide. Posters are placed on the wall when finished and the class goes on a group gallery walk and the posters are explained to the class by those students who created them.
: The poster is the assessment. Students are handed a rubric and the expectations and requirements are explained before the poster project is started. The rubric is also attached to this lesson.
This survey (pdf) can be used to introduce students to customs in different cultures. It can also be used as an assessment after talking about different cultures.
- Introduce new words that students may need to know in order to take the quiz.
- Distribute the quiz to individuals.
- Have students compare their answers and discuss why they might have different answers.
- Feedback with the whole class.
Students could also take this quiz home and see what information their families might know.
This activity can be used to help students understand the difference between “culture” and “community”. Hand out the word sort (pdf)
, scissors, and glue sticks. Have students fold construction paper in half vertically, then fold down an inch at the top to make columns and headers. Label one header “community” and one header “culture.” Work on sort individually, then with partner, hen small group, then discuss whole class.
Many students don’t think they have a culture. This activity is to help them realize that they do. Read the book Weslandia while students fill out the T-culture chart (pdf)
about the elements of that are shown in the book. Begin by having them skip the “me” column. For now, they’re just looking for those elements in Wesley’s culture. After you have read the story, have them write “My family eats...” and they can list a favorite or traditional meal. A special tradition in my family is...” and so on. Make sure they understand that these “cultural elements” of their own DO NOT have to relate to being from another country!
: Weslandia could also be a beginning point for Indicator D. How would Weslandia be different if Wesley lived in a desert, in the arctic, in the Rocky Mountains, etc.? What did his environment and its geography contribute? How might that change? Allow students to make notes on the back of their organizer.
- Creating a Community
The enduring knowledge includes the fact that students often have the misconception that every community mirrors theirs. This lesson intends to show that there are differences as well as similarities in communities around the world, and that all communities are valuable. Their uniqueness adds to their global value.
- Identify the elements of culture (e.g. language, religion, customs, artistic
expression, systems of exchange).
- Describe how stories, folktales, music, and artistic creations serve as expressions
- Compare elements of the local community with communities from different parts
of the world (e.g. industry, economic specialization )
- Identify and explain the interrelationship of the environment (e.g. location, natural
resources, climate) and community development (e.g. food, shelter, clothing,
industries, markets, recreation, artistic creations).
- Examine changes in communities that can or have occurred when two or more
- Explain changes within communities caused by human inventions (e.g. steel
plow, internal combustion engine, television, computer).
Objective 2: Activities
Explain how selected indigenous cultures of the Americas have changed over
The Inca Culture
5 sheets of colored poster board, example sort poster (pdf)
, Discussion Cards (pdf) copied on colored card stock, cut and laminated
, word strips (pdf) copied on white paper and laminated
: Divide class into five groups
Distribute one discussion card to each of the five groups. Have one person in each group read the card aloud. The other members of the group will listen to the reader and decide which of the word strips belong to that card.
As a group, students decide which heading (religion, clothing, family life, agriculture, or events to downfall) to place the word strips. There are word strips that match each heading. (Notice that the headings on the word strip page (PDF) are printed in color and the information is printed in black). After a group has read the card and found the related strips, they pass their discussion cards to the group on the right and the process starts over.
: Students will develop and understanding of several cultural factors pertaining to various groups of indigenous people of the Americas.
: paper, scissors, stapler, Resource Page (pdf
), Instructions for Assembling Flip-Books (pdf)
, books (see book resources
for Standard II)
: Native Americans in Olden Times
, Facts About American Indians Today
Students will create two double sided layered flip-books that show understanding of several cultural factors of various indigenous people of the Americas. (e.g. Eastern Woodland, Plains, Great Basin, Southwestern, and Arctic)
Students will work in teams of 5 to gain information pertaining to 1 group of indigenous people. Students will look for information on shelter, clothing, food, and transportation. They will look at and list differences and similarities between ancient people and modern people.
Students are then given or create two layered flip books. (See Instructions for Assembling Flip-Books) They label the first page or cover page with the title, “Early Indigenous People”. Then on each flap, students write the names of each indigenous people. (e.g. Eastern Woodland, Plains, Great Basin, Southwestern, and Arctic) (See Resource Page)
On the inside of each flap the student will write the words:
Students will then form new teams of 5 (one person from each of the previous teams for each new team). The expert from each group on a specific group of people will share what they have learned and all students will add it to the correct side and section of their flip-book.
After both books are finished, glue books back to back.
- Describe and compare early indigenous people of the Americas (e.g. Eastern
Woodlands, Plains, Great Basin, Southwestern, Arctic, Incan, Aztec, Mayan).
- Analyze how these cultures changed with the arrival of people from Europe, and
how the cultures of the Europeans changed.
- Identify how indigenous people maintain cultural traditions today.
|| Students will understand the principles of civic responsibility
in classroom, community, and country.
Objective 1: Activities
Describe the rights and responsibilities inherent in being a contributing member of
Flag Shaped Poem
Objective: To help students see the connection between the symbols on the flag and what they mean.
Materials: paper, pencil, markers/crayons, sample of completed poem (pdf)
- Discuss with the students that each thing on the flag has special the meaning.
Colors: Blue- justice, fairness, faithfulness, sincerity
Red- courage, braveness
White- faith, purity
Stripes: Thirteen Colonies
- Brainstorm as many words as possible about the flag and patriotism together as a class on the board. (i.e. stars, stripes, red, blue, white, field, colonies, states, national anthem, United States of America, justice, liberty, fairness, faithfulness, courage, purity, sincerity, brave, salute, pledge of Allegiance, Star Spangled Banner, etc.)
- Have the students write some of the words around the edge of the paper in the shape of the flag.
- Fill in the center by coloring the paper to look like the American flag. Outline the words in a dark color.
Assessment: Share the finished flag with a neighbor or group and tell why they choose those words on the paper.
The Meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance—Mini Book
Objective: Students will understand the meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance.
Materials: Pledge of Allegiance, sentence strips, The Meaning of the Pledge of Allegiance mini book (pdf)
Overview: After discussing the meaning of the pledge, have students create a mini book.
- Using the book the Pledge of Allegiance by Scholastic, talk about the meaning of the pledge. I have used sentences strips in different colors (one color for the actual words, one color for what each part means). I place them up in a pocket chart as we discuss. Ask questions like why do you think this is important? What rights and responsibilities do we have when saying the pledge?
- Afterwards, students write down the meaning of the pledge in their mini-books and illustrate based on what each part means to them.
- During morning routines as we say the pledge, we say one part and then what it means. This reinforces what has been learned.
Rights and Responsibilities
: Students will be able to learn the rights and responsibilities of being a contributing member of a community so that the community has unity and respect.
: rights, responsibilities, community, citizens, citizenship
: Wartville Wizard by Don Maden
, Dog Poop Initiative by Kirk A. Weisler
, Miss Rumphius by Barbara Cooney
: Teacher throws an obvious piece of trash on the ground while the students are watching (e.g. used tissue, cup, paper, etc.) If students ask about the trash, just ignore them or tell them the janitors can pick it up later. Ask essential questions and discuss answers as a class: 1) What are rights? 2) What are responsibilities? Have a student summarize the book. Make a connection between the main character and the problem, and the character’s rights and responsibilities. Discuss as a class.
In small groups have students make a T-chart or list of their personal rights and responsibilities. Start out as a whole class and generate a few examples on chart paper or on an overhead. Examples should have a cause and effect relationship. After students are done, compile the list as a class and discuss ideas.
|1. to be safe
||to follow safety rules
|2. to be educated
||to attend school and work hard
|3. to have a clean home
||do chores, pick up trash, clean up
|4. to drink fresh water
||use water wisely and avoid wasting it
Review the difference between rights and responsibilities. Review the completed T-chart. Ask the following questions: 1) What is a community? 2) What are different types of communities? 3) What is a citizen? 4) What is citizenship? (A great resource for definitions would be: www.dictionary.com ) Read the definition of citizenship. With a partner discuss the meaning of the word citizenship and write the definition in your own words.
Rules and Laws
: Students will learn the value of having rules to help guide us. They will be able to see why we need laws in the land to help us get along with people.
: 3 paper baseballs,
4 paper bases,
- Tape the four bases up on the board. Tell the students that you will play a game. Before you play, have four students volunteer to wait outside the classroom door. Make sure they are kids that won’t be easily embarrassed. Close the door so they won’t hear.
- Tell the rest of the class how to play the game. The first person up rolls the dice. If they score a 1 or 2 they get to move their baseball to first base. If they role a 3 or 4, they get to go to second base, a 5 and they go to third base. If they role a 6 they get to go around all four bases (a home run). Each player rolls once. When everyone has gotten to roll three times, then they see how many runs they have scored. The team with the most runs wins. Tell the other kids in the class not to tell the four students outside how to play.
- Invite the other four kids back into the class. Divide into two teams. Then just give them the baseballs and dice. Don’t tell what to do with it, or how to play. Just tell them to get started. Tell the other students to just watch what they do. After a few minutes, or until they get really frustrated, tell the kids that you will help them out.
- Tell the students how to play they game. Then let them try and do it again the right way. After they are done, thank the kids for being good sports. Have them tell the class how they felt before they knew the rules, and after they knew the rules. Then discuss what was hard about not having rules. Talk about how it is easier to have rules to help us. They tell us what we need to do, and help us to be organized. Everyone has more fun, and we can work together.
- Compare the rules of the game to laws of the land. Discuss how we need laws to help keep us safe. It helps us know what to do and how to do it. It makes it so people can live in a community, city, country, etc. together. It helps us to know how to solve problems.
- Discuss what would happen if there were no laws. Make sure the students know how people would not be safe, or be able to drive or go anywhere, or be able to earn money and buy things. Then talk about how important it is to follow the laws that we have for the above reasons.
- Make sure the students realize that it is a good choice to follow the laws of the land. It helps all of us. There are consequences to our actions, and if we choose not to follow the law there will be consequences.
After the discussion, pass a blank piece of paper. Have the students draw a small poster about why it is important to keep the law. Have them write one reason and draw a picture.
- Identify how these rights and responsibilities are reflected in the patriotic symbols
and traditions of the United States (i.e. Pledge of Allegiance, flag etiquette).
- List the responsibilities community members have to one another.
- Identify why these responsibilities are important for a functioning community (e.g. voting, jury duty, taxpaying, obedience to laws).
Objective 2: Activities
Identify ways community needs are met by government.
Personal and Community Needs
: Distinguish between personal and community needs.
: glass of water, jar of tootsie rolls, 11x14 paper (one for each group of students)
Teacher starts lesson with a glass of water and a jar of tootsie rolls. Lead a discussion about do we need water or do we need tootsie rolls.
Divide the classroom into groups. Give each group a poster paper that has a line drawn down the middle with needs on one side as a heading and wants on the other side as the heading. Then have magazines and students cut out pictures to place on each side.
Next, give each student an 11X14 sheet of paper. Have the students draw a line down the middle. On the left side have the students draw a person. On the right side of the paper have the students draw a road and add houses and details. You can model this on the board or have a poster illustrating what is expected.
The student lists personal needs inside the person and then community needs on the road they have drawn.
Needs vs. Wants
Objective: Students will be able to understand the differences between needs and wants.
Materials: Needs or Wants Worksheet (pdf), various items for students to use for sorting needs and wants (water, pop, carrots, candy, clothes, jewelry, lipstick, MP3 player, blanket, etc.)
Have the students work with a partner on the NEEDS OR WANTS? Worksheet to sort the needs and wants of the items you brought. Have students add five needs and wants of their own. Early finishers can turn the sheet over and write what needs they have in their daily life. What if they lived in the desert? On an island? In Alaska? If they were a baby? How would these needs change?
- Community Services
Students will learn about services available in our community and what would happen if these services were not functioning.
- Differentiate between personal and community needs.
- Identify roles of representative government (e.g. make laws, maintain order, levy
taxes, provide public services).
- Research community needs and the role government serves in meeting those
Objective 3: Activities
Apply principles of civic responsibility.
: Students will be able to apply the principles of civic responsibility by learning current events.
: Local Current Events (pdf)
, National Current Events (pdf)
, World Current Events (pdf)
: local, national, world, current events
: At the beginning of the year the teacher will divide the school year into three separate time periods. (This can be report card periods.) The first time period the class will define and study local news. This can include news from their neighborhood or throughout the state. The second time period students will report on national news. This cannot include local news unless it overlaps. (For example, the President of the United States visits Salt Lake City. This is both local and national news.) The third time period includes only world news. These current events must be outside of the United States unless it overlaps with national or local news.
Use the attached current events worksheet for students to fill out. Make sure the students understand that appropriate news for a classroom setting cannot be violent or graphic. News can be attained from the internet, the newspaper, the radio, television, or word of mouth.
: Talk about the roles and view points of people in your community.
: 1 8 ½ by 11 sheet of paper for each student
Students take a sheet of 81/2 by 11 piece of paper and fold the paper in half and then in half again so that the paper is a one fourth square. Hold the square so that folded edge is on the top. Fold the top, left corner down making a triangle shape. When the paper is unfolded, you should see four sections with a diamond in the middle of the paper.
In the middle of the triangle, write the words, “My Community.”
In each surrounding area, label different professions or places in the community. For example, the upper left hand space might have the word, library. The upper right hand space might have the word, school. The lower left hand space might have the word hospital. The lower right hand space might have the words fire and police. In each space write the word and then you could write the following:
I work at the _______________. My job is ________________.
I help the community by _______________________________.
Pictures could also be drawn representing the words, people or jobs.
This process is repeated for each square. You could use the four squares on the front and on the back. Some suggested words for the squares are:
Library, School, Hospital, Fire and Police, Restaurants, Gas Station, Grocery Store, Bank, etc.
Teacher can stop and say “Shout Out!” At that point students stop and share with their neighbor one square on their foldable.
The assessment is the finished foldable.
: Students will be able to apply principles of civic responsibility by identifying and considering the diverse viewpoints of people and demonstrating respect for others.
: Resolving Conflict PowerPoint
, internet access, notes for PowerPoint handout (pdf)
: opinion, respect, viewpoint, conflict, resolution, compromise, negotiate
- What happens when boundaries are crossed? How can laws prevent them from being crossed?
- What factors influence a person’s viewpoints, and how can you effectively cooperate with diverse ideas?
- How can you solve problems in your family, classroom, and community?
Discuss with students a scenario to demonstrate breaking a classroom rule (e.g. staying out at recess after your bell has rung.) When the offense has been committed, what consequence should be given? What happens when there is a conflict within the classroom, when boundaries have been crossed. Have small groups discuss what caused the problem, how it was solved, and how it could be solved more peacefully.
Now, introduce the PowerPoint called How to Resolve Conflicts and Win Friends. (Read PowerPoint notes beforehand, have the internet loaded for the video clip, and follow PowerPoint instructions.)
- Applying Principles of Civic Responsibility
Students will know their personal responsibilities within the classroom, school, and community. Students will understand that there are diverse views within a community and respect the opinions, backgrounds, and cultures of others.
- Engage in meaningful dialogue about the community and current events within
the classroom, school, and local community.
- Identify and consider the diverse viewpoints of the people who comprise a
- Demonstrate respect for the opinions, backgrounds, and cultures of others.