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Elementary Lesson Plans

Lesson plan 1


Objectives

Students will understand the following:
1. It has been discovered that Mars and Earth have several similar geological features
2. These features may be useful for supporting life on both planets

Materials

For this lesson, you will need:
1. Current research materials on Mars
2. Books containing geological photographs of the surface of Mars and Earth
3. Computer with Internet access

Procedure

1. Tell students that they are going to compare Earth and Mars to find similarities between the two planets. Have them begin by doing research to find information and collect pictures of geological features of both planets. They should start their research at the following Web sites:
-Views of the solar system: Mars introduction:
Mars
-Views of the Solar System: Earth Introduction
Earth
2. Instruct students to download and print pictures of geological features and formations on Earth and Mars. They can also find pictures in text references and photocopy them.
3. Have students post pairs of pictures of Earth and Mars side-by-side on a bulletin board in order to compare similar geological features and formations shared by both planets.
4. For each pair of pictures, students should identify the planet in each picture and write short descriptions of the geological features being compared. Students should do further research to include in their descriptions explanations of how the feature was probably formed and of how the feature may be useful for supporting life on both planets.

Incorporating Yazzem

Ask students to read “The Red Planet: Mars” by
Isaac Asimov, with revisions and updating by Francis Reddy. Milwaukee: Gareth Stevens Publishing, 1994
Create a YAZZEM topic Would you be willing to travel to Mars and try to live there?
The way that YAZZEM is incorporated is that you are allowing everyone to have a voice in this discussion, and secondly you are having the students share information about Mars to one another.

Evaluation

You can evaluate your students on their descriptions using the following three-point rubric:
Three points: clearly and completely describes the geological feature being compared; includes plausible explanation of how the feature was probably formed; includes clear, accurate explanation of how the feature may be useful in supporting life; free of errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics
Two points: adequately describes the geological feature being compared; includes acceptable explanation of how the feature was probably formed; includes acceptable explanation of how the feature may be useful in supporting life; includes some errors in grammar, usage, and mechanics.

Adapted from http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/k-5.html

Lesson plan 2


Objectives

Students will:
• Learn and understand the term habitat.
• Discover that forests, deserts, wetlands, and grasslands are unique and separate habitats.
• Identify animals that live in four different environments.

Materials

•Animals Around Us video
• Crayons
• White construction paper, 1 sheet per student
• Magazines, nature calendars and other print resources with photographs of desert, forest, wetlands, and prairie environments
• a computer with internet access

Procedure

1. Talk about different natural environments with the class. What is a forest? What does it look like? How is a forest different from a desert? Explain the term "habitat" and talk about the many kinds of animals that live in different habitats. Use Animals Around Us and print resources to illustrate the unique features and animals of the forest, desert, grasslands, and wetlands.
2. Continue discussing forests, wetlands, deserts, and grasslands until students demonstrate a clear understanding of the basic characteristics of these environments and can identify some animals that live in each habitat. Once students have a solid understanding, tell them to draw a picture of the one they would most likely to visit. Talk about the kinds of things you would expect to see in each picture, such as the animals and plants that live and grow there. Check for comprehension by asking questions like these: Should a drawing of the desert have a lot of trees? What kinds of animals might you draw if you were making a picture of a wetlands habitat?
3. Allow students time to work on their drawings. Write the words "forest," "desert," "wetlands," and "grasslands" on the board so students can write the word for their chosen habitat in a visible spot on their drawings.
4. Once the drawings are complete, ask students to share them with the rest of the class. Which habitat did most of the students want to visit? Ask them to explain why. What kinds of plants and animals appear in the different drawings?
5. At the close of the lesson, take the students outside to observe animals that live in your school environment. What do they see? How would they describe the habitat these animals live in?
6. Finally, display the habitat drawings in the classroom so students have a visual reminder of the unique features of the forest, desert, wetlands, and grasslands.

Incorporating Yazzem

Divide students into 4 groups Forest, Deserts, Wetlands and Grasslands. Each group should create a list of animals that live in four different environments. The task should be done at home. Children are supposed to use books, encyclopedias, I-net and other sources of information. The more animals they find the better!

Evaluation

Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
• Three points: Students were highly engaged in class discussions; were able to demonstrate a clear understanding of the term "habitat" and give correct examples of different habitats; and drew colorful, unique pictures that clearly identified a desert, forest, wetland, or grassland habitat.
• Two points: Students participated in class discussions; were able to demonstrate a basic understanding of the term "habitat" and give mostly correct examples of different habitats; and drew pictures that somewhat identified a desert, forest, wetland, or grassland habitat.
• One point: Students participated minimally in class discussions; were unable to demonstrate a basic understanding of the term "habitat" and could not give examples of different habitats; and drew incomplete pictures that did not clearly identify a desert, forest, wetland, or grassland habitat.

Adapted from http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans

Lesson plan 3


Objectives

Students will
• learn about the geography of the Midwest;
• examine the importance of agriculture to the Midwest economy;
• create billboards advertising agricultural products grown in the Midwest.

Materials

• Pencils, erasers, and rulers
• Colored pencils, markers, or crayons
• White posterboard or large mural paper
• Computer with Internet access
• U.S. Geography: The Midwestvideo and VCR
• Atlases and other library resources
• Advertisements for agricultural products — see the "Got Milk" and "California Cheese" Web sites for examples

Procedure

1.Open the lesson by discussing the term "America's Breadbasket" with students. Discuss the Midwest's geography, how topographical features such as the Great Lakes were formed, and why this region is so closely associated with farming and agriculture. A good way to introduce the Midwest and its "breadbasket" status is to show segments of the videoU.S. Geography: The Midwest.
2.After watching the video, review some of the agricultural products the Midwest is known for (wheat, dairy, cranberries, cattle, and corn). Discuss the three sections of the Midwest — the Lake states, Northern Plains states, and Corn Belt. Ask students: Why are certain products grown in one region more than the others? How important is agriculture to the Midwest's economy?
3.Share magazine advertisements for agricultural products with students, and discuss how advertisers use slogans like "Got Milk?" to draw attention to their products. Ask students: How do advertising campaigns help promote and sell specific products? In what ways can they be used to inform people about unfamiliar or new products?
4.Divide students into groups, and have each group make a billboard advertising an agricultural product found in the Midwest. Allow groups to choose their own products, but make sure that all the major products you've discussed are covered by the class. Students' billboards should be creative but must include the following:
o A product slogan
o Drawings, photographs, or some form of illustration
o Uses for the product
o The Midwest state(s) where the product was grown or produced
o Details about how the product was made
5. Give students time in class to begin researching products and creating their billboards. Have them complete the billboards as homework. Students may use magazines, atlases and other library resources, and the Internet to conduct their research. These Web sites are good resources:
http://www.geobop.com/World/NA/Topics/Industry/Ag/States
http://www.startribune.com/stories/1282/53020.html
http://www.cmp.ucr.edu/photography/harvest/#
http://www.cyberspaceag.com
http://www.iowafarmer.com
http://www.campsilos.org/mod4/students/index.shtml
http://www.usembassy.de/usa/travel-regions.htm#midwest

Incorporating Yazzem

Have the groups sent the completed billboards to you, explaining their advertising strategy.

Evaluation

Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
• Three points:Students actively participated in class discussions and their group's advertising sales pitch; worked cooperatively in billboard groups; created good and colorful billboards that met all five criteria; attentively listened to the presentations.
• Two points:Students somewhat participated in class discussions and their group's advertising sales pitch; worked somewhat cooperatively in billboard groups; created a presentable billboard that met three criteria; somewhat listened to the presentations.
One point:Students worked somewhat cooperatively in billboard groups; created a presentable billboard that met two or fewer criteria; hardly listened to the presentations

Adapted from http://school.discoveryeducation.com/lessonplans/programs/geo_midwest/

Primary Lesson Plans

Lesson plan 1


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