WORLD GEOGRAPHY STUDIES
GRADE SIX SOCIAL STUDIES: A PROJECT-BASED CURRICULUM
"Be the change you wish to see in the world." Gandhi
Textbooks- Geography Alive! Regions and People
Teachers' Curriculum Institute
The Nystrom World Atlas
Sixth grade students exhibit a natural excitement and an eager curiosity to learn world geography and discover the intriguing realities and details surrounding the interdependence of the people and the myriad of cultures that share planet Earth. The world geography program at grade six takes advantage of this inherent excitement and creatively challenges students to use the tools of geography to view, analyze, and understand the world. Delighting in activity-based, hands on adventures, sixth grade students enjoy frequent occasions to work cooperatively and/or independently in both small and large group configurations on a project-based world studies curriculum.
With the overarching goal of preparing students as global citizens, the sixth grade curriculum also offers students several occasions throughout the year to engage in world community service learning activities that promote a deeper understanding of the concepts along with an opportunity to influence positive effect on the planet. Each world geography unit of study is designed to pique the interest of global interdependence and develop students as integral pieces of the puzzle in preparation for the role of global citizenship.
Sixth grade social studies engages students in a standards based in-depth study of world geography with an emphasis on The Five Themes of Geography: location, place, movement, region, and human-environment interaction. Through hands on interactive projects students become actively involved in learning about the continents of Antarctica, Australia/Oceania, Asia, Europe, Africa and South America. (Students study the continent of North America in grade four.) Numerous writing projects, group activities, atlas map skills, travel videos, and service learning experiences engage students in a yearlong trek around the planet Earth. Students understand and explore the Big Ideas, apply and consider the terminology associated with world studies within the Key Outcomes and master and authenticate the standards within Essential Knowledge and Skills.
The journey begins with a study of the tools of geographers: The Five Themes. Understanding of the five themes is reinforced through activities such as Geautographs, The Geautobiography, The Five Themes Features Map and The Five Themes Walk. Students then participate in an extensive integrated study of maps and mapmaking using a technology-based unit Is the Perfect Map Out There...Somewhere?. Beginning with a unit on absolute location, students will work in teams to complete the Relay 'Round the World project followed by the Balloon Globe/Map Projection studies. Through the construction of a Geoterms Dictionary, students will use absolute location to create physical features maps of various land and water forms around the planet. Integrated art and technology units include the construction of student-generated world creations including land and water forms in art and the development of I Movies of geographic terms in technology. Sometime in January, all sixth graders will get a chance to check their geographic knowledge when they compete in the National Geographic Geography Bee.
Once students become adept at reading and interpreting maps and globes, they begin a study of the continents of Antarctica, Australia/Oceania, and Asia. Europe, Africa and South America. An emphasis on the writing process will continue as students apply their knowledge of the Five Themes of Geography to compose a song about Antarctica, create a travel brochure of Australia and Oceania, author a class book on the vast continent of Asia, write and perform a poem about a European country, develop and present a Power Point on a nation of Africa, and design and illustrate a children's alphabet book on South America.
The following skills are emphasized: map skills, knowledge/ application of the Five Themes of Geography, research, organization, group cooperation, writing process, critical/interpretive reading and writing, application of theories/concepts, understanding and application of geographic vocabulary and the study of current events through Current Events Magazine. Homework is assigned most days. A parent or guardian must sign all quizzes, tests, and grading sheets. Each unit of study offers extension activities entitled Above and Beyond. Homework, quiz and text notes along with extra credit options are outlined on the homework web site www.lincnet.org.