I have started a new grade this year and moved up to six. Its been a lot of fun. The social studies curriculum in six has the students learning two things: 1) Global Issues and how Canada and other countries deal with them and 2) The Canadian Identity and the various parts that have made it up.
My teaching partner and I felt that Global Issues might be to big of a topic to start with as many of our students don’t really know what happens beyond their neighbourhood. However, we decided to start broad, then go closer to home and eventually go back out to the world. We felt that the students needed to understand various problems that are out in the world to than see how the world has impacted us as Canadians.
To do this we developed a Global Awareness project. The students had to pick a global issue in the world and research. They had to figure out what the issue was and why we should care about it. I knew that being August (we are a balance calendar and teach in August) my students wouldn’t have a lot of research back ground so we also turned it into a unit to learn how to research and write smaller reports.
For a month students worked on these centers: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_euA7pkOAyXfi1tOTJTSXBudTUxeW1jeVJ5MjJERWROU2tTMFlJekZKdEROcUloa0xwWUk
The focus of the centers was on asking critical questions, taking jot notes and writing paragraphs. Students also had to create short movie trailers for their global issues.
Take a look at the videos: https://drive.google.com/folderview?id=0B_euA7pkOAyXflJFWi1lRFFxb1o5N2NjM0IzaFJKMkNTUk1MZ1RkVUNVOHpsWWM5VDg4dUU&usp=sharing
Once this was done students wrote a mini report about their global issue. Here is their writing: https://drive.google.com/open?id=0B_euA7pkOAyXeERZTnMyNjd3ZU0.
It has been amazing because I was able to team up with Peter Cameron from Thunder Bay and Barb VanHatten from Lakehead University. Together the two of them have been giving feedback through the ConnectED project that Peter started.
My students have loved the impact that their writing has done and they have loved the real feedback, instead of just my thoughts to them.
We plan to revisit these global issues again at the end of November and revise the learning that has happened from their other units. Please remember that these projects where their first attempts at writing longer report writing pieces and making videos.
Just thought I would share this project and if you have any thoughts or feedback for my students please message away, they would love it.