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Grade 4 4-2 Instructional Resources

Page history last edited by pam merrill 4 days, 9 hours ago

 

Northeast Region 

Lesson Ideas

Inquiry Tasks

  • Reinforce prior understandings of a market economy and how it operates to support private ownership of resources, labor, and production, as well as consumer choice, using the presentation, America's Economic System, provided by the Oklahoma Council for Social Studies. Ask students why decisions regarding what to buy, sell, or produce should be in the hands of citizens and how these economic concepts relate to the principles of a democracy. 

  • Extend student understandings of economic principles that impact human-environment-interactions, using the presentation, Levels of Economic Activities. Ask students to consider the fact that the Northeast region's people are highly engaged in third-level economic activities (services). Ask students to review the chart of Industries of the Northeast, highlighting which are service industries. Ask students to analyze the infographic GDP of USA Regions, provided by the U.S. Bureau of Economic Analysis. What relationship, if any, might high levels of service workers have on income levels?

  • Remind students that American Indians and immigrant settlers to the Northeast both relied on the rivers, seas, and ocean for livelihood and food. Ask student to examine contemporary reliance on water resources, using the presentation, New England's Fishing Industry, provided by O.C.S.S. What other regions might share such a reliance on fishing? What other industries might be related to commercial fishing? 

  • Engage students in sharing why transportation is so vital to economic development, introducing students to the necessity of rivers and oceans to the Northeast's people. Use the classroom presentation of the children's book, The River Ran Wild, by Lynn Cherry, and ask students to create an illustrated timeline of events that caused change to the river over time. Extend learning by encouraging students to examine The Effects of Transportation on the Economy of the United States, using a student-friendly narrative by National Geographic. Challenge students to engage in extended inquiry task, the St. Lawrence Seaway Success Story, provided by O.C.S.S.  How does cooperation between nations help connect producers and consumers, as well as natural resources and manufacturing centers for both nation's benefit?  

Primary and Secondary Sources

 Southeast Region

Lesson Ideas

Inquiry Tasks

  • Ask students to create a spider graphic organizer, noting the major economic activities of the Atlantic Coast's Economy. Highlight industries and services that would be a significant aspect of the economies in other regions, color-coding the spider organizer by U.S. region. How does the organizer reflect interdependence between regions? What could account for such similarities: common natural resources, transportation connections between regions, common needs for similar consumer services?  

  • Encourage students to analyze the significance of international trade to the people who reside in the many port cities of the region, using the narrative, Southeast Shipping and Trade. Conduct a brief research of the nation's trade, much of which uses one of the region's ports. Review the Export/Imports Infographic of the American economy. Ask students to locate our nation's most busiest ports, by using the slideshow Top US Ports and creating their own maps of America's largest ports. Invite students to conduct household inventories, identifying examples of imported items. Where do they come from? Through which port might they have arrived? 

  • Ask students to investigate reasons why people engage in trade, using the classroom presentation, International Trade, provided by the Oklahoma Council for Social Studies. How and why do Americans choose to trade when our country has such abundant natural resources? Dig deeper into the concept of economic interdependence and trading choices people make, using the lesson of the The Global Sneaker. Encourage students to take a stand, "Is globalization a benefit or a barrier to American growth and prosperity?"  

 

Primary and Secondary Sources 

Midwest Region 

Lesson Ideas

Inquiry Tasks

  • Ask students to describe farms they might have seen while traveling through Oklahoma or in their nearby communities. How do farmers of the Great Plains adapt to the semi-arid climate? Ask students to examine Farming the Great Plains, a classroom presentation provided by O.C.S.S. How has the agricultural productivity of the Midwest prompted nicknames called "belts"? Help students develop responses based upon information from the narrative Agricultural Belts and maps of the corn and wheat belts (below).  

  • Encourage students to analyze the impact of an American invention- the pivot irrigation system- on the potential for semi-arid regions such as the Midwest.  Examine change over time to the environment of a typical Midwestern state by analyzing satellite imagery from the online lesson, Pivot Irrigation, from the USGS EarthShots program. Invite students to compare how the same technology changed the landscape of Saudi Arabia (USGS EarthShots). Are such shared economic activities a sign of positive benefits of globalization?  

  • Ask students to investigate the contributions of Midwesterners in developing the region's natural resources. Review the role of inventors and entrepreneurs, using information from the narrative, Economic Growth and Entrepreneurs. Provide time for students to research how each of the following individuals contributed to economic growth of our country: Henry Ford (assembly line; automobiles), W.K. Kellogg (cereals), Joseph Glidden (barbed wire), Frank Zybach (pivot irrigation), Norman Borlaug (Green Revolution), John Deere (steel plow). Ask students to demonstrate their learning through products such as Cereal Box heroes, digital children's books, Museum Exhibits, Gallery of Inventors, Magazine Advertisements for Inventions, etc. Advise students to focus on the way each individual modified or adapted to the resources and environment to meet human needs or wants.

Primary and Secondary Sources 

Southwest Region 

Lesson Ideas

Inquiry Tasks

  • Encourage students to compare agricultural-related economic activities of the Southwest to that of the Midwest, identifying major ways people of the Southwest earn a living and using information from the narratives, Living on the Land and Major Industries of the Southwest. Provide time for groups to analyze the Largest Single Industry by State Map. How does this map confirm what students think they know about major economic activities of the Southwest? What major industries are surprising to find?

  • Ask students to extend their learning by comparing major industries of the Southwest- ranching and petroleum refining- using suggested resources (below). What natural resources of the region sustain growth of these industries? How does each industry contribute to the economic prosperity of the region? Ask students to create a T-chart, describe the lasting impact, positive and negative, of each industry on the environment. Invite students to take a stand, responding to the statement, "America should reduce its reliance on beef (or oil)." Advise students to be prepared to defend their stance with evidence from their research. 

  • Ask students to explore two alternative sources of energy that might prove efficient in the Southwest region- solar power and geothermal. Introduce students to each alternative, using the National Geographic's Introductory 2-minute videoclip and Renewable Energy 101, by the Green Mountain Energy. Provide time for groups to identify the advantages of each alternative using resources suggested (below). Permit each group to assume the role of lobbyists for either the solar or geothermal industries. Create a campaign to convince state and.or national legislators to spend more money researching and funding solar or geothermal sources of energy. Included in the campaign should be a "white paper" highlighting reasons supporting the alternative source, a bullet list of advantages, a formal letter to the congressperson to consider your campaign "pitch", and a one-minute speech to be given in front of a legislative/congressional committee on energy

Primary and Secondary Sources 

West Region 

Lesson Ideas

Inquiry Tasks

  • Ask students to develop a spider graphic organizer, identifying the major industries and services which employ people in the West region, using the narrative, Economic Activities of the Northwest. Encourage student partners to examine one industry of their choice, such as electronics, computer technology, entertainment, or health care. Using data and information from independent research, ask students to develop a set of questions they would like to ask of a historic or contemporary leader in their chosen economic field, such as Thomas Edison, Bill Gates, Jonas Salk. How did the individual change the nature and growth of the industry?  

  • Encourage students to develop an illustrated Venn diagram featuring similarities and differences of economic activities of two Western states, using the narratives, Focus on California and Focus on Alaska. Ask students to decide in which state they would like to work as a tour guide. Ask students to plan an agenda for a group of elementary geography students from Japan who will be visiting America for the first time. What resources, cultural highlights, and economic industries will you show them? Advise students to plan an agenda that accurately represents the major geographic features of the state. 

  • Remind students of the vast timber resources that still provide employment for people of the northwest and Alaska. Encourage students to examine how these resources were first developed, using the presentation, Timber-Our Early Lumber Industry, provided by O.C.S.S. Ask students to assume the personality of a young person, moving west to work as a lumberjack; write a diary entry recording your impressions of the dense forests or write a letter home to your parents, describing work in the lumber industry. Encourage students to consider the lumber industry of today, its significance, as well as issues related to preserving this natural resource. Ask students to use information from the presentation Timber-Lumber Industry Today to create an infographic (print or digital) explaining the environmental risks of clear-cutting versus selective cutting of trees. Support extended investigations into the practices of conservation and wise management of forests, using suggested resources (below.) 

Primary and Secondary Sources 

 

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