A Year of Social Studies! Grades 2-3
Would you like a program that engages your students in an ongoing, authentic project that integrates every Social Studies strand in the context of building your own class town?
This 109 page Townbuilder includes a ready-to-copy 42 page Student Journal, accompanied by a comprehensive 51 page Teacher’s Manual. The manual includes a thorough narrative on how to approach each student page and has suggested “answer keys.”
There are also detailed directions and ideas for activities to expand and enhance the Student Journal. Oh, yes, and pictures, pictures, pictures! Clip art, tracers, labels and templates are also included for you to copy and use. Please download the preview here for a better snapshot of everything that’s included.
The Student Journal can be added to, deleted from or rearranged in any order to suit your curriculum. Time frames are flexible and ideas for center-type projects are included.
(NOTE! I added a Canadian “Symbols” page at the end (p.111) for our Canadian student friends!)
You will need to construct a large land map in your classroom. Detailed directions and a black line image you can use to project onto paper or a whiteboard are included. Students work both in their booklet and on the large land map. Student activities include:
Explain your thinking
Venn Diagrams/Compare & Contrast
A Chapter Book writing project
Small and large group activities
Debate (and possible voting!)
Constructing and arranging cut outs on the large land map
Designing their own home
Planning a Nature Preserve
Designing Town symbols
Designing a Town bridge
And much, more!
By building their own class town, this program teaches students how our lives are affected by our geographical environment, our climate and seasons, our plant and animal neighbors and of course, by each other. This has proven more effective in my classroom than teaching each of the Social Studies strands separately. As “settlers” the students “live” the integration of geography, history, culture, government and economics.
The whole project takes place on a large land map, which lends itself to learning map skills and some other mapping activities are included. “Settlers” (students) interact with all these factors by organizing and manipulating resources, creating customs and traditions, setting up governments and economies and by reflecting and learning from their own history. The Town moves from settlement to a modern town and students learn about economic and cultural influences, how government can help people, what history can teach us, and how to protect and preserve nature.
The time frame on this program runs 4-5 months, depending on how long you choose to spend on each area, and how much you enhance with your own read alouds, videos, websites, etc. It’s not set up as 40 minute daily lessons, rather as an ongoing project that you add to, change or reflect on different aspects of the town using the Student Journal as a “road map.”
I have included a comprehensive explanation and many samples of student pages in the preview here. Download it for free and see what you think!
Created by Debbie Bryant
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