Hi! Thank you for checking out this resource! I find it is a great beginning of the year activity for any upper-elementary or middle school social studies class. I love to see how my students work in groups, and this is a good one because you can clearly see who among your students emerges as leaders, “task-masters,” peacekeepers, etc. It’s like a little social experiment!
I suggest you begin with showing the PPT (slides 2-3) to students, as they take notes on the Five Themes of Geography. I ask my students to copy the definition I’ve provided (it matches the info in our text…you can, of course, edit this to suit your needs), and then they brainstorm some examples with neighbors.
Next, I discuss the poster project; I split students into small groups and assign each group a different theme. Working together, the students must create “teaching posters” which I then hang in the classroom. I remind them that their posters should serve to teach others about each of the Five Themes of Geography. As we discuss the project and my expectations, I show them slides 4-5. I’ve included what their posters must contain, some hints on what I expect to see in their groups, and even a simple grading sheet. I leave slide 4 or 5 projected on the screen while students work in small groups.
For convenience, I’ve copied the grading sheet three times so you can just print slides 6-9 and you’re ready to grade the finished products. You’ll even have an extra copy if you need it!
Also included are some sample projects from my students. I don’t show these to my classes when they are doing this, because I want them to get creative, but this will serve as an idea of how the finished products will look. These are found on slides 9-13.
Thank you! Please check out my other social studies resources! :)