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Carrie Burns

EDC 363
Geography Unit Plan
Second Grade
2x per week, 6 weeks.

24 Students

25-30 minute lessons,

Curriculum Overview: The community being studied is Carson City,

Michigan. Our overarching question that will guide our study throughout the
year is What is it like to live in Carson City, Michigan? The on-going project
that will take place throughout the year is the building of a community map
where student work together to find and label different parts of the
community. The culminating project that these students will do at the end of
the year will consist of taking their finished map to a city council meeting
and presenting their findings to the city council.
Student Learning Goals: The major purposes of teaching about the
geography of Carson City, Michigan is so that students can get a general
understanding of the major concepts of geography by looking at their reallife surroundings.
Rationale: Teaching about the Geography of these students surrounding
community is important because it affects their daily life through resources
that are available to us, to the climate that we experience.
Social Studies Skills to be learned:

Use knowledge of spatial patterns on earth to understand processes

that shape both the natural environments and the diverse societies
that inhabit them
Use methods of social science investigation to answer questions about


G1 The World in Spatial Terms: Use geographic representations to

acquire, process, and report information from a spatial perspective.
o 2 G1.0.1 Construct maps of the local community that contain
symbols, labels, and legends denoting human and natural
characteristics of place.

o 2 G1.0.2 Use maps to describe the spatial organization of the

local community by applying concepts including relative location
and using distance, direction, and scale.
G2 Places and Regions: Understand how regions are created from
common physical and human characteristics.
o 2 G2.0.1 Compare the physical and human characteristics of
the local community with those of another community.
o 2 G2.0.2 Describe how the local community is part of a larger
region (e.g., county, metropolitan area, state).
G4 Human Systems: Understand how human activities help shape
the Earths surface.
o 2 G4.0.1 Describe land use in the community (e.g., where
people live, where services are provided, where products are
o 2 G4.0.2 Describe the means people create for moving people,
goods, and ideas within the local community.
o 2 G4.0.3 Use components of culture (e.g., foods, language,
religion, traditions) to describe diversity in the local community.
G5 Environment and Society: Understand the effects of humanenvironment interactions.
o 2 G5.0.1 Suggest ways people can responsibly interact with the
environment in the local community.
o 2 G5.0.2 Describe positive and negative consequences of
changing the physical environment of the local community.

Instructional Resource List:


This website is helpful in preparation for this unit because there is

helpful information about the actual city of Carson City on this website. This
website includes information about three parks in Carson City and the overall
layout of the city on the page titled Living In Carson City.

City Records

Looking at these records could tell me about natural disasters or

anything that could change the landscape of Carson City.


This website is helpful in preparation for this unit because there are
many graphs and charts with data about Carson City, Michigan. Some of the

graphs include data on population density and on year round climate

including precipitation, wind speed, cloud coverage, temperature, and more.
There is also information included about the amount of land and water areas
in Carson City.


This website is helpful in preparation for this unit because there is a lot
of information about the population of Carson City, Michigan. The census
tells us about population density, the number of households in the city, the
race of the people who live in the city, the poverty level of the inhabitants,
and much more.
This website has many resources that help teachers teach the subject
of geography. Included are activity and lesson ideas.
Inquiry Resources:

Parks Director

This would be a helpful person to come in and be a guest speaker. This

person could talk to the students about what kinds of natural features they
can explore at the different parks around the city. This could tie into a
conversation about natural features versus human features.

Google Maps

This resource would be helpful in my classroom because students could

use it to go on a virtual field trip. While the city of Carson City is not very
large, there will be times when it will not work with a schedule to plan a
whole field trip around the city. This would be when we could use Google
Maps to look at the geography of Carson City virtually.

Weather Man (Meteorologist)

This person would be a great guest speaker during this unit. When
having the discussion about climate and why we experience the climate that
we do in Carson City, a meteorologist could have some important input into
this conversation. Students could ask this person questions about why we

have less snow on average than our neighbors to the west and get some
scientific answers!

Landscape Worker

This guest speaker would be helpful in talking about the discussion on

natural features versus human features. This person could talk about what
they add to the natural landscape of our city to change it.

Topographical Maps

By using topographical maps in this unit students could actually see

how our landscape changes throughout the City. It would also be helpful to
look at a three-dimensional topographical map of Michigan, if available.
Prior Knowledge: Students are likely to understand the main concepts of
water and land, but they might have some misconceptions about what
mountains are or other landforms that they do not see in Carson City. They
might think that the hill in their backyard is a mountain. The main way that I
would find out students prior knowledge would just be some discussion at
the beginning of the lesson. By discussing different concepts before really
diving into learning about them, I could catch and end any misconceptions
that students may have.
Plan for Differentiation: There are many ways that I could differentiate
throughout this unit on geography. For example, if students have a hard time
writing down their observations and data that they collect, I would allow
them to draw pictures or even record their voices and thoughts on an iPad.

Student Learning

Evidence of Learning Instructional activity

Summative (S) or
to support learning
Formative (F)
Content (learned from this unit but important beyond this unit):
Students will know.
Some common
Final community map is
Community walk &
features, natural and
complete and accurate to
write observations in
human (roads, trees,
a certain extent (S)
notebooks. Construct a
hills, farms, buildings,
Check for participation
community map
during community walk
together in the
and check to make sure
observations are written
down (F)
The difference
Photos are sorting
Discussion about
between natural
correctly based on which
natural versus human
features and human
are human features and
features and photo sort
which are natural features with pictures of natural
and human features
Check for understanding
during discussion (F)
Why we experience the Completed activities on
Discussion with
climate that we do in
the iPad (S)
meteorologist guest
Carson City
Participation in discussion
speaker and do
with meteorologist (F)
activities with an
interactive weather
map (iPads)
What landforms we can Completed graphic
Google Maps virtual
find in Carson City and organizer and check for
field trip to city in
what landforms we
participation during virtual Colorado. Compare and
cant find in Carson
field trip (S)
contrast graphic
Check for understanding
organizer between the

What our population

looks like in Carson
The relative location of
Carson City

through observation
two cities.
during virtual field trip (F)
Data from each student (S) Survey of neighbors
and adults in the
Check for understanding
Introduce the
during map reading (F)
directions of North,
East, South, and West
and practice reading
different kinds of maps

Processes/Skills/Strategies (of social science inquiry): Students will be

able to
Gather information
Check for notes and
Community walk and
from observations and observations written down community map in the
data sources
in notebooks (S)
classroom. Taking
notes when guest
speakers come to
Work together to
Presentation of map to the Community map in the
organize data and
city council during a city
classroom discussion
present that data
council meeting (S)
on how to set it up and
how to thoroughly
complete it.
Make a map of Carson
Correctly use the features
Community map
of a map (S)
ongoing project
weekly work on
completion of the map
Attitudes: Students will value/believe
Thinking like a
Informal observations and
Community map
checklist during discussion ongoing project and conclusions students
discussion on how to
come to (F)
present findings
Growing interest in
Checklist for comparison of Comparing and
other places around
two cities (S)
contrasting our
the country/world
Observation of attitude
landforms, bodies of
about other places around water, climate, natural
the country or world (F)
and human features to
another city in the
country or world.

Action: Students will show active response to learning (in/through/by)

Engaging in a serviceObservation/checklist
Ask students to
learning project
during planning (F) and
identify problems with
(community clean-up,
during project (S)
our natural
environment and how
we can fix them