Wednesday, March 30, 2011

3 Cups of Tea: Young Readers Edition

One man's journey to change the world... one child at a time.

This is the inspirational story of Greg Mortenson's journey to build a school in Pakistan. There are several things that can be taught with a unit on this book. Geography is the obvious thing but there is so much more. Using this book is a great way to open up discussions about Muslim culture. One misconception that gets squashed is that women should not be educated. In village after village, Greg finds that the tribe leaders are longing for schools so that they can educate the girls.

The end of the book has a question and answer section with Greg's daughter. Among other things, she talks about the Pennies for Peace program. This program offers students a way to make a difference in Pakistan. The website actually has a full curriculum that teachers can use.

Thursday, March 24, 2011

Trade Fair

Barter: To trade by exchanging one commodity for another.

Looking for ways to teach kids about the economy? Why not have a trade fair! This can be done many ways. You can have students bring in "garage sale" items from home (with parents permission) or give them time to make items in class. They can create artwork or crafts to trade or bring food or items from home.

This lesson can be linked to many social studies standards. You can easily talk about supply and demand as well as needs and wants. A trade fair can also be used when studying colonial America since this was the way early Americans got their supplies.

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Picturing the Neighborhood

Neighborhood: An area with distinctive characteristics. The people who live near one another in a particular area.

There are several things that can be learned by having students bring in pictures of their neighborhoods. Students can discuss the things that are similar and different about the area where they live. This will also provide the teacher with a good opportunity to teach some vocabulary. Possible words to discuss include: neighborhood, cul-de-sac, intersection, street, road, lane, apartment, and duplex. Using students own pictures will allow them to feel connected to the activities. This can be extended by having students write stories about their neighborhoods using some of the vocabulary that you have introduced.