• Third Grade Social Studies:  Michigan Studies
     
    Unit 1:  The Geography of Michigan
     
    1
     
    Unit Abstract:
    In this unit students use a geographic lens to explore the state of Michigan. The unit focuses around the five major themes of geography: movement, region, human/environment interaction, location and place.  Students begin by reviewing geographic concepts learned in second grade and then explore the concept of “state” using a map of the United States. In studying location, students use cardinal directions, identify various ways to describe the relative location of Michigan, and begin to explore how location can influence the development of a state. When studying place, students identify and describe significant human and physical characteristics of Michigan using a variety of maps. Through literature, maps, informational text and other resources students also explore the concept of human/environment interaction as they learn about Michigan’s natural resources and how people have used, modified, and adapted to them.  In studying movement, an emphasis is placed on the Great Lakes. Using shipping as a launching point, students explore how and why people, goods, jobs and ideas move within, into and out of Michigan. Finally, students apply the concept of region to the study of Michigan as they explore different ways Michigan can be divided into regions as well as the different regions to which Michigan belongs.  Through art or technology students demonstrate their understanding of Michigan’s geography.

     

     

    Unit Assessment:

     

      

    Unit Focus Questions:

    1. How can the five themes of geography be used to describe Michigan?

    2. How have people used, adapted to and modified the environment of Michigan?

     

    Content Expectations:

    2 - G2.0.2:      Describe how the local community is part of a larger region (e.g., county,           

                            metropolitan area, state).

    3 - G1.0.1:      Use cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) to describe the relative location of significant places in the immediate environment.

    3 - G1.0.2:      Use thematic maps to identify and describe the physical and human characteristics of Michigan.

    3 - G2.0.1:      Use a variety of visual materials and data sources to describe ways in which Michigan can be divided into regions.

    3 - G2.0.2:      Describe different regions to which Michigan belongs (e.g., Great Lakes Region, Midwest).

    3 - G4.0.3:      Describe some of the current movements of goods, people, jobs or information to, from, or within Michigan and explain reasons for the movements.3 - G5.0.1:      Locate natural resources in Michigan and explain the consequences of their use.

    3 - G5.0.2:      Describe how people adapt to, use, and modify the natural resources of Michigan.

     

    Unit Key Concepts:

    • geography
    • Great Lakes
    • human/environment interaction
    • location
    • movement
    • natural resources
    • place
    • region
    • state

    Duration: 
    6 weeks

     

    Lesson Sequence:

    Lesson 1:  What is a State?

    Lesson 2:  Michigan and the Theme of Location

    Lesson 3:  Michigan and the Theme of Place

    Lesson 4:  The Natural Resources of Michigan

    Lesson 5:  The Great Lakes

    Lesson 6:  Michigan and the Theme of Human/Environment Interaction

    Lesson 7:  Michigan and the Theme of Movement

    Lesson 8:  Michigan and the Theme of Region

    Lesson 9:  Describing the Geography of Michigan

     

    Assessment: 

     

     

     

    Resources (see lesson resources as well):
     

    Teacher Resources 

    Forests in Michigan. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Great Lakes, Great Parks, Great History: Do L.A.P.S. for Michigan. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 1999.

     Rich in Resources. Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Great Lakes, Great Parks, Great History: Do L.A.P.S. for Michigan. Lansing, MI: Michigan Department of Natural Resources, 1999.  Contact 1-888-510-3326.

     
    Resources for Further Professional Knowledge

    State of Michigan Official Website. 23 Jan. 2008. <http://www.michigan.gov/>.

      

    Lesson 1: What is a State?

     

    Big Ideas of the Lesson

     

     

    ·         Geography is the study of places.

    ·         Geographers study small places like communities and big places like states and countries.

    ·         To study a place geographers ask questions about the place and try to find answers.

    ·         A state is one of the fifty parts of our country.

    ·         To learn about a state, it can be helpful to think and work like geographers.

     

     

    Lesson Focus Questions: 

     

     

    Content Expectations:

    2-G2.0.2      Describe how the local community is part of a larger region (e.g., county, metropolitan
                         area, state).

     

    Key Concepts: geography, state

     

    Lesson Vocabulary: 

     

    Abstract:  This lesson begins with an introduction to the ways geographers look at places and the questions they ask. Students begin by reviewing the geography of their local community with a chart based on the 2nd grade geography expectations (including physical/human characteristics, land use, changes in land, etc.) Students are introduced to the concept of region by exploring other regions to which their community belongs (e.g., counties, metropolitan areas). Finally, students explore the question: What is a state?

      

    Handouts:

     

    Lesson Resources:

     
    United Streaming Resources:

     

    Instructional Resources

    Equipment/Manipulative

    Michigan map

    Overhead projector or document camera/projector

    Student journal or notebook

     

    Student Resource

    Geisert, Bonnie and Arthur. Desert Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001.

     

    - - -. Mountain Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000. 

    - - -. Prairie Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998. 

    - - -. River Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1999.

     

    McConnell, David. Meet Michigan. Hillsdale, MI: Hillsdale Educational Publishers, 2009. 1 – 7.

     

    McLerran, Alice. Roxaboxen. New York: Lothrop, Lee and Shepard, 1991.

     

    Teacher Resource

    Egbo, Carol. Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1).Teacher-made material. Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum, 2009.

     

    50 States Map.  10 July 2009 <http://www.united-states-map.com/usa7244.htm>.

     

    Michigan Counties Map. 10 July 2009 <http://quickfacts.census.gov/qfd/maps/michigan_map.html>.

     

    Outline Map of the United States. 10 July 2009 <http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/outline/states.pdf>.

     

     Lesson Sequence

    1.    Write the term “Geography’ on an overhead or board. Ask students to share what they know about this term. Discuss student responses.  Then, display an overhead transparency of “What is Geography,” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1) and explain to students that geography is the study of places.

     

    2.    Write the term “Geographer” on an overhead or board and explain that a geographer studies places. Explain that this includes small places like communities or large places like countries or even the whole Earth itself. Explain that in second grade when students studied their local community and other communities they were working as geographers. Give students Word Cards #1 and #2 located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1).  Ask students to secure them into their Michigan Studies Journal.

     

    3.    Explain that geographers learn about places by asking questions and trying to find answers to them. Divide the class into groups of three students and assign the role of recorder to one student in each group. Give each group a recording sheet and have them write the following question on the sheet: What is a community? Ask students to discuss the question in their group and write down answers.

     

    4.    Ask students to share their answers to the question with the whole class. Lead a discussion about the various answers and guide students toward the idea that a community is a place where people live, work and play together. Next, ask students to list some basic needs people have (e.g. food, clothing and shelter). Remind students that one main purpose of a community is to help people meet their basic

     

    5.    Explain that when geographers study a community they often begin by asking the question: where is the community located? Using the “Questions about the Geography of Our Community” chart located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1), or a similar chart re-created on large chart paper, guide students in describing the location of their own local community. Note that you may wish to use a map of Michigan for this step.

     

    6.    Explain that another important question geographers ask about places is: What is the place like? Explain that in order to answer this question geographers explore the natural and human characteristics of a place. Use Word Cards #3 and #4 located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1) to review these terms. Then, guide students in identifying significant natural and human characteristics of their local community and record them on the chart you began in Step 5.

     

    7.    To reinforce the concepts covered so far read students a book which describes a community such as “River Town”, “Mountain Town”, “Roxaboxen” or a similar book. After you have read and discussed the book divide students into groups of three and give each group a copy of the “Questions about the Geography of the Community We Read About” chart located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1). Explain that groups should work together to complete the chart in the same manner that you modeled using their local community in Steps 5 and 6.

     

    8.    Give groups time to complete the chart and then have them share their charts in the large group. Remind them that as they discussed and completed the charts they were working like geographers.

     

    9.    Explain that when they study places geographers also ask the question: Is this place part of a larger place? Ask students to think again back to second grade and try to answer this question about their own local community. Write their responses on an overhead, board or chart paper. Note that in Unit Two of the second grade units students were introduced to the concepts of county, state, country and continent. Using the “Regions to Which My Community Belongs” diagram located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1), or a similar diagram you create on chart paper, review these terms.

     

    10. Give each student Word Card #5 and a copy of the “Counties of Michigan Map” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1) and guide students in identifying and shading in their own county or school’s county. Then briefly explore surrounding counties. Ask students the following question: If a geographer wanted to study our county what questions would he or she ask? Discuss student responses and guide them to the idea that a geographer would ask the following questions:

    ·         What is a county?

    ·         Where is the county located?

    ·         What is the county like?

    ·         What are important natural characteristics of the county?

    ·         What are important human characteristics of the county?

     

    11. Return to the diagram used in Step 9 and point out the circle containing the term “state.” Explain that this year in third grade students will be studying their state of Michigan. Give students Word Card #6 and go over the simple definition for the term “state.” Use the following questions to lead a brief discussion. Note that this will allow you to assess student’s prior knowledge of this term:

    ·         How many states are there in the United States?

    ·         What other states have you visited?

    ·         Do you have family members that live in other states? If so, what states?

    ·         What questions do you think a geographer asks when they are studying a state?

     

    12. Using Word Card #7 located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1) explain that a state has borders which separate it from other states Then, give each student a copy of the “Outline Map of the United States” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1) or a similar map and guide students in identifying and shading in the state of Michigan.

     

    13. Using Word Card #8 located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 1) explain that a state, like a community, has a government. Explain that in a later unit students will explore Michigan’s government.

     

    14. As a culminating activity ask students to write one or two questions about Michigan they would like to explore in third grade this year. Give students time to write and then make a master list of all their questions on chart paper. Note that this lesson can be supplemented by a textbook selection such as pages 1 to 7 in Meet Michigan, or a similar text.

     

     

    Assessment
    The small group activity from Step 7 in which students answer questions about the geography of a community as described in a picture book may be used as an assessment. In addition, students could create their own diagram showing various regions to which their community belongs similar to the diagram used in Step 9.
     
    Lesson 2:  Michigan and the Theme of Location

     

    Big Ideas of the Lesson

     

     

    ·         To study a place geographers ask the question: Where is the place located?

    ·         The absolute location of a place is the exact location of the place. Your address is the absolute location of your house.

    ·         The relative location of a place means where the place is in relation to other places.

    ·         Direction words like north, south, east, and west are used to describe the relative location of places.

     

    Lesson Focus Questions:

    What are cardinal directions?

    How can you use cardinal directions to navigate?

     

    Content Expectations:

    3-G1.0.1      Use cardinal directions (north, south, east, west) to describe the relative location of

                        significant places in the immediate environment.

     

    Key Concepts: location

     

    Lesson Vocabulary: cardinal directions, compass rose

     

    Students will know:  cardinal directions 

    Students will be able to:  navigate a map using cardinal directions 

    Student friendly language:  I can use a map to move from one place to another. 

     

    Abstract:  Students review relative and absolute (street address) location and engage in a short activity on cardinal directions. They then use a Michigan map and cardinal directions to describe the relative location of their local community. Using a map of the United States and cardinal directions, students identify a variety of ways to describe the relative location of Michigan. The lesson concludes with a brief discussion of how location influences the development of a state. This will serve as the launching point for subsequent lessons in both history and economics.

      

    Handouts:

     

    Lesson Resources:  

    United Streaming Resources:

    G1.0.1

    • Globes and US (18:00) also see Teacher's Guide
    • Understanding Maps: Key to Everywhere (15:00) also see Teacher's Guide

    Instructional Resources

    Equipment/Manipulative

    Crayons or markers for each student

    Overhead projector or document camera/projector

    Student journal or notebook

     

    Student Resource

    McConnell, David. Meet Michigan. Hillsdale, MI: Hillsdale Educational Publishers, 2009. 2, 31, 417 and 419.

     

    Teacher Resource

    Egbo, Carol. Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 2). Teacher-made material. Michigan Citizenship Collaborative Curriculum, 2009.

     

    Outline Map of the United States. 10 July 2009 <http://www.nationalatlas.gov/printable/images/pdf/outline/states.pdf>.

      

    Lesson Sequence

    1.    Referring back to Lesson 1, remind students that geographers study a place by asking questions and trying to find the answers to the questions. Remind them that one of the questions is: Where is the place located? Use Word Card #9 to explain the term “location.”

     

    2.    Explain that geographers sometimes want to know the exact location of a place. Write the term “absolute location” on an overhead transparency or board and give students Word Card #10. Explain that this is the term geographers use to define an exact location. Ask students how they could identify the exact location of their house. Discuss student responses and guide students to the idea that their address is an example of absolute location because an address describes the exact location of a house.

     

    3.    Pose the following question and ask students to write an answer in their Michigan studies journal: What is the absolute location of your desk in our classroom?  Discuss student answers and guide students in understanding that it would be hard to describe the exact, or absolute, location of their desk. However, they could describe the location of their desk in relation to other people and things in the room. For example, their desk might be near the door, next to Debbie’s desk, near the center of the room, etc. Explain that geographers refer to this type of location as relative location. Give students Word Card #11.

     

    4.    Pose the following question and ask students to write an answer in their Michigan studies journal: What is the relative location of your desk in the classroom? Discuss student answers. If time permits play a simple game where you describe the relative location of a student’s desk in the room with two or three phrases and have them guess which student’s desk you are describing.

     

    5.    Explain that with large places like a community or state it is easier to describe their relative location than their absolute location. Using Word Card #12, explain that In order to do this geographers often use direction words such as north, south, east and west.

     

    6.    Give each student a copy of the “Direction Sheet” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 2).  Using an overhead of the “Direction Sheet” guide students in correctly labeling  ‘north’, ‘south’, ‘east’ and ‘west’ on the simple compass rose.

     

    7.    Next, point out the black square in the middle of the grid at the bottom of the Direction Sheet. Explain that you will be giving them directions for coloring in certain squares on the sheet. Give the following directions orally. Note that a correctly completed “Directions Sheet” has been included in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 2)   for you to use for reference.

    ·         Find the square north of the black square and color it red.

    ·         Find the square east of the red square and color it yellow.

    ·         Find the square south of the yellow square and color it green.

    ·         Find the square south of the green square and color it blue.

    ·         Find the square west of the blue square and color it orange

     

    8.    Give students Word Card #13 and review the term ‘map’ explaining that maps are an important tool that geographers use for locating places. Using the” Michigan Map” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 2) or a similar map, guide students in using cardinal directions as well as position words such as ‘near’, ‘between’, and ‘by’ to describe the relative location of their local community. Note that if your local community is not shown on the map you will need to add it. As alternative maps you could pages 31 and 419 of “Meet Michigan” or a similar map from another textbook on Michigan.

     

    9.    Provide students with a map of the United States. This could be a desktop map, a wall map, a map in an atlas or the “U.S. Map” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 2). Divide students in pairs and give each pair a copy of the worksheet “Describing the Relative Location of Michigan” located in the Supplemental Materials (Unit 1, Lesson 2). Explain that they should use the map and make a list of 5 different ways to describe the relative location of Michigan. Encourage students to use natural features such as rivers and other states in their descriptions. Give students time to complete the worksheet, then, share their lists with the whole group. Possible answers include the following:

      • Michigan is located near the middle of the U.S.
      • Michigan is located east of the Mississippi River.
      • Michigan is located north of Ohio and Indiana.
      • Michigan is located next to Ontario, Canada.
      • Michigan is located in the northern part of the U.S.

     

    10. Explain that besides wanting to know the location of a state, a geographer would also want to explore how its location affected the development of the state. Lead a brief discussion on this concept using the following questions:

      • How did Michigan’s location near the Great Lakes affect its growth and development?
      • How did Michigan’s location in the northern part of the United States affect its growth and development?
      • How did Michigan’s location near Canada affect its growth and development?

     

    Assessment

    As an assessment students could independently list three different ways to describe the relative location of Michigan using a United States map.

Last Modified on February 14, 2018