• Unit 3
    North America: People, Places and Issues





    Overarching Question:  What are the primary social, economic, political, and environmental issues affecting the people of North America? 



    Previous Unit:

      Foundations of Social Studies



    This Unit:
    North America: People, Places and Issues
    Next Unit: 
    Mexico, Central America and the Caribbean:  People, Places and Issues


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    Questions to Focus Assessment and Instruction:
    Insert these when we decide what they are.









    Unit Abstract:  In this unit, students explore the social, geographical, economic, political, historical, and environmental issues of North America. 
    • Peopling of the Earth
    • Agricultural Revolution
    • Early American History reviewing the major historical eras
    • Culture of early people of North America
    • Physical features of North America
    • Climate regions
    • Vegetation regions
    • Ecosystems
    • Human modifications to the landscape
    • Environmental issues
    • Human-Environment Interaction
    • Cultural diffusion and components of North America
    • Effects of technology
    • Compare the economies of the U.S. and Canada
    • Trade patterns
    • Economic interdependence
    • Geopolitical relationships
    • NAFTA
    • Compare and contrast the United States and Canadian governments
    • International organizations
    • Conflict and cooperation in North America
    Content Expectations:
    6 – H1.1.1 Explain why and how historians use eras and periods as constructs to organize and explain human activities over time.
    6 – H1.2.4 Compare and evaluate competing historical perspectives about the past based on proof.
    6 – H1.2.5 Identify the role of the individual in history and the significance of one person’s ideas.

    6 – W1.1.1 Describe the early migrations of people among Earth’s continents (including the Berringa Land Bridge).

    6 – W1.1.2 Examine the lives of hunting and gathering people during the earliest eras of human society (tools and weapons, language, fire).
    6 – W1.2.1 Describe the transition from hunter gatherers to sedentary agriculture (domestication of plants and animals).
    6 – W1.2.2 Describe the importance of the natural environment in the development of agricultural settlements in different locations (e.g., available water for irrigation, adequate precipitation, and suitable growing season).
    6 – W1.2.3 Explain the impact of the Agricultural Revolution (stable food supply, surplus, population growth, trade, division of labor, development of settlements).
    6 – W2.1.1 Explain how the environment favored hunter gatherer, pastoral, and small scale agricultural ways of life in different parts of the Western Hemisphere.
    6 – W2.1.2 Describe how the invention of agriculture led to the emergence of agrarian civilizations (seasonal harvests, specialized crops, cultivation, and development of villages and towns).
    6 – W2.1.3 Use multiple sources of evidence to describe how the culture of early peoples of North America reflected the geography and natural resources available (e.g., Inuit of the Arctic, Kwakiutl of the Northwest Coast; Anasazi and Apache of the Southwest).
    6 – W2.1.4 Use evidence to identify defining characteristics of early civilizations and early pastoral nomads (government, language, religion, social structure, technology, and division of labor).
    6 – G1.1.2 Draw a sketch map from memory of the Western Hemisphere showing the major regions (Canada, United States, Mexico, Central America, South America, and Caribbean).
    6 – G1.2.1 Locate the major landforms, rivers (Amazon, Mississippi, Missouri, Colorado), and climate regions of the Western Hemisphere.
    6 – G1.2.4 Use observations from air photos, photographs (print and CD), films (VCR and DVD) as the basis for answering geographic questions about the human and physical characteristics of places and regions.
    6 – G1.2.6 Apply the skills of geographic inquiry (asking geographic questions, acquiring geographic information, organizing geographic information, analyzing geographic information, and answering geographic questions) to analyze a problem or issue of importance to a region of the Western Hemisphere.
    6 – G1.3.3 Explain the different ways in which places are connected and how those connections demonstrate interdependence and accessibility.
    6 – G2.1.1 Describe the landform features and the climate of the region (within the Western or Eastern Hemispheres) under study.
    6 – G2.2.2 Explain that communities are affected positively or negatively by changes in technology (e.g., Canada with regard to mining, forestry, hydroelectric power generation, agriculture, snowmobiles, cell phones, air travel).
    6 – G3.1.1 Construct and analyze climate graphs for two locations at different latitudes and elevations in the region to answer geographic questions and make predictions based on patterns. (e.g., compare and contrast Buenos Aires and La Paz; Mexico City and Guatemala City; Edmonton and Toronto).
    6 – G3.2.2 Identify ecosystems and explain why some are more attractive for humans to use than are others (e.g., mid-latitude forest in North America, high latitude of Peru, tropical forests in Honduras, fish or marine vegetation in coastal zones).
    6 – G4.1.1 Identify and explain examples of cultural diffusion within the Americas (e.g., baseball, soccer, music, architecture, television, languages, health care, Internet, consumer brands, currency, restaurants, international migration).
    6 – G4.2.1 List and describe the advantages and disadvantages of different technologies used to move people, products, and ideas throughout the world (e.g., call centers in the Eastern Hemisphere that service the Western Hemisphere; the United States and Canada as hubs for the Internet; transport of people and perishable products; and the spread of individuals’ ideas as voice and image messages on electronic networks such as the Internet).
    6 – G4.3.2 Describe patterns of settlement by using historical and modern maps (e.g., coastal and river cities and towns in the past and present, locations of megacities – modern cities over 5 million, such as Mexico City, and patterns of agricultural settlements in South and North America).
    6 – G4.4.1 Identify factors that contribute to conflict and cooperation between and among cultural groups (control/use of natural resources, power, wealth, and cultural diversity).
    6 – G4.4.2 Describe the cultural clash of First Peoples, French and English in Canada long ago, and the establishment of Nunavut in 1999.
    6 – G5.1.1 Describe the environmental effects of human action on the atmosphere (air), biosphere (people, animals, and plants), lithosphere (soil), and hydrosphere (water) (e.g., changes in the tropical forest environments in Brazil, Peru, and Costa Rica).
    6 – G5.1.2 Describe how variations in technology affect human modifications of the landscape (e.g., clearing forests for agricultural land in South America, fishing in the Grand Banks of the Atlantic, expansion of cities in South America, hydroelectric developments in Canada, Brazil and Chile, and mining the Kentucky and West Virginia).
    6 – E2.3.1 Describe the impact of governmental policy (sanctions, tariffs, treaties) on that country and on other countries that use its resources.
    6 – E3.1.1 Use charts and graphs to compare imports and exports of different countries in the Western Hemisphere and propose generalizations about patterns of economic interdependence.
    6 – E3.1.2 Diagram or map the movement of a consumer product from where it is manufactured to where it is sold to demonstrate the flow of materials, labor, and capital (e.g., global supply chain for computers, athletic shoes, and clothing).
    Civics and Government:
    6 – C3.6.2 Compare and contrast a military dictatorship such as Cuba, a presidential system of representative democracy such as the United States, and a parliamentary system of representative democracy such as Canada.
    6 – C4.3.2 Explain the challenges to governments and the cooperation needed to address international issues in the Western Hemisphere (e.g., migration and human rights).
    6 – C4.3.3 Give examples of how countries work together for mutual benefits through international organizations (e.g. North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA), Organization of American States (OAS), United Nations (UN)).
    Public Discourse and Decision Making:
    6 – P3.1.1 Clearly state an issue as a question or public policy, trace the origins of an issue, analyze various perspectives, and generate and evaluate alternative resolutions. Deeply examine policy issues in group discussions and debates to make reasoned and informed decisions. Write persuasive/argumentative essays expressing and justifying decisions on public policy issues. Plan and conduct activities intended to advance views on matters of public policy, report the results, and evaluate effectiveness.
    • Identify public policy issues related to global topics and issues studied.

    • Clearly state the issue as a question of public policy orally or in written form.

    • Use inquiry methods to acquire content knowledge and appropriate data about the issue.

    • Identify the causes and consequences and analyze the impact, both positive and negative.

    • Share and discuss findings of research and issue analysis in group discussions and debates.

    • Compose a persuasive essay justifying the position with a reasoned argument.

    • Develop an action plan to address or inform others about the issue at the local to global scales.

    Suggested Lessons for Unit:
    (Draft version contains lesson abstracts, resource list, lessons are pending) 








Last Modified on February 14, 2018