About This Lesson Plan

SUBJECT
Arts and Creativity

GRADE
2-4

DURATION
1 Class Period

COLLECTION
Hands-On Lessons

NEW! Zooming In to Where I Live

City, country, state-which is bigger than which? Help students understand the sequence of the terms planet, continent, country, state, city, street, and home as they create their own unique layered book that "zooms" in to where they live!

OBJECTIVE
Students will:

  • Understand the meaning and relationship of the geography terms planet, continent, country, state, city, and street
  • Locate Earth, North America, the United States, and their state and city on appropriate maps.
  • Create a layered book illustrating the progression, in terms of scope, of planet, continent, country, state, city, street, and one's home in terms of largest to smallest.
  • Present their book to a classmate to demonstrate their learning.

Common Core Standards
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on kindergarten reading and content.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.K.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about kindergarten topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.2 Confirm understanding of a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media by asking and answering questions about key details and requesting clarification if something is not understood.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.K.4 Describe familiar people, places, things, and events and, with prompting and support, provide additional detail.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.2 Use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose informative/explanatory texts in which they name what they are writing about and supply some information about the topic.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.K.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.1.8 With guidance and support from adults, recall information from experiences or gather information from provided sources to answer a question.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 1 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.2 Ask and answer questions about key details in a text read aloud or information presented orally or through other media.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.1.4 Describe people, places, things, and events with relevant details, expressing ideas and feelings clearly.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.1.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.2.1 Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade 2 topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.2.7 Participate in shared research and writing projects.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.2.2a Capitalize holidays, product names, and geographic names.

MATERIALS
Elmer's® Disappearing Purple School Glue Sticks, construction paper or card stock, plain paper cut into quarters (six quarter sheets per student), scissors, and markers

SET UP AND PREPARE

Content Overview
Places on a map are defined using increasingly specific terms; larger areas are broken down into smaller areas.

  • Earth is the third planet from the sun in our solar system.
  • There are seven continents on our planet: North America, South America, Africa, Asia, Europe, Australia, and Antarctica.
  • Continents are further divided into countries. North America is made up of three countries: Canada, the United States, and Mexico.
  • The United States is comprised of 50 states.
  • States contain cities and cities are made up of streets along which are located homes and businesses.
  • Maps are representations of an area that use symbols to mark specific features.

Preparation
Cut six quarter sheets of paper for each student.
Printable: Where Am I?

Vocabulary
Planet, continent, country, state, city, street, map, Earth, North America, the United States

DIRECTIONS

Introduction (five minutes)
Display a Google map on the whiteboard showing Earth as a whole. Ask students to consider how they would tell someone exactly where their school was located out of all the places that exist in the world. Certainly, there are lots of other schools on a planet as big as Earth, so how would the students guide someone to their school in particular? What if we narrowed the possibilities down a little bit and instead of saying our school is on planet Earth, we were more specific? Guide students in identifying increasingly specific areas of land and zoom the Google map image to reflect the students' observations until eventually you have zoomed all the way to the address of the school.


Geography Terms Lesson (15 minutes)
Drawing upon what the students observed as they zoomed in on the location of the school, ask students to help write a definition for each term: planet, continent, country, state, city, and street. Next, assist students in identifying the name of the planet on which they live and the name of their country, state, and city. Give each student a copy of the Where Am I? printable and guide the class in locating themselves on each of the four maps featured on the page. For older students, encourage them to work in small groups using an atlas or online resource to locate their home on each of the maps.

Layered Book Creation (25 minutes)
Before handing out supplies, show students a model of the layered book they will create and demonstrate how to glue the quarter pages so they overlap each other except for an inch at the bottom. This layered effect allows the reader to see all of the geography terms at once when the pages are flat.

Give each student a sheet of construction paper or card stock, six quarter sheets of plain paper, an Elmer's Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick, scissors, and markers. Invite students to write the word "planet" in the bottom inch of one of the quarter sheets of plain paper and then cut out the first map from the printable. Have students glue the solar system map to the planet page and then glue this page to the full sheet of card stock so that the bottom edge is flush with the bottom edge of the card stock.

Students will create the second page for the layered book by writing "continent" in the bottom inch of a quarter sheet of plain paper and then adding the world map from the printable. To attach the second page to the layered book, spread the glue along the top edge of the back side of the page. Next, carefully overlap the second page and the first page, leaving only the bottom inch (and the word "planet") showing.

Continue to create pages and layer them onto the book for the terms country, state, city, street, and home. For the pages that lack a map from the Where Am I? printable, encourage students to draw their own illustrations and write the name of their city, street, and their house number on the appropriate pages.

(Elmer's 1st Day Connection: Take a picture of each student and his or her newly created book, then email or provide these to parents to include on the Elmer's 1st Day website.)


Wrap-up (five minutes)
In pairs, invite students to read their books to each other and describe as many details about each page as possible.

LESSON EXTENSION

Whiteboard Extension Activities

  • Google Map Zoom: Invite students to suggest a location they would like to find using Google Maps. Display the Google map for the address and then zoom in to see the specific house or building and then zoom out to identify the location's street, city, state, country, and continent. Record each detail in a chart on the whiteboard. Experiment with famous locations like the White House or Disneyland, as well as places that are home to students' relatives or are connected to something the class has studied.
  • Population Circles: Students have observed how one can zoom in on a location by moving from a large area like a continent all the way to an individual house. Now, take a look at how many people live in each area. Using the Internet, research the population of Earth, then North America, the United States, the students' home state, home city, the student population of the school, and finally the number of students in the class. Record and label each population figure in a circle that reflects the population size of the area. What do students notice about the population size and thus the size of the circles as one moves from the entire planet to the classroom?

Extension Activities  

  • Fantasy Trip Log: Invite students to select a place in the world that they have always wanted to visit. Next, have them create a layered book for this place and then attach additional full pages behind the page featuring the layered flaps. On the additional pages, have students write a facts page that covers basic information about the location selected by the student, a few drawings of famous sites, and a short piece of writing detailing what the student would do during his or her visit to this place. When the fantasy travelogues are complete, create a bulletin board display and invite the class to read each other's work.
  • Nesting Cups Activity: Reinforce the concept of moving from biggest to smallest by creating a set of clear plastic cups representing the concepts of: planet, continent, country, state, city, street, and home. For each cup, use Elmer's Disappearing Purple School Glue Stick to glue an image representing the term, as well as the word for the term itself. Invite students to work in pairs and nest the cups together in the correct order from largest to smallest.

Literature Extension

  • Read the book Me on the Map by Joan Sweeney and ask students to consider the difference between the image that corresponds with "this is my town" and the image that accompanies the line "this is a map of my town." What makes something a map instead of just a picture? Highlight the fact that maps use symbols to represent various features instead of drawing an exact representation of something. As a class, work together to create a list of symbols to use in making a community map. What should the symbol for a house look like? A school? A tree? What are other symbols one might need in order to show all of the places in the neighborhood near the school? Once the class has agreed on the symbols that will make up the map key, divide students into small groups to work together in drawing a map that uses the symbols in the class map key to depict the area surrounding the school.

Technology Extension
Visit http://the1stday.com/ and download the Elmer's 1st Day app to capture and share the first day of school and beyond. You can create slide shows, personalize photos, share "first day" albums, and more.

HOME CONNECTION
In this home-connection activity, students will interview parents or other relatives about their heritage. Did they grow up in a different city than the one in which they currently live? If not, then what about their parents or their grandparents? Ask students to create a special layered book, like the one they made in class, at home showing the sequence for zooming in on the city where previous generations of their family used to live.  When students bring the books they created to class, invite them to take turns sharing their book with the class as a whole or in small groups.

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