Our group has chosen to make our unit plan be about the Northeast region of the United States. We are all from this region but there is still so much to learn even about your own backyard. It’s important to be knowledgeable of the area you live in and to “know your knapsack” so that you are capable of teaching others about it. The Northeast is comprised of 11 states: Maine, New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Rhode Island, Connecticut, New York, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Delaware, and Maryland. This is the region where our entire country began and its history is immensely rich.
This unit is geared toward fourth graders. The purpose of this unit is to expand students’ understanding of the state they live in as well as the states surrounding them. Students will be exposed to some of this region’s important history as well as what goes on present day. Our proposed curriculum creatively involves all ten NCSS themes and all four PA Social Studies standards. To add to our unit plan, we will be using the Harcourt Social Studies Teacher Edition Grade 4 States and Regions textbook.
Our unit plan starts out with an introductory lesson examining the states involved in the region, climates, land features, and bodies of water in the region. The first state students travel to is Maine where they learn about the importance of fishing in this state and the concepts of production and consumption of goods. These concepts continue into the state of New Hampshire where students shift their focus to the use of paper mills, and into Vermont where students learn about and make their own maple syrup. The unit shifts back in time as we enter Massachusetts and study the first Thanksgiving. Next, we discover the rich history of Ellis Island in New York. In the state of Rhode Island, students discover the origin of the song "You're a Grand 'Ol Flag." In Connecticut, the culture of Native Americans are discussed, the Pequot tribe in particular. The unit travels back into the present as we explore the topic of natural disasters through the perspective of recent disaster, Hurricane Sandy which occurred in New Jersey. Back into the past the class goes as the Declaration of Independence is deconstructed in our own state, Pennsylvania. We go even further in history as we talk about the thirteen colonies in the state of Delaware, the first colony. We complete the unit in the state of Maryland as students dissect our country's National Anthem.
The authors of this unit plan are:
Darcy Tashlein, Taylor Wilkinson, Brittany Gordon, Katie Steindler, Nicole Eveland, Abby Kane, Lauren Sacher, Katie Spontak