Tuesday, March 25, 2014

Mr. Giso's Room to Read Bright Idea #14

Make a Set of Stacking City, Country and State Cups

Well it's certainly been busy, busy, busy since we came back from February vacation.  For those of you unfamiliar with this New England custom, we have a week off for President's Day.  Spring is here, but is definitely NOT in the air, for we are getting snow and maybe a (fingers crossed) two hour snow delay tomorrow.  I have been battling a three week sore throat--along with my students and colleagues as well.  YUCK!

I started our mini unit in social studies covering "City, Country and State" today with reading the all familiar book, Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny.  If you have not used it before to introduce this concept, you don't know what you are missing.  In this book, we trace the many global "addresses" of a young girl from Kansas.  Students are easily introduced to the theme that "we live in many places."  The sequence of events build from the immediate location of the character (her room) to the entire world in this sequence.
•my room
•my home
•my street
•my city/town
•my state
•my country
•my world

From this read aloud, I continue my introduction by demonstrating this concept a step further using a set of those baby/toddler stacking cups.  For this concrete model, I label the following using a permanent marker--starting with the smallest cup.
•city or town
I know this varies slightly from Me on the Map, but I prefer to include the terms continent and planet (rather than world).  As you can see, a set of these eight stacking cups works nicely.  My young geographers can stack and unstack the cups saying their address, their state, their country, etc.  It's great practice whole class, small group, with a partner or independently.

After this introduction, I make a flip book that I have customized to our city, state, etc.  It's done with good old cutting out pictures and permanent marker.  Sorry, I would love to post it for you.  I did, however, really enjoy coming across these two ideas.  Look at these nesting cans featured on Teach Beside Me's blog.

You can also download (for free!!!) this concentric circle idea from Courtney Quinlan by clicking HERE.

Please share other ideas you have on teaching this popular social studies concept.  I'd really enjoying hearing about them.

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