The goal of this unit is to broaden the horizons of the inner city children. I would like to use a holistic approach to teaching this unit. The children have very little experience in the following areas: map skills, origin of the states, regional cultural differences and similarities, and the historical landmarks that exist in our world today. I would like the children to use their creative side of the brain. An experiential, hands-on approach to teaching this unit is suggested, since most children tend to lose interest quickly unless stimulated to learn.
The curriculum can be used for kindergarten through eighth graders. My population consists of fifth to seventh graders in a special education classroom. They range from non-readers to fourth grade readers. These students are fascinated by drama, music, art, dance, imagery and affective educational learning techniques.
After this unit is completed, I intend to discuss a unit on the Quinnipiac Indians of New Haven. There are many Indian landmarks to explore in our area. This would provide for a very real closure activity.
The area I will be focusing on will be the Four Corners Region of the United States. This area is comprised of Utah, New Mexico, Arizona and Colorado. The children of New Haven know about their surroundings; this unit will allow them to venture out of New Haven upon unknown territory. They have no knowledge of the distance of the United States; this unit will provide some meaningful experiences as to our whereabouts as compared to the states in the United States.
Long before Columbus first saw America, this land was occupied by Indians. They lived here for about 1300 years until they were driven out by a long drought which lasted years. However, the Indians left stories behind them without having anything written. Archeologists read by studying the baskets, pottery, weapons and dwellings of the ancient inhabitants. These remnants of a past civilization have been well preserved.
Children can become amateur archeologists and learn more about our earlier cultures in a land that still exists.