The 5th grade social studies program covers the geography and the natural resources of the New World through to the American Revolution. It specifically wants the students to be able to identify Native Americans and to examine their culture, to be able to identify the purpose and route the New World explorers took, to know where colonies and pioneers traveled, to learn how different parts of the country were settled, and to be able to describe the American Revolution and identify the three branches of the new government. Lastly students are to cover New Haven colonial historical sites.
Some of the goals of the math curriculum for 5th grade are that students should be able to apply customary units of measurements and time, have a good idea of number sense and place value, be able to read, interpret and create data tables, graphs, charts and maps. These are a few of the math standards that I will use in my unit
In science the curriculum states that the fifth grade will learn the structures of the solar system; they will learn about the relationship between technology and science; students will complete a science fair project, where they design and conduct scientific investigations and experiments. Under scientific methodology I will make use of all these topics: metric system and scientific measurement tools.
The language arts curriculum encourages students to read and write everyday and summarize and analyze texts. Students will keep a film/book journal where they can take notes, make comments, draw, or answer given questions about the film's main idea, author's purpose, biases, cause & effect, or fact & opinion.
I plan on beginning my unit with the 'Big Bang" theory and moving through to New Haven's backyard. The importance of a unit like this is to give students an awareness of the universe as well as a perspective on where they are in the universe. I plan to base a lot of the information invoking the skill of
. Scale can include time, how long everything took to form. Beginning with outer space, I will give them a view of the earth from afar. It seems to me that children are very unaware of their immediate surroundings or about our world and how enormous the universe is or how far apart the planets are from the sun and each other. I have known and seen many children uninformed about the oceans and continents and the scale of things. I believe that through geography and film the students will make a useful visual identification of their surroundings and the world we live in and how very big or small things really are. I plan to always use film to point out locations and places. It is also important to let students know if the film has been shot on real locations or if computerized techniques or film sets were used.
I will introduce the films with the intention of examining these three major sections: the first selection will be the beginning (The Universe), the second part will be Planet Earth specifically taking note of our continents, oceans, seas. rivers, mountains and biomes, and the third section will be The New World including Explorers, Native Americans, Colonial America, Revolutionary War, and Colonial New Haven. Please note that this unit will be used throughout the year in conjunction with the social studies and science curriculum. It is meant to be used to give support to the 5th grade curriculum in order to achieve their goals. This unit is still on going and is not complete. Adjustments will be made for either curriculum changes or a better selection of age appropriate films. The social studies curriculum for the fifth grade is being revised this year.