In today's teaching environment, teachers are often confined to restrictive time frames and scripted curriculum. As adept practitioners, we know that learning is experiential, that we must empower young learners through the use of interactive, engaging activities--strategically applying these teaching modalities while maintaining and meeting district goals. With hands often strapped, how do we motivate young learners in the classroom setting while adhering to mandated requirements? Integrating subject matter is one sure-fire way of achieving this end. A Taste of Korea: A Chemistry - Geography Adventure has been created to address this challenge.
Targeted at students ages 7 through 9, A Taste of Korea takes an up-close look at Geography and Science through the lens of Korean culture. Through peer inter-action and engaging-hands-on activities, students--via whole group instruction and small group team research interaction--will have an opportunity to explore everything from Korean traditions and mores to the fermentation process in creating kimchi. The unit, to be conducted 2 to 3 days a week for 45-50 minutes per session, can be implemented within a 12 to 16 week time frame or expanded to accommodate the entire school year. Aligned with New Haven public school district Social Studies and Science district standards, A Taste of Korea includes a "We-Search" project, where students work in cooperative teams to research information on specific areas concerning this fascinating peninsula. This team effort--to be conducted both within and outside of the school environment--fosters social interaction and collective work ethic skills, incorporating Social Development into the learning experience. Ultimately, students will learn to celebrate others and themselves as part of the global community!