GEDB A Trip Around North America: Research a Country (Lesson 1 of 4)
Research the Country – students will become more familiarized with their global region of study by researching a country in North America. This lesson was developed by Tia Gilliam as part of their completion of the North Carolina Global Educator Digital Badge program. This lesson plan has been vetted at the local and state level for standards alignment, Global Education focus, and content accuracy.
Research the Country – students will become more familiarized with their global region of study by researching a country in North America.
“Does anyone know what “global” means? Turn and talk to your tablemates about the word “global.” Teachers should have a globe at the front of the room for students to see. A map of North America should be displayed along with pictures of North American countries around the room for a gallery walk.
Learning Targets and Criteria for Success
I can draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer questions about North America.
I can integrate information from several texts on the North America in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
I can conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of North America.
I can gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work about North America and provide a list of sources.
Criteria for Success:
I will draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer questions about North America to create a presentation to share information about North America to my classmates.
I will integrate information from several texts on North America in order to write or speak about it knowledgeably North America when sharing information about North America to my classmates.
I will conduct short research projects that use several sources to build knowledge through investigation of different aspects of North America to share with my classmates during a presentation on North America.
I will gather relevant information from print and digital sources; summarize or paraphrase information in notes and finished work about North America and provide a list of sources during my presentation on North America.
Computers or Laptops
Library books about North America
Learning Tasks and Practice
To begin the lesson, the teacher will need to walk students through the research process. The teacher should use the United States as their country to research and show students how they will utilize the country research expectations and rubric sheet. This would be a good time for teachers to use the gradual release of responsibility. Scaffolded instruction, or the gradual release model, is broadly recognized as a successful approach for moving classroom instruction from teacher-centered, whole group delivery to student-centered collaboration and independent practice. Sometimes referred to as “I do it, we do it, you do it,” this model proposes a plan of instruction that includes demonstration, prompt, and practice. The teacher would demonstrate the “I Do” with looking up one piece of information, and “We Do” with the entire class looking up another piece of information and finally a “You Do” by giving each student a piece of information to find on the United States. During the “I Do,” this would be the most appropriate time for the teacher to walk students through the process of citing sources and using reliable information found from online sources. Students will select a country at random from a jar. The person who picks the same country name will be their partner. They will conduct research on the country. Students will answer research questions as their learning task and practice where they draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly. Through the research process, students will integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably. During the research process, students will look for the following information:
Language - You will need to list 5-10 English words of your choice and their translation in the primary language of your country.
Currency / Exchange Rate – What is their money called / how much of their money equals $1 of ours?
Points of Interest / Cities / Entertainment – Tell us about 3 major cities that people would choose to visit in your country. What makes those cities so interesting? Explain landmarks, events, cultural significance or anything else those cities might have to offer tourists and visitors.
Population (How many people live in your country?)
Dress / Clothing (What are traditional or cultural clothing styles of the people?)
Customs (Tell us about some traditions of the people – what do they celebrate?)
Holidays (Choose at least two to tell us about)
Food (Are there certain foods that are common or considered a delicacy – something the country is known for?)
Describe the climate of your country.
Have a map of your country and label it (location of your country).
Create a route from your current location (Elon, North Carolina) to your country.
List the latitude and longitude of your country, the continent it is located on and any countries that border it.
Famous Person - Someone that is well known that either lived/lives in that country or is from that country originally. Why are they famous; what’s so “great” about them?
Animal – Information on an animal that is either native to your country or one your country is well known for.
Family life – Information on daily life in the country you have chosen, such as, housing, jobs, money etc.
School – what is the school day like? Describe what it would be like to be a student in your country.
Natural Events – Major natural disasters that frequently affect your country (ex.: earthquakes, tornadoes etc.).
Government - Form of Government (Do they have a President, King, Prime Minster?)
Imports/Exports (What does your country grow or make that they sell to other places?) What are some things it imports?
What are the natural resources found in the country?
*If students do not have access to technology, they will utilize library books on North America.
After the lesson, students will participate in a snowball reflection. All of the students will write a key reflection on a sheet of paper and crumple it up. Then they toss their papers to the other side of the room. Once students catch a “snowball,” they read it, add something new and repeat.
Students will be using computers, tablets or laptops to conduct their research.
Kid Friendly Websites for Teachers:
Collecting and Documenting Evidence of Learning
The students’ research sheet will serve as their collecting and documenting evidence of learning.
Student Self-Reflection and Action Steps
Teacher Reflection of Learning
The overall lesson went very well. Students worked through the research process using Country Expectation rubric. Working with partners worked very well. Students enjoyed working together and learned lots of information while investigating the countries in North America.