Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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LINK: Social Studies in Action Home Image of an elementary school student.
LINK: China Through Mapping Home
LINK: About the Class
Watching the video
LINK: Connecting to Your Teaching
LINK: Standards
LINK: Resources

Watching the Video

Image of a notebook with the following text displayed: Reflect: As you reflect on these questions, write down your responses or discuss them in a group.

Before You Watch
Respond to the following questions:

  • What are some important elements of geography and culture that young students need to understand?
  • What issues do you consider when planning a lesson that integrates content and skills across curriculum areas?
  • What does a teacher need to consider before asking young students to work in groups?

Watch the Video
As you watch "China Through Mapping," take notes on Ms. Norton's instructional strategies, particularly the way she integrates other curriculum areas with social studies. Write down what you find interesting, surprising, or especially important about the teaching and learning in this lesson.


Reflecting on the Video
Review your notes, then respond to the following questions:

  • What struck you about the classroom climate, background, preparation, strategies, and materials used in this lesson?
  • How is this class different from yours? How would you introduce elements of China's geography and culture to your students?
  • What role do previous lessons and experiences play in the success of this lesson?
  • What does Ms. Norton do to ensure students' success working in pairs or groups?
  • What do you notice about how Ms. Norton integrates other subject areas with her social studies curriculum? Do certain subject areas lend themselves better to integration than others?
  • How does Ms. Norton assess students' understanding of abstract geography and mapping concepts?

Looking Closer
Let's take a second look at Ms. Norton's class to focus on specific teaching strategies. Use the video images below to locate where to begin viewing.

Image of the school sign.
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Active Learning About China: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 1 minute into the video. Watch for about 5 minutes.

Ms. Norton uses a variety of experiences to help introduce students to the culture and geography of China. In this part of the video, Ms. Norton is reviewing map skills with students.

  • What evidence do you see that students are engaged in active learning?
  • Which activities in this part of the video do you think best prepare students for the creation of the floor map later in the lesson?
  • What is the purpose of each of these activities?
  • What evidence do you see of the integration of other subject areas in the lesson?
Mimi Norton being interviewed.
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Making and Using a Floor Map of China: Video Segment
Go to this segment in the video by matching the image (to the left) on your video screen. You'll find this segment approximately 9 minutes into the video. Watch for about 6 minutes.

In this part of the video, students are making a floor map of China and labeling the important natural and human-made features.

  • What prior learning is Ms. Norton asking students to use in making the floor map?
  • How does Ms. Norton help students succeed at this task?
  • How does she encourage students to help one another learn?
  • What does she ask students to do with the finished floor map? Why is this an important part of the lesson?
  • How would you describe the importance of hands-on learning?
  • How does this activity appeal to different kinds of learners?

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