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MODULE 1

Image of wheat
INTRODUCTION

Overview
This module begins by rooting students to their community through a sense of place. Through hands-on mapping, climate and community-based investigations students begin to examine and interpret the landscape and environment of their community and how the relationship between geography and climate affects their region's agricultural production.

Essential Question
What geographic features and climatic elements led New York's farmers to settle in particular regions?

New York State Standards

Social Studies Standards

  • Standard 3—Geography: Elementary: #1
    Geography can be divided into six essential elements which can be used to analyze important historic, geographic, economic, and environmental questions and issues. These six elements include: the world in spatial terms, places and regions, physical settings (including natural resources), human systems, environment and society, and the use of geography.

Math, Science, Technology Standards

  • Standard 1—Analysis, Inquiry and Design: Elementary: Scientific Inquiry: #1
    The central purpose of scientific inquiry is to develop explanations of natural phenomena in a continuing, creative process.

  • Standard 1—Analysis, Inquiry and Design: Elementary: Scientific Inquiry: #2
    Beyond the use of reasoning and consensus, scientific inquiry involves the testing of proposed explanations involving the use of conventional techniques and procedures and usually requiring considerable ingenuity.

  • Standard 1—Analysis, Inquiry and Design: Elementary: Scientific Inquiry: #3
    The observations made while testing proposed explanations, when analyzed using conventional and invented methods, provide new insights into phenomena.

  • Standard 2—Information Systems: Elementary: Information Systems: #1
    Information technology is used to retrieve, process, and communicate information and as a tool to enhance learning.

  • Standard 3—Mathematics: Elementary: Measurement: #5
    Students use measurement in both metric and English measure to provide a major link between the abstractions of mathematics and the real world in order to describe and compare objects and data.

  • Standard 4—Science: Elementary: The Living Environment: #1
    Living things are both similar to and different from each other and nonliving things.

  • Standard 4—Science: Elementary: The Living Environment: #4
    The continuity of life is sustained through reproduction and development.

  • Standard 4—Science: Elementary: The Living Environment: #6
    Plants and animals depend on each other and their physical environment.

Desired Outcomes/Indicators of Success

Students will:

  • develop an understanding of geography by learning how to read and interpret maps.
  • develop an increased awareness of their surroundings.
  • gather appropriate information from a variety of resources and demonstrate the ability to convey information on a map.
  • deepen their understanding of place by investigating the climate of their region and its impact on agriculture.
  • use garden activities to learn and understand how farmers analyze their land and determine what crops to produce.

Student Inquiries

Students will:

  • begin by exploring maps.
  • discover how maps reveal information about people, places and history.
  • interpret a USDA Hardiness Zone Map.
  • test the soil in their region.
  • identify the geographic features of their community and relate those to what has historically been grown in their region.
  • complete a site analysis.
  • compare plant growing requirements and local environmental conditions to develop a list of possible crops to grow on their site.

Resources

Books:

  • Breen, Mark and Kathleen Friestad. The Kid's Book of Weather Forecasting. Charlotte, VT: Williamson Publishing, 2000.
  • Pranis, Eve and Jack Hale. Grow Lab: A Complete Guide to Gardening in the Classroom. South Burlington, VT: National Gardening Association, 1988.
  • Pranis, Eve and Joy Cohen. Grow Lab: Activities for Growing Minds. South Burlington, VT: National Gardening Association, 1990.
  • Pranis, Eve and Amy Gifford. Schoolyard Mosaics: Designing Gardens and Habitats. South Burlington, VT: National Gardening Association, 2002.

Websites: