Tuesday, January 27, 2015

Southwest Asia in 6th Grade

The 6th Graders have been given the challenge to become News Reporters who cover Southwest Asia.  They will conduct research on the Five Themes of Geography for their "adopted" country.

Essential Question:  What are the five themes of geography for Middle Eastern countries?

            You and your team are reporters!  Your will be reporting on the news show: “Good Morning Southwest Asia!” You and your team will be responsible for highlighting the key information about a country in southwest Asia using what you know about the five themes of geography.  There are a lot of steps in creating a news show.  Your final product will be presented on a green screen similar to those seen on television. 
            Each news show topic should have a catchy name.  Each news show topic should include information about the Location of the country first.  Make sure you include the relative location of the country as well as the absolute location of the country’s capital.  In addition, you will describe what the country is like using the theme of Place.  You will describe what Regions exist in the country.  These could be physical regions (mountains, valleys etc.,) or political/ ethnic regions.  Describe how ideas from your country have spread around the world or how people and goods get transported through the theme of Movement. Finally, you will need to find information about how people in the country have affected the environment either in a positive or negative way in the theme of Human Environment Interaction.
            Each reporter will have the responsibility to gather information about the themes.  Each reporter will be reporting out his/her information in front of the green screen.  We hope your news show wins an Emmy!

Beginning the process

Students were asked to make connections to Southwest Asia with an anticipation guide.  This included true/false questions to access previous knowledge and to elicit excitement for the project. Mrs. Bentley and Mrs. Baker are working together to have students turn their research into a digital project.  Examples of news stories and projects made using the app Green Screen by Do Ink were shown to students to give them some ideas.  

The process

Students were grouped together in teams of four to research, write, and present information for their country.  Through a lottery system, each team got to choose the country that they wanted to research.  They were given guiding questions and recorded their information on double column notes.  They typed their final copy and then turned this information into a script.  They used this script to report about their country.  

Countries in Southwest Asia

Armeniam, Azerbaijan, Bahrain, Egypt, Georgia, Iran, Iraz, Israel, Jordan, Kuwait, Lebanon, Oman, Qatar, Saudi Arabia, Syria, Turkey, Turkmenistan, United Arab Emirates, Yemen.

Technology Integration

Students conducted research for the five themes of geography of their country by using the website, http://www.countryreports.org/.  They were given graphic organizer sheets, a template for their writing, and a rubric which with be used for assessment. Student groups then worked on their "news broadcast" and chose the format and order in which they were going to present their information.  The used their creativity, public speaking and collaboration skills to help each other with their lines, scripts, and even their props.  

Students learned how to use several iPad apps to create their news broadcast.  

Pic Collage
PicCollage is used to make a single page flyer including pictures and text.  Mrs. Baker taught the entire class how to use the app PicCollage and each student made their own collage.  Then each group made a PicCollage for the introduction and ending for their project.

Green Screen by Do Ink
Green Screen by Do Ink provides students with the opportunity to create a news broadcast video with images of their topics behind them.  Students wrote their part of the script, chose the picture(s) for their topic, and inserted them into the app program.  

After the PicCollages were made, videos were shot, and pictures were placed in Green Screen, we imported them into the iMovie app.  Here are our projects.

Students had the chance to research current events happening around the world and present them.  

Massachusetts Standards for Grade 6 Social Studies and Writing

Western Asia (The Middle East)

WA.1  and WA. 2 Locate the Middle Eastern countries on a world map.

WA. 3 Explain how the five themes of geography and how they have influenced settlement and the economies of major Middle Eastern countries.

W. 6.6  Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others.

SL. 6.5 Include multimedia components (e.g., graphics, images, music, sound) and visual displays in presentations to clarify information.

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