Grade 5
My Class to Yours


Forming a Government
Written by Monique Lamar
Samuel P. Massie Elementary School
Laurel Maryland USA

Read about future states. Describe how an area became a state. Also, look in the newspaper or the internet to compare how much land sells for $1 per acre minimum.

Written by Becky Lopanec
Valley Park Elementary School
Valley Park, Missouri USA
Unit Number: 2

Activity: Day 1: Have students cut out a round piece of paper approx. 12 inches in diameter. Draw 6 equal sections on this paper. Draw a smaller circle in the middle. Have students draw the name of one explorer from a hat. (This saves time and arguments.) In the middle circle write the name of the explorer. In one of the six sections, write Born/Dies. In another, write early life. Continue with nationality, major exploration, importance of exploration, and interesting information.

Days 2 and 3: Using the textbook, encyclopedias, and the Internet, have students find information for each topic.

Day 4: Do activities such as: holding your data disk, line up according to the explorer's death year, from earlist to latest. This is a living time line of explorers. Have students who are from Spain stand up ... do the same for each nationality.

Day 5: Ask each student to introduce their explorer to the class and give the information on the disk. Display them in the classroom.

**This lesson has been adapted from Terry Lindquist.

Patty Reed's Doll
Written by Mrs. Amy Bagnall
Grade 5 teacher
Glen Yermo Elementary
Laguna Hills, California USA

Students are given a wooden doll pin, wooden doll circular stand, activity directions, one half of a composition booklet, and doll decoration example page. Students design and decorate their doll pins to depict a main character for their story. Like the novel, Patty Reed's Doll (excerpt in Houghton Mifflin social studies text) students will write a story told from the doll's point of view. Dolls are great! Children get a real excitement about writing their own stories.

Example of a Well-planned Social Studies Chapter
Use with Unit 4, Chapter 10: "Crisis with Britain"
Written by Jeffrey Tobes
Grade 4-5 teacher
Forestville Union School
Santa Rosa, California USA

Objective: The objective/purpose is for the teacher, students and parents to have a clear understanding of the assignments pertaining to the current chapter.

Example Schedule

Mr. Tobes' History Schedule Fifth Grade
America Will Be
CHAPTER 10: Crisis with Britain

Monday January 4
Begin Reading Chapter 10
Read Lesson 1

Tuesday, January 5
Do Lesson 1 Packet
Correct Lesson 1 Packet
Read Lesson 2

Wednesday, January 6
Do Lesson 2 Packet
Correct Lesson 2 Packet
Read Lesson 3

Thursday, January 7
Do Lesson 3 Packet
Correct Lesson 3 Packet
Work on Chapter Review

Friday, January 8
Work on Chapter Review

Monday, January 11
Work on Chapter Review

Tuesday, January 12
Correct Review
Review for Test

Wednesday, January 13
Share Projects

Thursday, January 14
Chapter Test

Friday, January 15
Return and Review Corrected Test
Assign Chapter 11

  1. Reread the chapter.
  2. Study your notes.
  3. Have someone quiz you.

Native American Posters
Use with Unit 2, Chapter 4: "The First People of the Americas"
Written by Diane Claypool
Grade 5 teacher
Landels School
Mountain View, California USA

Objective: Students will work in cooperative groups to become "experts" on one early Native American culture and create a poster about this culture to share with the rest of the class. The whole class will take notes from the oral presentations, so that they can compare and contrast the cultures.

What You Need

Also desirable, but not necessary, is access to computers for word processing and Internet access. In addition, get all the books from your school library that might be helpful for your students in this project. If you are using the Internet, bookmark the sites for your students.

About seven days. This takes longer than if you were just to read the material with your students and have them answer questions, but if you try this activity, I think you will find the extra time well-spent.

Day 1: Divide the class into five cooperative groups. Assign each group one Native American culture about which they will become experts. Lessons 2 and 3 in Chapter 4 of your Houghton Mifflin Social Studies text have information on the Makah, Creek, Mississippian, Anasazi, and Iroquois. Since the information on the Mississippian culture is rather brief, I have sometimes substituted the Sioux culture and had that group gather information from other sources.

Have each student fold a plain piece of copier paper into six sections. Have them write the name of their culture at the top and label the sections: environment, work, food, home, clothing, and other. "Other" is for that special information about the culture that is different from all others. Students then work with their groups to take notes from the book in the appropriate box. Model this on the board. For example, if the book says that the men from a certain culture hunted for deer, discuss how that might be listed under work, clothing, and food.

Day 2: Encourage the students to use other sources to find more information. They will eventually need pictures and information about each of the six areas for the poster.

Discuss layout of the poster. The second year you do this activity, this will be easier, because you will have saved some examples of good posters. Give each group a piece of paper for a rough draft of the layout of the poster. Suggest that some members of the group work on that while others begin the writing.

Day 3: As soon as a group can show you their layout for the poster, give them the poster paper. Since it is hard for five to seven students to work on one piece of paper, I have found it easier if they each do a part and paste it onto the poster. They love to use the computer for titles and word processing, but I require that all of the pictures be original (not from a copy machine or printed from the web).

Days 4-5: Have the groups work on the posters. Some of this may have to be for homework. Let students know that they will eventually be responsible for presenting the poster to the rest of the class and teaching them about the culture. Each group member must be responsible for some part of the presentation.

Day 6: As each group presents their poster and explains the Native American culture about which they have become experts, the rest of the class takes notes on a matrix which lists the five cultures and six areas of study. Let students know that there will be a quiz on the cultures tomorrow and that they will be able to use their notes. At the end of the presentation, if any incorrect information was given, I clarify it. As the presentations are going on, I take notes myself, so that I can write the quiz based on the information given.

When the presentations are done, discuss the differences and similarities among the cultures and make some generalizations about early Native American life.

Day 7: Students use their notes to help them on a quiz. The last question gives them a chance to tell me what else they learned about their Native American culture that wasn't asked on the quiz. (see example)

I give the students a group grade on the poster based on its accuracy, completeness, neatness, and overall impression. In addition, each student gets an individual grade based on what he or she contributed to the group effort. (see sample grading form which is filled out by each student and glued to the back of the poster)

Display the posters in the classroom. Your students will be proud of their hard work and the knowledge they have gained.

Social Studies American Indian Quiz

You may use your notes on this quiz. Do your best to spell words correctly.
True or false?

____ 1. The Iroquois lived in the Pacific Northwest near the coast.

____ 2. Deer, nuts, and berries were the main food of the Creek Indians.

____ 3. Because they lived by a river, the main work the Anasazi did was fishing.

____ 4. The Makah ate a lot of fish.

____ 5. The Anasazi were farmers, and they grew persimmons.

____ 6. Corn, beans, and squash were important foods for the Mississippians.

____ 7. The Iroquois lived in the eastern woodlands.

____ 8. The home of the Creek Indians was called a longhouse.

____ 9. The Makah celebrated the extra food or art objects they had with a potlatch ceremony.

____ 10. The Mississippians built many of their towns around a huge, steep platform called a mound.

____ 11. Cooperation was an important part of the Iroquois Nation.

____ 12. The Indians we studied about lived in different environments and different parts of North America.

____ 13. The Mississippians traded with other Indian cultures.

____ 14. The Makah lived in what is now Mountain View, California.

____ 15. The zig-zag design on some Anasazi pottery may represent lightning and rain.

Answer these questions in complete sentences:
Why did the Iroquois build their houses out of wood, while the Anasazi built their homes out of stone and into the cliff?






What Indian art, story, or ceremony did you learn about that shows that the Indians understood their environment?






Tell which Indian culture you and your group studied, and tell something special you learned about those Indians.






Name: ___________________________

I did the following things to make this poster:









I think the poster deserves a grade of ________

I think I deserve a grade of ________

Check out these Internet sites to support and extend this activity.

Longitude & Latitude
Written by Destiny
Grade 5 Teacher
Lincoln School
Waterloo, Iowa USA

Make your own map using latitude and longitude to locate your state or city on the map you made. Have students' parentes or teacher ask some questions on how to locate some cities and states on the map.

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