The internet websites for the explorer map websites are listed above. They can be accessed from a computer or iPad. They are VERY easy to use and really fun for the kids. Take a few moments to explore them so you can demonstrate them during the lesson.
Underlined words below are lesson vocabulary words that are emphasized and written on sentence strips for my Reading & Writing word wall. I pull off the words off the wall for each lesson, helping students understand this key 'reading and writing' vocabulary can be generalized across texts and topics. The focus on acquiring and using these words is part of a shift in the Common Core Standards towards building students’ academic vocabulary. My words are color coded ‘pink’ for literature/’blue’ for reading strategies/’orange’ for informational text/'yellow' for writing/’green’ for all other words.
Gain interest and bring students to a common learning point
Although I don't like to 'front load' lessons with a lot of information (I like to keep the focus on the text), I wanted to spend a few moments reviewing the ideas of explorers since there was SO much information that we covered the day before. We have been talking about early World Exploration and it was worth spending a few moments on vocabulary and names, which went a long way toward allowing the kids to have an overall picture before they started answering specific questions about the topic. Anytime we have new information in a text that's loaded with text features, I tend to spend 2 days on the information. On the first day, we get an overall picture and I teach the vocabulary and concepts. The second day we go back and review the vocabulary and concepts before applying them to a new learning situation (the website).
Model how to use the website and garner information
Highlight the idea of a text feature
As students know and use informational text features to locate key facts and information in a text efficiently, they are analyzing the sturcuter of texts and how those features (chapters, sections, glossaries, etc) bring meaning to the text (RI.2.5) Students are participating in 'close reading', looking at not only the text, but the illustrations and text features that carry so much information.
Explain the task
Explain the task
Read the information
Work in groups
Continue who to model how to explain how this specific image (maps) contribute to and make the text clearer. (RI.2.7). The shift in Common Core Standards require students to go beyond the words and use maps, captions, pictures, etc to gain information. This will continue beyond 2nd grade into later years as students probe deeper into these informational text features to answer more complex questions and use them as evidence to support their answers.
Scaffolding and Special Education: This lesson could be easily scaffolded up or down, depending on student ability.
Students with limited ability will need to work with the teacher or a partner to read. This could be done for the whole class. They could work in small groups as partners and only one person could read as others give insight to the worksheet.
Students with more ability should be challenged to explain more about explorers. I would ask for more insight – “Why did they go toward Mexico to find gold? Why did Henry Hudson travel down the lakes into America and Canada?”