Reflection: Lesson Planning Naming the World's Land Masses - Section 1: Mini-Lesson


As I was creating this lesson, I looked up the definition for the term continent.  This is when I discovered that the continents are labeled differently based on point of view and that their isn't really a good definition to describe a continent.  See Wikipedia's definition or Universe Today's bit on continents.

I decided to teach all three different ways of labeling the continents as a way of showing point of view is important.  Also, because repetition is important and the activity reinforces several important skills- geographical awareness, spelling and capitalization, and names of the oceans.

 Next year, when I teach geography I will include viewing the world map from a Southern Orientation to teach students about bias and the psychological impact of thinking that the world/world map has only one orientation and that is North.  I'm guessing it has a bigger impact on me, the teacher, than it will on the students, because I have more years of viewing the world from this orientation. 

This is my first year teaching 5th grade and my initial attempt at creating a unit and selecting materials on the American Revolution.  But from the start I wanted to create a multiple perspective approach to learning about history from both traditional and non-traditional viewpoints.  Howard Zinn, writes that "all written history is partial in two senses.  It is partial in that is is only a tiny part of what really happened. And that is is partial in that it inevitably takes sides, by what it includes or omits, what it emphasizes or deemphasizes. It may do this openly, or deceptively, consciously, or subconsciously." page 2 in A People's History for the Classroom by Bill Bigelow.

My goal in teaching a unit on the American Revolution and the Constitutional Convention of 1787 is to bring a people's history to life by engaging students in learning about events through discussions and role plays based on a variety of reading materials and activities.


  Lesson Planning: Point of View
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Naming the World's Land Masses

Unit 9: Historical Fiction- American Revolution
Lesson 1 of 13

Objective: SWBAT understand that point of view impacts how the continents are labeled.

Big Idea: "Facts" are determined by who is stating them.

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  80 minutes
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