GRADE LEVEL: Upper Elementary
CREATORS: Denise Charron, Sharon Morton-Cousi, Deborah Roberts, Vanessa Strickland, Terri Williams
Our goal is to provide students with lessons and activities that will keep them motivated and enthusiastic about learning for the duration of the unit. Many objectives have been set for these lessons. In this unit, students will build new schema and reinforce prior knowledge about various aspects of Australia. Students will engage in several activities that are social studies based. There are language arts activities, science activities, physical activities, math, art, geography, and multicultural activities that require students to have basic fifth and sixth grade skills.
Students will need to be able to follow directions pertaining to each lesson to complete it successfully. Skills needed for students are measuring with rulers, measuring using cooking utensils, addition, subtraction, multiplication, fractions, reading graphs, basic writing ability, basic research skills, and coloring, pasting and painting.
Oh you bobby dazzler there is soooo much to learn about Australia and so you will if you take a peek-a-boo at this lesson. go ahead, give it a peek-a-boo!
*Notes from an Australian
|Day 1||KWL- We will begin our unit on Australia by using a KWL chart|
|Day 2||Globe activity- Today we will create a globe of Australia. This will help students become familiar with the location of Australia.|
|Day 3||Pen Pals- Students will become familiar with children in Australia. They will share information regarding their similarities and differences in their culture.|
|Day 4||Passports-Students will fill out an application for their passport.|
|Day 5||Post office trip-Students will go to the post office to learn the mailing process.|
|Day 6||United States and Australia comparison-Students will compare and contrast the differences and similarities of these two countries.|
|Day 7||Bark art-Students will make Aboriginal bark art.|
|Day 8||Geography-Students will become familiar with the major cities, physical characteristics and their location.|
|Day 9||Great Barrier Reef-Students will make a Styrofoam mural of the reef and hang for display.|
|Day 10||Climate Activity-Students will research the climate of the southern and northern region of Australia.|
|Day 11||Aussie phonics-Students will do Aussie phonics during their language arts lesson.|
|Day 12||Animals-Students will do an investigation of Australia's animals from down under.|
|Day 13||Diorama-Students will create a diorama of an Australian animal or object.|
|Day 14||Math-M.A.F. (Math and Australia are fun) Students will do their math lesson today with creativity.|
|Day 15||Map measuring-Students will learn how to use the scale distance key on the map as they imagine they are traveling.|
|Day 16||Mapping Australia-Students will label six states and two territories of Australia.|
|Day 17||Travel Brochure-Students will create travel brochures with facts about Australia.|
|Day 18||Cookie baking-Students will make Anzacs. These are a favorite cookie of Australian children. Australian songs will be sung during this activity.|
|Day 19||Field day-This culminating experience will involve outdoor sports activities. After these activities are over, Anzacs and outback punch will be served..|
Michigan Social Studies Framework Strands and Benchmarks
|1.2||Students will understand narratives about major eras of American history and world history by identifying the people involved, describing the setting, and sequencing the events.|
|1.3||Students will reconstruct the past by comparing interpretations written by others from a variety of perspectives and creating narratives from evidence.|
|1.4||Students will evaluate key decisions made at critical turning points in history by assessing their implications and long term consequences.|
|2.1||Students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements.|
|2.2||Students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of ecosystems, resources, human adaptation, environmental impact, and relationships among them.|
|2.3||Students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of economic activities, trade, political activities, migration, information flow, and the interrelationships among them.|
|2.4||Students will describe and compare the characteristics of ecosystems, states, regions, and patterns and explain the processes that created them.|
|2.5||Students will describe and explain the causes, consequences, and geographic contend of major global issues and events.|
|5.1||Students will acquire information from books, maps, newspapers, data sets, and other sources, organize and present the information in maps, graphs, charts, and time lines, interpret the meaning and significance of information, and use a variety of electronic technologies to assist in accessing and managing information.|
|5.2||Students will conduct investigations by formulating a clear statement of a question, gathering and organizing information from a variety of sources, analyzing and interpreting information, formulating and testing hypothesis, reporting results both orally and in writing, and making use of appropriate technology.|
|6.2||Students will compose coherent written essays that express a position on a public issue and justify the position with arguments.|
|1.2.1||Students will identify who was involved, what happened, and where it happened in stories about the past.|
|1.2.6||Students will identify and explain how individuals in history demonstrated good character and personal virtue.|
|1.3.1||Students will use a variety of records to construct a narrative about their personal or family histories.|
|1.4.1||Students will recall situations in their lives that requried decisions and evaluate the decisions made in light of their consequences.|
|1.4.4||Students will select decisions made to solve past problems and evaluate those decisions in terms of ethical considerations...|
|2.1.1||Students will describe human characteristics of places and explain some basic causes for those characteristics.|
|2.1.2||Students will describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic causes for those characteristics.|
|2.1.5||Students will locate and describe the diverse places, cultures, and communities of the nation, and compare their characteristics.|
|2.2.5||Students will describe the location, use and importance of different kinds of resources...|
|2.2.6||Students will describe the major physical patterns, ecosystems, resources, and land...|
|2.2.7||Students will explain how various people and cultures have adapted to and modified the environment.|
|2.3.3||Students will identify people, goods, and ideas in their local community which have come from other places, and describe why they moved.|
|2.3.4||Students will describe major kinds of economic activity and explain the factors influencing their location.|
|2.4.1||Students will identify regions in their immediate environment and describe its characteristics and boundaries.|
|2.4.2||Students will compare their communities and regions with others.|
|2.4.4||Students will draw sketch maps of the community, region, and nation.|
|2.4.5||Students will describe places, cultures in the communities in the United States and compare them with other regions and countries.|
|2.4.6||Students will describe the geography of Michigan at major times in its history and explain the reasons for its changes.|
|2.4.11||Students will locate and describe major cultural, economic, and environmental features of Africa, Asia, Australia, and North and South America and the processes that created them.|
|5.1.1||Students will locate information using people, books, audio/video recordings, photos, simple maps, graphs and tables.|
|5.1.4||Students will locate information about local, state, and national communities using a variety of traditional sources, electronic technologies, and direct observations.|
|5.1.5||Students will organize social science information about local, state, and national communities from maps, graphs, and charts.|
|5.1.9||Students will interpret social science information about the natural environment and cultures of countries from a variety of primary and secondary sources.|
|5.2.2||Students will gather and analyze information in order to answer the questions posed.|
|5.2.3||Students will construct an answer to the questions posed and support their answers with evidence.|
|5.2.6||Students will gather and analyze information using appropriate information technologies to answer the questions posed.|
|6.2.1||Students will engage each other in conversations about issues pertaining to governing their school.|
Students will learn to make predictions, to form questions, and to research
answers when they use the K-W-L reading strategy to activate prior knowledge
on a social studies topic. Students will incorporate the following senses:
sight and hearing.
Under the Michigan Standards for Social Studies, students will be using
the following standards: 2.1, 5.1, 5.2.
To introduce the unit, the teacher will begin by explaining to the class
that today they will be learning about the country and continent of Australia
by doing a K-W-L and by reading information from a book. The teacher will
explain the a K-W-L is a reading strategy used for expository text. The
teacher will explain further by stating the 'K' stands for what I know,
the 'W' stands for what I wand to find out, and the 'L' stands for what
I learned. The teacher will demonstrate on the overhead projector how the
chart will have three columns and each column is labeled with one of the
letters (K, W, L).
Next, students will choose one fact of which they had no prior knowledge from the last column of the KWL chart they have created. They will do further research on that fact in order to write a short report that they can present to the class. They will make use of all reference materials available to them such as the media center, computer encyclopedias, and textbooks in the classroom.
The teacher will evaluate students during the classroom discussion to determine if students have accessed the correct information from the book in order to fill out the "What I Learned" column of the KWL.
Students will compare and show the location of Australia on a globe
and compare it to the rest of the world by completing a model of a globe
for display and reference.
It is necessary for social studies students to describe, compare, and explain locations of places, and the geographic context of world regions on a globe, also to create models and identify characteristics of shapes and patterns.
Using the Michigan standards for social studies, student swill be using the following strands:2.1, 2.3, and 2.4.
Globes will be hung from the ceiling like a mobile.
The students will write to a Pen Pal in Australia
Students will be able to complete the globe in a well-constructed, neat manner.
Fifth grade students will be able to increase their awareness of Australia by using their letter writing skills to inquire information from pen pals living in Australia. They will be able to share key facts about their country as well as our own.
Under the Michigan standards, this lesson will involve Strand 5. It will also contain standards 5.1, 5.2, 2.1, 4.1, and 6.2.
In a large group discussion, have students brainstorm all the important information they know about their own country. Make a list of the group responses. Now ask what kinds of things would they like to know about Australia. Model a few ideas for them.
It is important that all students use the school address as the return
address instead of their own. All return addresses should be the student's
name followed by the school address. This is for safety reasons. Parents
may not want their addresses given out for personal reasons.
Make a bulletin board out of the letters that are returned to school.
Display a large map of Australia in the middle of the board and when students
receive responses, have them mark the city that their letter came from.
This can be done by using sticky stars or push pins. Hang all the copies
of the letters up so they surround the map. This can be a learning lesson
for the entire school.
Through conferencing and reading the final product, the teacher will be able to evaluate the students' skills in proper letter writing as well as inquiry. Students will also be able to answer questions regarding Australia by reading the letters the others receive.
U.S. passports are issued to only U.S. citizens or nationals. Each person must obtain his or her own passport. Applicants under 13 years of age usually need not appear in person unless requested. A parent or guardian may execute the application on the child's behalf.
Each application must be accompanied by
Make a copy of a passport application for each student. Have the students fill them out. When the students turn in the applications, make up passports and hand them out.
Suggestion: Have sample passports on display so students can see them.
Suggestion:Have a design a passport contest.
Students will learn new information and reinforce prior knowledge when
they compare facts about two similar countries. Once the data has been
analyzed, students will be able to write a persuasive essay. Students will
incorporate the following senses: sight and hearing.
Under the Michigan Standards for Social Studies, students will be using
the following standards:1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 6.3
Explain to the students that the United States and Australia were both
populated by native populations when they were colonized by Europeans.
As a group, briefly skim over the chapters on colonization in the books
listed above. Tell the class that now they will create a T-chart comparing
the colonization process and the treatment of natives between the United
States and Australia.
Making use of the same two books, students will read further to find
out what these countries are now doing to restore what was taken from the
natives, what steps are being taken to improve living conditions for the
native populations, and what can be done to improve the relationship between
the natives and the descendants of the European settlers. Then they will
write a short persuasive essay about what they think might be some solutions
to the problems and how to implement the solutions.
Students will be evaluated as to whether they read and understood the classroom discussion when they contribute ideas for the T-chart. They will also be evaluated on their comprehension and writing skills as used on the essay.
Students will learn to design and create a piece of artwork that tells
a story when they recreate eucalyptus bark drawings. They will also learn
how a culture that has no written language passes its history from generation
to generation through drawings. Students will incorporate the following
senses: sight and touch.
Under the Michigan Standards for the Social studies, students will be
using the following standards: 1.2, 1.3, and 2.1.
The teacher will begin by reading the chapter about who the Aborigines
are and the importance of their artwork from one of the books listed above.
Tell them that the Aborigine are the native people of Australia and that
even though they have no written language, they are able to pass their
history from one generation to the next through their songs and artwork.
Once form of art that they do is painting on the bark of the eucalyptus
tree, which grows abundantly in Australia, and then they hang the paintings
in their dwellings for decoration. The teacher will then explain to the
class that they will be creating a piece of "bark art" that they can use
to tell a story to the class.
Next, the students could take the idea on which they based their drawing
and expand it into a longer, more detailed story. They would make use of
the correct components of a story, such as plot, characters, setting. They
would write the story using the writing process and handing in the published
copy for a grade.
Students will be evaluated as to whether they were able to recreate a piece of artwork that resembles the Aborigine art form and are able then to recite a coherent story based on the painting.
Students will become aware of the physical characteristics of Australia
and the major cities in the country. Standards 2.3, 2.3, 2.5, 5.1, 5.2,
Students will make a puzzle map of Australia. This hand-on activity
will help students retain the information better and take ownership of
their work. They will be able to locate australia on the map and cities
within the country.
Activate students' prior knowledge by asking them what they know about
Australia. Prompt students for answers then proceed to give them more information
and show them a map on the overhead projector.
Each group will write up questions and answers for their region. The
teacher will use these questions for a portion of a future test. Students
will put their puzzle pieces together.
Students will hang the puzzle in the classroom. They will begin to do
more puzzles on other countries, creating a geographical classroom environment.
Students will be evaluated on the accuracy of their completed puzzle piece and their responses to the questions being asked.
For social studies students to learn about the Great Barrier Reef by
creating a class mural.
For social studies students to become familiar with the appearance and
composition of the Reef. Using the strands under the Michigan Standards
for Social Studies, students will be using the following: 2.4, 5.1, 5.2,
The Great Barrier Reef is a chain of thousands of coral reefs and small
islands located along the northeast coast of Australia. A coral reef is
a limestone formation that lies under or just above the sea. The coral
that forms the reef is made of polyps, the hardened skeletons of dead water
animals. Living coral polyps are attached to the reef by the billions.
There are about 400 species of these in many shapes and colors that include
blue, green, purple, red, and yellow. Many sea animals also make the Great
Barrier Reef their home.
Individuals or small groups can write reports about the various features
of the reef. Orally share the reports with the class. The mural and reports
can be put on display.
Students will learn about the different climates in Australia.
Students will be able to complete the mural in a well constructed and neat manner while working cooperatively with each other.
Students will be able to understand Australia's Southern hemispheric
climate. (Standards 2.2 and 2.5)
Students will be divided into groups that represent the northern and
southern regions of Australia. Each group will research their regional
climate and be able to draw a bar graph that represents their findings.
They will also be able to identify their region on a map.
Since Australia is in the southern hemisphere, temperatures vary from
region to region. The seasons there are in the reverse to the seasons in
the northern hemisphere. This lesson will help students identify these
Students will be asked what type of clothing they would wear if they
were to visit their region of Australia during the months of January and
July. Make sure they understand the climatic differences.
Each group will share their region's climate and perception during the
months of January and July.
Students will research other significant regional differences in Australia
during January and July.
Students will be evaluated by their response to the regional area their group was assigned.
This lesson is in accordance with Social Studies Strand of Inquiry Standards
Brainstorm various lingo by having students use "hip" terms in complete
sentences. Write hip terms on chalkboard and have class decode meaning
of these words using the way the words are used in the sentence as a clue.
Tell the students that often they can tell the meanings of words simply
by reading the rest of the sentence and using the rest of the sentence
as a clue. Tell students that when they do this they are using context
Wrap-up and Transition
Teacher will summarize the lesson, reflect, allow students question
and answer time, and make final comments. Teacher will tell students that
they worked on Aussie Phonics and that tomorrow they will be conducting
investigations about animals from Down Under.
Students will be evaluated on the basis of their class participation and on their worksheet results.
Students will conduct investigations on unusual animals from down under.
Students will be able to work cooperatively in groups of twos or threes
to answer various questions about these animals with 95-100% accuracy.
Students will understand how to research topics and record information.
Students will understand that there are many animals unique to the continent
of Australia. Students will share investigations to be included in our
classroom Book of Unusual Australian Animals.
This lesson is in accordance with the Social Studies Strands of Inquiry
Standards 5.1 and 5.2.
Students will take part in a brainstorming activity led by the teacher.
Class will be brainstorming the most unusual animals they have heard of,
its habitat, its family, what it eats, where it lives, a brief description,
and an interesting fact about the animal. Teacher will also remind students
how to use the encyclopedia. Teacher will then introduce the lesson.
Wrap-up and Transition
Teacher will close the lesson by reemphasizing that there are many animals
unique to the continent of Australia and the classroom book shows many
of them. Teacher will tell students that today they worked on unusual animals
of Australia and that tomorrow they will be working on Australian Dioramas.
Students will be evaluated on their group participation and finished products.
Have students select an Australian animal or object that they would
like to create a diorama or model of . They must choose one that deals
with Australia. If a student picks and animal then he/she must create a
habitat along with a display of the animal. This project can be made in
a show box or some other small box that the lid has been removed. The task
is easy. Explain to students that they will be making a scene or picture
that is three dimensional. Allow students to visit the library or look
through class books until they decide what they want their diorama to represent.
This is a good lesson to let the students take home and be creative. The
ideas are unlimited.
Have students do research on the object that they create for their diorama.
They could attach a 3x5 card to their display with important information
about the subject they are creating.
Field Trip Suggestions
Take a class trip to the zoo or nature preserve. What animals do you see that live in both North America and Australia? Which, if any, are strictly Australian?
The pen pal lesson or the passport lesson would be a good time to visit the U.S. Post Office. Not only would students learn about the mailing process, they would also be taught how to properly fill out a passport application. This will give students the opportunity to ask any questions regarding the necessity of passports. Perhaps it will be possible for one of the postal workers to visit the class.
Students will be able to use their basic math skills to solve math problems
that have to do with various aspects of Australia. Students will be able
to work with a partner to solve each problem with 90 - 100% accuracy. Students
will be able to explain the method they used to solve the problems and
exhibit calculator skills.
This lesson is in accordance with Social Studies Strands of Geography
Standards 2.1 and 2.4. This lesson is also in accordance with Social Studies
Strands of Inquiry Standard 5.1.
Class will practice various methods of solving story problems by doing
story problems similar to those on the activity cards that each group will
receive. Teacher will practice using the calculator with students during
Wrap-up and Transition
Teacher will close the lesson by summarizing and reflecting on the lesson.
Teacher will tell the students that today they worked on Australian story
problems and that tomorrow they will be working on measuring Australia.
Teacher will ask students if they have any questions or thoughts to share
about today's lesson.
Students will be evaluated on their group participation and their responses during response time.
Students studying maps will increase their awareness of size according
to distance in miles so that when asked to measure the distance between
two places on a map students will be able to correctly do so.
Under the Michigan Standards, students will be using 5.1.6 and 5.2.5
After each student has a copy in from of him or her, the teacher should
begin modeling how to use the ruler that is located on the bottom of the
map. Make it clear and easy to understand, explain that maps usually have
a scale bar where the measured distance and the real ground distance are
matched to each other. Explain to students that they will be able to measure
distances on this map by using paper.
Now that students are becoming familiar with maps, it is a good time
to begin a lesson to identify the major cities and capitals of Australia.
The teacher will be able to observe whether or not students are comfortable in locating and measuring distance between different areas in Australia. During the class discussion and response by students, the teacher will be able to assess the students' comprehension of this lesson.
Students will reflect on Australia and prepare a travel brochure with
interesting facts about the country.
Using the strands under Michigan Standards for Social Studies, students
will be using 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.4, 4.5, 5.1, and 6.3.
Students ware finishing their unit on Australia. They will be learning
how to take key information about Australia and make it attractive enough
to convince someone to want to travel there.
Students will include the following information
The brochures will be posted on the bulletin board for display.
This is the culminating activity on the unit about Australia.
Students will be able to follow all procedures and included all information stated above. Students will be able to discuss and answer questions in class.
To have students follow directions and work cooperatively together so
that when given a recipe they will be able to measure and mix the ingredients
correctly to properly prepare cookies. Students will involve the senses
of touch, taste, smell and sight while completing this project.
While completing this lesson, students will be using Michigan standards
2.1 and 5.1.
Explain to the students that these cookies were named for the famous
Australian and New Zealand soldiers who fought at Gallipoli in World War
I. Today all soldiers of Australia and New Zealand are referred to as Anzacs.
These are a favorite cookie of Australian children and can be easily made.
Divide students into groups and allow them to prepare the recipe with little or no assistance. Explain to them how important it is to read and follow directions. The group is responsible for choosing one person to read the instructions, one to be in charge of the oven, and the remainder of the students should either measure, add or stir in the ingredients. Everyone must participate in this project.
While students are snacking, begin reading them a story. Choose a book
listed in the bibliography at the end of this unit.
If the students work cooperatively and follow directions properly, their cookies will be delicious.
|Draw a picture of animal|
Return to Lesson Plan Day 12
Baker, Jeannie. Where The Forest Meets the Sea. New York. Greenwillow Books. 1987.
Browne, Rollo. An Aboriginal Family. Minneapolis. Lerner Publication Company. 1985
Browne, Rollow. A Family in Australia. Minneapolis. Lerner Publication Company. 1987
Cornelia, Elizabeth. Australia the Land and Its People. Holywell. London. 1977.
Fletcher, Kenneth. Civilizations of Asia. Chicago. Regensteiner Publishing Enterprises. 1979.
Fox, Mem. Possom Magic. Nashville. Abingdon Press. 1988.
Georges, D.V. Australia. Chicago. Regensteiner Publishing Enterprises. 1986.
Green, Carl and William Sanford. The Koala. Mankat. Crestwood House. 1987.
Lepthien. Emilie. Enchantment of the World-Australia. Chicago. Regensteiner Publishing Enterprises. 1982.
Lester, Alison. My Farm. New York. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1994.
Maddern, Eric. Rainbow Bird: An aboriginal Folktale Form Northern Australia. New York. Little, Brown and Company. 1993.
Morgan, Sally. The Flying Emu and Other Australian Stories. New York. Alfred Knopf, Inc. 1992.
Niland, Kilmeny. A Bellbird in a Flame Tree: The Twelve Days of Christmas. New York. Tambourine Books. 1989.
Oodgeroo. Dreamtime: Aboriginal Stories. New York. Lothrop, Lee, & Shepard. 1993.
Sanford, William and Carl Green. The Kangaroos. Mankato. Crestwood House. 1987.
Stanley-Baker, Penny. Australia: On the Other Side of the World. New York. Moonlight Publishing. 1988.
Vaughan, Marsha. Wombat Stew. Englewood Cliffs. Sliver Burdette Press. 1984.
The Alawa Aborigines. Tribal Songs and Stories. Cassette tape. 1973.
The Wallabies. Music From Down Under. Cassette tape. 1987.
Bergamini, David. The Land and Wildlife of Australia New York. Time, Inc. 1964.
Cousteau, Jean-Michel and Mose Richards. Cousteau's Australian Journey. New York. Harry N. Abrams, Inc. 1993.
Darling, Kathy. Kangaroos On Location. New York. Lothrup, Lee, &Shepard Books. 1992.
Darling, Kathy. Tasmanian Devil On Location. New York. Lothrup, Lee, &Shepard Books. 1992.
Education Research Council of America. Communities and Home & Abroad: The Aborigines of Central Australia. Boston. Allyn and Bacon. 1970.
Education Research Council of America. Communities and Home & Abroad: Australia and the Aborigines. Boston. Allyn and Bacon. 1974.
Epenshade, Edward. Goode's World Atlas. New York. Rand McNally. 1995.
Hudson, David. The People of the Ocean World. New York. William H. Sadlier, Inc. 1972.
Future Vision CD Rom. Infopedia The Ultimate Multimedia Reference Tool. Future Vision Multimedia, Inc. 1995.
Leonardi, Lisa. "Welcome to the Wonder Down Under: Australia." Mailbox Magazine. April. 1995. 4-10.
Nile, Richard. Australian Aborigines: Threatened Culture Series. New York. Steck-Vaughn Company. 1993.
Payne, Oliver. "Koalas Out On a Limb." national Geographic. April. 1995. 36-58.
Peterson, Larry. Fodor's Australia. New York. Fodor's Travel Publications. 1991.
Powzyk, Joyce. Tasmania: A Wildlife Journey. New York. Lothrop, Lee & Shepard Books. 1987.
Reynolds, Jan. Down Under: Vanishing Cultures Series. New York. Harcout Brace Jovanich. 1992.
Stodart, Eleanor. The Australian Echidna. New York. Houghton Mifflin Company. 1991.
Yanagi, Akinobu. Children of the World-Australia. Milwaukee. Gareth Stevens Publishing. 1988.
National Geographic Video. Australia: The Timeless Land. 1982.
Natinal Geographic Video. Australia's Unusual Animals. 1979.
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