SUBJECT: Geography
TOPIC: Poland
GRADE LEVEL: Third
CREATORS: April Agresta, Katrina Colletti, Denye Love, Kedesa McGowen, Deanna Miller

POLAND

Unit Goal

This thematic unit was created to expose third grade students to a variety of social perspectives related to Poland's rich cultural history. Students, through examination of geography, history, science, art, music, and language arts, will understand Polish culture and Polish-American contributions to society. This unit is meant to be fun and entertaining, but also meaningful learning.

Schedule of Events for Poland Unit

Day 1 We will start the unit by using a KWL chart. We will do the K and W portion.
Day 2 Physical map of Poland. The students will become familiar with physical features and major cities in Poland 
Day 3 Pen pals from Poland. Students will become familiar with children in Poland. Students will compare and contrast differences and similarities in culture.
Day 4 Probable Passages. Students will become familiar with the five story elements.
Day 5 Comparing Fables. Students will compare and contrast the same story written by two different authors.
Day 6 Famous People of Polish Descent and their historical contributions. Students will research and identify famous polish people.
Day 7 Dancing Paper Dolls. Students will decorate paper dolls with traditional patterns and emulate polka dances.
Day 8 Planning for Pierogis. Students will use math skills to create a grocery list for a grocery store field trip. 
Day 9 Trip to grocery store. Students will become familiar with economic perspectives within a grocery store.
Day 10 Cooking Pierogis. The students will use scientific process skills to cook pierogis.
Day 11 Polish paper cutting. Students will be introduced to cultural art.
Day 12 Pisanke egg decorating. Students will become familiar with Polish art using traditional tools and procedures.
Day 13 Polish postcards. Students will utilize knowledge gained throughout the entire unit to write postcards home.
Day 14 Field trip to Polish Cultural Center as a culminating event.
Day 15 Students will finish the unit by completing the KWL chart and reflecting upon what they have learned about Poland and the cultural differences with which they have become familiar.




Unit Background

Students are expected to come into this unit already possessing the following skills:


 

Teacher will need a set of encyclopedias and/or a computer program that has an encyclopedia on it.


 

The five senses will be incorporated whenever possible. The students will be making clay maps, listening to music, cutting paper dolls, eating pierogis, and reading books.

This is a comprehensive unit for third grade students that will not only teach them about the historical and geographical perspective about Poland, but also they will be able to explore the cultural diversity that Poland has to share. The students will discuss and participate in the traditions such as food, art, and entertainment in Poland as well as receive first hand information from a youngster in Poland. There will be a transition into each lesson. The students will use knowledge gained in one lesson to help them complete the rest of the lessons within this unit.

Michigan Social Studies Framework Strands and Benchmarks
STANDARDS
1.2 All students will understand narratives about major eras of American and world history by identifying the people involved, describing the setting, and sequencing the events.
1.3 All students will reconstruct the past by comparing interpretations written by others from a variety of perspectives and creating narratives from evidence.
2.1 All students will describe, compare, and explain the locations and characteristics of places, cultures, and settlements. 
2.3 All 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 All students will describe and compare characteristics of ecosystems, states, regions, countries, major world regions, and patterns and explain the processes that created them. 
5.1 All 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.
BENCHMARKS
1.2.1 Identify who was involved, what happened, and where it happened in stories about the past.
1.2.2 Describe the past through the eyes and experiences of those who were there as revealed through their records.
1.2.3 Recount events from simple biographies of women and men representing a variety of societies from the past. 
1.3.1 Use a variety of records to construct a narrative about their personal or family histories. 
1.3.3 Explain why accounts of the same event differ.
2.1.1 Describe the human characteristics of places and explain some basic causes for those characteristics.
2.1.2 Describe the natural characteristics of places and explain some basic causes for those characteristics.
2.1.3 Locate and describe cultures and compare the similarities and differences among the roles of women, men, and families.
2.1.5 Locate and describe the major places, cultures, and communities of the nation, and compare their characteristics.
2.1.7 Describe and compare characteristics of major world cultures including language, religion, belief systems, gender roles, and traditions.
2.1.9 Describe how major world issues and events affect various people, societies, places, and cultures in different ways.
2.4.1 Identify regions in their immediate environment and describe its characteristics and boundaries.
2.4.4 Draw sketch maps of the community, region, and nation.
4.5.1 Recognize economic exchanges in which they participate. 
5.1.1 Locate information using people, books, audio/video recordings, photos, simple maps, graphs, and tables.
5.1.3 Organize information to make and interpret simple maps of their local surroundings and simple graphs and tables of social data drawn from their experience.
5.1.8 Use traditional and electronic means to organize social science information and to make maps, graphs, and tables.



Lesson Plan Day 1: KWL Strategy

Objectives

Students will use the KWL strategy to activate any prior knowledge they may have about Poland. Students will be asked to respond to three questions.


 

Rationale

KWL is an excellent strategy to activate prior knowledge of a topic. It is very interactive and allows students to learn from one another in a natural discussion.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Step K - What I Know, begins with the students brainstorming what they know about the topic. Ask the class questions like, "What do you know about Poland?" During this step, you may also want to display a Pisanke egg or another Polish artifact to increase motivation and curiosity. The teacher records all responses on the KWL chart. Students may also fill in their own charts at this time.
  2. Continue asking questions to encourage students to think until responses have stopped.
  3. Step W - What I Want to Learn. As students share their ideas from Step K, questions about the topic will naturally occur. Ask students, "What do you want to learn about Poland?" Again, record responses in the appropriate column.
  4. Step L - What I Learned. Students will respond to the questions from Step W and share the things they have learned at the conclusion of the unit. Record responses.
The chart should remain on display throughout the unit.


 

Evaluation

Step L, the final step in this strategy, will evaluate what new knowledge the students have gained about Poland. Also, the onset of this strategy will help the teacher to decide the procedures needed to present future lessons during the unit.


 

Extension

Students could write a summary about the unit using the chart as a guide.

Lesson Plan Day 2: Physical Map of Poland

Objective

Students will be able to identify some of the physical charactertics of Poland along with the country's major cities.


 

Rationale

By creating a physical map of Poland, the students will retain information about the country. Actually creating and observing some of Poland's characteristics will enhance their learning by making it their own project. The children can take pride, learn something new, and have fun in the process.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

Opener: Geography lesson is taught first. Familiarize the student with the major cities and physical characteristics along with their locations.

Major cities: Warsaw, Krakow, and Gdansk

Major physical characteristics: Vistual River, Oder River, and Tatra Mountains.

  1. Before lesson prepare clay.
  2. Also make platform out of stiff cardboard. Spray paint in green, blue and brown with stencil of Poland covering space needed for map. Blue on top to represent Baltic Sea, Green to represent surrounding countries, and brown to represent the extension of the Tatra Mountains.
  3. Create and label sample map.
  4. Start lesson by drawing sample map on chalkboard or overhead with what is to be learned about and located.
  5. Describe features and their importance.
  6. Hand out materials.
  7. Show sample of map.
  8. Students start map with green clay in the center of map and spread evenly to borders.
  9. Students then shape, mold, and add brown clay for mountain range.
  10. Students run finger or pen down path of rivers leaving clay built up at the beginning and end. Pour blue glue into impressions.
  11. Next students set map aside and cut out labels.
  12. Labels are taped or glued to toothpicks in a flag-like fashion.
  13. Students poke flags into appropriate clay locations.
Closure: The students will display their work and discuss why the major cities are located where they are and what are benefits or disadvantages of the natural landmarks.


 

Evaluation

Show children unlabelled map and have them list or point out locations learned in lesson.

Lesson Plan Day 3: Pen Pals from Poland



 

Objective

Students will have a better understanding of Polish children so that after being read an informational book about Polish children and their culture they will be able to compare and contrast our culture differences using a Venn Diagram and begin to establish a pen pal relationship with a Polish child.


 

Rationale

The primary reason for elementary students to study multiple cultures is to learn how to develop multiple perspectives. Reading books that depict Polish people and situations will help clarify how students perceive ourselves and others and eventually leads to a broader outlook on how we each approach life. Writing to pen pals provides the opportunity for students to gain knowledge and insight about how Polish children live, learn, and play in Poland.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. Before beginning the unit on Poland, teacher should write to either address below and set up a pen pal contact.

  2.  
  3. Opener: How many of you know what a pen pal is? Explain to the class that today we will be making new friends with children from Poland and becoming pen pals with them. To do this, we first need to become familiar with how Polish children live in Poland.
  4. Read the book Going Home by Mohr.
  5. After reading the book, pass out to each student a ditto of a Venn diagram. Turn on the overhead projector and place the transparency on it. Have students list some things they learned about Polish children from the book. Have students fill out their diagram as one is filled out using the overhead projector. Next, have the class list some things about American children. Discuss our likeness and differences.
  6. Assign each child a pen pal. Have each student read over the new friend's information to better acquaint them with the child.
  7. Pass out to each student the pen pal worksheet. Have each student fill out the information on the sheet.
  8. Next, encourage the students to draw self-portraits of themselves using white construction paper and crayons. When students are finished, staple the letter and picture together.
  9. Closure: Collect all letters and put in large yellow envelope. Mail to Poland. Explain to class that it will probably be a couple of weeks before they receive a response.

 

Evaluation

Students will successfully complete a Venn diagram after listening to a book about Polish children. They will be able to compare and contrast our two cultures. Students will begin to establish a pen pal relationship with a child from Poland by responding to a letter sent from a child in Poland.

Lesson Plan Day 4: Probable Passages

Objective

Students will understand the five story elements: character, setting, problem, solution, and ending. They will be able to list passages from a given story into one of the five elements. They will also be able to express reasoning for the selection.


 

Rationale

Understanding the story elements and their significance will enhance the students' comprehension of a story. This exercise will help the students' writing skills by showing them different parts of a story. This lesson also promotes critical thinking by letting the students verbalize their opinions.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

Opener: Let students know that the lesson will be in a game show format.

  1. Instructor reads story and picks out several passages from each story element making sure each student will have one passage.
  2. Each passage is written out large and legibly onto strips of paper or poster board.
  3. The passages are then taped to the board in random order.
  4. The teacher will read the passages three times aloud to the class, three times with the class, three times by the class only, and then have each individual student read alone out loud.
  5. The teacher needs to then ask if there are any questions about the passages. It is important to the lesson that everyone thoroughly understands each passage.
  6. Have each child pick and post a passage of their choice under one of the five story elements. Remind them some are questionable since they have not yet read the story and there are no wrong answers.
  7. After everyone is finished, go over each element and the passage posted under them. Have the children take a vote on whether the passage should stay or be moved elsewhere. If it is suggested by a student that it be moved, have the student state why the believe that should be. Vote again and let the majority rule.
  8. When the voting process is done on each passage, ask the children if they have any guesses to what the story is about.
  9. Read the story out loud to the class.
  10. Go over what was correct about the class' assumptions and any other creative ideas they had about the story.
Closure: Discuss the passages again to check the students' assumptions. Allow students to share any other creative ideas they had about the story.


 

Evaluation

Leave the passages posted. Students will be evaluated by their ability and participation in determining the story elements.


 

Extension

Students can write a summary of the story.

Lesson Plan Day 5: Comparing Fables

Objective

Students will be able to contrast and compare similar Polish folk tales. The same short story is found in two different story books by two different authors.


 

Rationale

Being able to compare and contrast different text will improve a student's comprehension and reading skills. Using the story elements used in the previous lesson helps the students organize and remember the similarities and differences.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

Opener: Ask the students if they know what fables are and have them give examples.

  1. Read the second story to the class.
  2. Hand out question sheets.
  3. Allow time for children to write in their answers.
  4. Have each student orally give an example of one similarity and one difference.
Closure: Have the students complete the last part of the worksheet.


 

Evaluation

Listen to students' answers. Students' work will be checked and graded based on the accuracy of their answers.

Lesson Plan Day 6: Famous People of Polish Descent

Objective

Students will research and identify individuals of Polish descent and create fact sheets stating important contributions made by these persons. Students will share their information with the entire class.


 

Rationale

Students will learn that people of all ethnic backgrounds have overcome many obstacles and barriers to make an important impact on world history.


 

Materials


 

Procedure

  1. After sharing important facts about Poland's history as a country, each student will be assigned one person of Polish descent to research.
  2. Parents will be told about the assignment ahead of time in order to make arrangements to accompany students to the library.
  3. Students are to use encyclopedias or other informational text to find information stated on fact sheet about the particular individual assigned to them.
  4. Students are to bring completed fact sheets to class two weeks after assignment has been given. This will allow parents the necessary adjustments in their schedules for library trip.
  5. On due date, each student will share information from their fact sheet before the entire class.

 

Evaluation

Students will be evaluated on how well they gather information. Information should be presented in a concise, organized matter. Students will also be evaluated on their oral presentation.


 

Extension

Teacher can laminate fact sheets and make a reference book which will be placed among other books in the class for student use.

Lesson Plan Day 7: Dancing Paper Dolls

Objective

Students will show examples of Polish costumes by coloring in their paper dolls with crayon or marker. The students will also listen and be introduced to a Polka, recite the lyrics, and dance with their puppets.


 

Rationale

When learning about a new country, it is important to include music, dance and traditional costumes. It is good to know some of the ways the people entertain themselves and hold on to tradition


 

Materials


 

Procedure

Opener: Color and model doll prior to lesson.

  1. Students are handed copies of the girl and boy dancers.
  2. Students color in dancers with crayons or markers using dolls brought in wearing the Polish costumes as examples.
  3. Students glue paper to poster board.
  4. Students cut out boy and girl
  5. Students fasten paper dolls to straw or dowel rods using tape or stapler.
  6. Students recite words to song hand out.
  7. Tape is played while children sing and dance with puppets.Closure: Discuss how different cultures have different types of dress and celebration.

  8.  

     
     
     


     

    Evaluation

    Observation of the students' dolls in relation to singing and dancing.

    Lesson Plan Day 8: Planning For Pierogi

    Objective

    Students will make a shopping list for tomorrow's field trip. Students will use math skills to determine what and how much to buy. Students will double recipes and complete the list. Students will also estimate the cost of food items and total bill.


     

    Rationale

    Simple math is needed to complete daily routines such as shopping and cooking. It is important that students know how to use problem solving skills to complete daily tasks.


     

    Materials


     

    Procedure

    Opening: Tell class that we need to prepare for our trip tomorrow. Ask students what should be brought to the store, lead students into suggesting a shopping list.

    1. Write recipe on board.
    2. Have students list food items needed.
    3. Tell students that recipe is for 8-10 people. Ask students how they would figure out how much needed for 16-20 people.
    4. Hand out worksheet for doubling.
    5. Write shopping list on board with help from the students' calculations.
    Closure: Have students estimate cost of items individually and total. Collect worksheets.


     

    Evaluation

    Check out the worksheets and shopping lists copied by students. Also, use students' participation in creating a list and estimations as an assessment tool.

    Lesson Plan Day 10: The Science of Cooking Pierogi

    Objective

    Students will incorporate science into their cooking activity by asking questions and investigating to find the answers through books and procedures.


     

    Rationale

    Students will stimulate their own curiosity and use their own thought processes to define and answer questions about how and why things happen. It is very important that children learn to formulate questions in learning about science.


     

    Materials


     

    Procedure

    Opener: Ask students who has helped their parents cook. Explain that they will have the opportunity to cook today.

    1. Write recipes on board in a step by step fashion.
    2. Go through each step and ask the students what questions may be asked. Examples: Why did the grocery store have to refrigerate certain items? At what temperature does water boil? Why do the pierogis float to the top when don? Why do pierogis change texture after time when boiled?
    3. After the questions are formulated and written, gather any materials needed to answer questions (cooking thermometer, science text)
    4. Have the children record answers.
    Closure: Allow students to prepare their own pierogis and eat them while writing.


     

    Evaluation

    Have students write a paper on what they have learned using their question and answer sheet.

    Objective

    Students will be introduced and perform an art from called wycinanki, Polish paper cutting.


     

    Rationale

    Creating art forms from other countries will enhance the students' knowledge and appreciation of other lands. Paper cutting also improves a student's hand-eye coordination.


     

    Materials


     

    Procedure

    Opener: Display model and ask if anyone knows what the cutting is called. Have a discussion about how the paper cuttings were originated.

    1. Each student will be given construction paper. The color of the paper will be the student's choice.
    2. Paper is folded in half lengthwise.
    3. Stencil is traced by aligning dotted line on fold.
    4. Students cut out stencil with scissors.
    5. Open paper up, displaying two sets of two birds.
    Closure: Display cutouts on bulletin board for viewing and decoration.


     

    Evaluation

    Students will discuss the art form in comparison to other cultures' art forms, for example the American Indians use beading to display art and culture.

    Lesson Plan Day 12: Pisanke Egg Decorating



     

    Objectives

    Students will be introduced to a popular form of Polish art. They will understand the legends of Pisanke along with some symbols and their meanings. The students will decorate eggs of their own using the traditional tools, dyes, and procedures.


     

    Rationale

    By learning different art mediums along with this country's customs, the children will learn an appreciation for the beauty of Poland's creations.


     

    Materials


     

    Procedure

    Opener: Show students samples of finished eggs and explain what the symbols on the eggs mean.

    1. Prepare dyes in large mouth canning jars and line working area with newspaper.
    2. Eggs at room temperature are handed out and inspected for cracks.
    3. Clean eggs with white vinegar.
    4. Kristas, beeswax, and candles are handed out one per student.
    5. Light candles, heat krista in the bottom of the flame, and scoop beeswax into funnel.
    6. Write on egg with krista, holding the tool perpendicular. Divide egg into cross sections.
    7. Draw design of choice on egg.
    8. Place into dye with large spoons.
    9. Repeat process until four colors are used.
    10. Gently dry egg with clean towel.
    11. Heat egg in sections and wipe off wax.
    12. Place on rack to dry.
    13. Spray with clear coat.
    Closure: have students display eggs and tell why they decorated them with their chosen designs.


     

    Evaluation

    By observing and listening to the students we can evaluate that the students have understood the Polish legends and traditions that apply to the egg decorating.

    Lesson Plan Day 13: Postcards from Poland

    Objective

    Students will become familiar with the country of Poland so that when given a postcard they will be able to write a postcard as if they were visiting Poland.


     

    Rationale

    It is important for students to be able to describe the major features and characteristics of Poland.


     

    Materials


     

    Procedure

    Opener: Ask students how many have been to summer camp or on a vacation and written a postcard home. Listen to student responses.

    1. Remind students of some of the main features and characteristics we have discussed about Poland.
    2. Give students an opportunity to help themselves by providing informational books to use as resources.
    3. Model a postcard on a large sheet of paper.
    4. Tell students to imagine themselves visiting Poland. Ask them what they might see or visit.
    5. Tell the students to decide on a person to send a postcard to.
    6. Give students time to complete their postcard on the handout provided.
    Closure: Once students have completed their work, ask for volunteers to share their postcards with the class. Display students' work.


     

    Extension

    Allow students to create a picture for the front of their postcard.


     

    Evaluation

    The postcards will be read to determine if the students have grasped the major concepts about Poland. 

    Lesson Plan Abstract Day 14: Field Trip

    The America-Polish Cultural Center
    The Students will take a field trip to the American-Polish Cultural Center to expose them to various aspects of Polish culture. While visiting the center, the students will get to finish their study of Poland with a variety of sights, sounds, scents, and tastes. The center has much to offer to show the beauty of Poland. Paintings, photographs and elaborate costumes are displayed throughout the building. There is a library, a kitchen and a main hall. Students will be given a tour and overview of the establishment by the staff. The center also has music and dancing for special occasions. The restaurant is open most of the day and the students can sample an assortment of foods. The trip would give the students a chance to enjoy traditional Polish hospitality.
    The American-Polish Cultural Center
    2975 Maple
    Troy, MI
    (Between Maple and Dequindre)
    Phone: (248) 689-3636


     
     

    Return to Lesson Plan Day 4

    How a Tailor Became a King

    1. p32. Mr. Niteczka was thethin line for answers of all the tailors in the world.

    2.  
    3. p33. Mr. Niteczka worked for a man called the thin line for answers.

    4.  
    5. p33. When Mr. Spatellini died, Mr. Niteczka had to find someone to make the thin line for answers.

    6.  
    7. p33. The old the thin line for answers lived beyond the village in the forest.

    8.  
    9. p34. On Sunday the spaghetti had little the thin line for answers the thin line for answers.

    10.  
    11. p35. The old woman's the thin line for answers was torn in as many places as it was not.

    12.  
    13. p36. The gypsy told Mr. Niteczka he must go to the thin line for answers to find spaghetti.

    14.  
    15. p37. It started to rain right after our the thin line for answers died.

    16.  
    17. p38. The first thing Mr. Niteczka did as King was to the thin line for answers.

    18.  
    19. p40. Mr. Niteczka found himself with lots of the thin line for answers on his hands.

    20.  
    Return to Lesson Plan Day 5

    Famous Contributors to World History

    Thadeus Kosciuszo

    Marie Curie

    Frederick Chopin

    Walesa

    John III Sobieski

    David Dubinski

    Copernicus

    Joseph Conrad

    Wanda Landowska

    Bronislaw Malinowski

    Ignace paderewski

    Arthur Rubenstein
     

    Return to Lesson Plan Day 6

    FACT SHEET

    NAME::
     

    DATE OF BIRTH:
     

    PLACE OF BIRTH:
     

    SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTIONS TO HISTORY
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    IMPACT
     
     
     
     
     
     
     

    STUDENT NAME:
     

    Return to Lesson Plan Day 6

    The Polka

    (Melody: Throw It Out the Window)
     
    The polka, the polka
    
    I love to dance the polka
    
    Fast, slow-slow, fast
    
    What fun to dance the polka!
    
    
    
    Mary loved to polka so
    
    She asked John to dance
    
    They twirled around and he fell down
    
    And tore his brand new pants.
    
    
    
    The polka, the polka
    
    I love to dance the polka
    
    Fast, slow-slow, fast
    
    What fun to dance the polka!
    
    
    
    The polka was Joe's favorite dance
    
    He'd dance the whole night through
    
    The next day teacher yelled at him
    
    He fell asleep in school.
    
    
    
    The polka, the polka
    
    I love to dance the polka
    
    Fast, slow-slow, fast
    
    What fun to dance the polka!
    
    
    Return to Lesson Plan Day 7

    Bibliography

    Walters, Connie. (1975) Multicultural Music with audio tape. Pp. 142-156 Minneapolis, Minnesota: T.S. Denison & Co. Inc.

    Wojciechowska, Mia (1973 ) How a Tailor Became a King Winter Tales from Poland pp. 32-40 Garden City, NY : Doubleday & Co.

    Haviland, Virginia (1975 ) The Jolly Tailor Who Became King Favorite Fairy Tales Told in Poland pp. 13-27 Boston, MA: Little Brown Publishing

    Luciow, Johanna. Eggs Beautiful- How to Make Ukrainian Easter Eggs Minneapolis, MN: Ukrainian Gift Shop.

    Sattler, Helen Roney (1987) Recipes for Art and Craft Meterials(Revised Edition) New York, NY: Lothrup, Lee & Shepard Books

    Polacco, Patricia (1988 ) Rechenka's Eggs New York: Philomel Books

    Opalki, Koszalki (1976) Treasured Polish Folk Rhymes, Songs & Games (Translated by the Polanie Editorial Staff) Minneapolis, MN: Poanie Publishing Co.

    Nakajima, Caroline (1990) Connecting Culture and Literaturepp. 10-11

    Teacher Created Materials (1992 )Huntington Beach, CA p. 18

    Mohr, B. Going Home


     

    Suggested Readings

    The Creche of Krakow
    Harvey and Audrey Hirsh
    Fifty years after fleeing war-torn Poland, Grandma Anne receives a gift from the past.

    Bochekin Poland
    Joseph Contoski
    A children's story about the fairy tale birds of the old world.

    Polish Folk Tales
    translated by Lucia Borski
    A collection of sixteen folk tales

    Poland, Land of Freedom Fighters
    Christine Pfeiffer

    Tracing Our Polish Roots
    Sharon Moscinski

    Songs, Dance and Customs of Poland
    Sula Benet

    Poland
    Video by Rand McNally



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