Background The students will have studied the civilizations of the Mayans, Incas, and Aztecs before beginning their projects. They will have an understanding of the conquistadors, who they were, where they came from, and what areas and peoples they conquered. Activities Map Making: For the Aztec and Incan civilization, students will create a map, showing the route that the conquistador who conquered their city took. The map will include specific dates, points of interest, and events that took place during the exploration. For the Mayan civilization, students will create a map showing Mayan trade routes, along with their major imports and exports, and why those items were important to the Mayans. These maps must be as accurate as possible, and include the location of their city. Timeline: Students will create a timeline of important events that took place in their city. The map must include the following, where applicable: the cities founding, when the city was conquered, major ruling changes, natural disasters, major discoveries, cultural clashes, and any other factors you feel are important. There will be a minimum of 10 entries on the timeline.
Background Students will have studied the Cartesian coordinate system (i.e how to plot points to draw an object as well as determine the points of already drawn objects) and how to find the perimeter and area of different shapes. Students will have learned fractions and approximations. They will also have learned how to locate a city using longitude and latitude coordinates. Activities Location, Location: For this activity students will be asked to find the location of their city using longitude and latitude coordinates. They will then use longitude and latitude measuring to determine the distance of its borders so they can find its perimeter. Students will then draw on a Cartesian plane a shape that is similar to the shape of their city but one that will allow them to determine its area (i.e square, rectangle, etc.). After they draw their shape, they will have to scale the plane accordingly so that the perimeter of the shape they drew agrees with the perimeter they found using longitude and latitude. Finally, students will determine the approximate area of their city. Students will be asked to write a paragraph stating the difference between longitude and latitude and Cartesian plane, the actual area of the city, and why their approximation differs from the actual. Reading Graphs: For this activity students will practice reading and creating data graphs by creating a graph for the information they researched in their City Climate activity and describing their findings.
Background The students will have studied the holidays celebrated by different Latin American countries including the traditions, music, dance, clothing, and typical foods associated with each. They will have also learned about the native influences on the celebrated holidays. Students will need a good understanding of unit specific vocabulary (months, days, foods, etc…) Activities Calendar: The students will create a calendar depicting the major holidays for their chosen city. They must also include a minimum of 10 additional Latin American holidays. Calendars must include all proper labels (days of the week, months, etc…). Inclusion of culturally representative photos or drawings will also be encouraged. Dance Recital: Students will take a field trip to a local dance studio where they will be taught popular Latin dances. They will also learn about the music and costumes. They will be given time to try the costumes and practice the dances before they choose one dance to perform in groups for the rest of the class.
Background The students will have studied the various climates and natural hazards as well as its importance to plant life. They will know that different plants exist in different parts of the world depending on their needs and the climates of the places. Activities City Climate: For this activity students will conduct a research project on the climate of their city. Within this project students will need to include information on the various seasons of the city, average precipitation for each month of the year, average temperatures of each month, air pressure, etc. Within this project they will also include common natural hazards. They will chose the way they would like to present the information as well as whether or not they would like to work individually or in groups. The only requirement is that they must include at least one data graph (completed in math class) and the above-mentioned information for their city. Typical Plant: For this project they will research a typical plant of the country and describe why this plant is native to their city (i.e what are the needs of the plant and what aspects of the city’s climate and natural hazards contribute to its growing there).
Background Students will have studied the writing of the conquistadors and understand the style of their writings. Students will also need to have a good understanding of English grammar and sentence structure. Activities Letters Home: Students will be required to write a series of letters home to their families describing both their surroundings, and events that unfolded during their travels. Descriptions of their surroundings should coincide with actual plant and animal species that exist in Central and South America. While many of the smaller details can be created, major events should be accurate.
Background Students will have studied the different mediums. They will also have learned about specific Latin American artists and be able to identify the unifying characteristics, as well as the distinctions between them. Activities Culturally Representative Piece: Students will develop a culturally representative art piece for their chosen region of Latin America. Students will be given freedom to choose their medium, subject, colors, etc… Students will be required to support their choices, and demonstrate how they relate to the culture of Latin America through an oral or written explanation to the instructor. Designing a Book Cover: Students will design a cover for their collection of letters home (English class activity). Covers will be a visual representation for what is verbally depicted through the letters. Students may choose from a selection of mediums.
Background Students will have been exposed to the cuisine, and style of clothing, of Latin America. They will also understand the basic principles of clothing design, and cooking. Activities (Students will choose one of the following two options) Food: Students will research the cuisine of their city’s people with their group. Students will choose one dish from the ones they research, and create that dish in class to share with their classmate. Students need to explain why they chose this dish, and how it represents their city. -or- Clothing: Students will research the style of clothing that coincides with their city. They will then design, and if time permits, create that garment. They will be expected to explain what style of clothing they made, and why it represents their city.
Background Students will have a good understanding of how to use Microsoft Word, PowerPoint, Paint, Publisher, and be proficient at exploring the internet. In addition, they will have all the information on their city that they need to produce the brochure. Activity Brochure: This will be one of the culminating projects for this unit. The students will be required to create a travel brochure for their city. The brochure will include; climate, a map of the city, food, clothing, plant life, animal life, population, perimeter, area, major holidays, art pieces, fun facts, and any other interesting facts they found. Pictures are encouraged.
Objectives The student portfolio will be used primarily to demonstrate growth, but secondarily it will be used for presentation purposes. The final portfolio will include a reflection worksheet for each discipline field (History, Spanish, Math, Science, Art, English, Computers, Home and Careers). Details At the start of the interdisciplinary unit the students will be told about the portfolio requirement. They will be told the objectives for the portfolio and provided a copy of the reflection guidelines and a copy of the rubric. All materials will be stored in the classrooms to ensure that they are not lost. Each student will have his/her own storage folder/bin/box in each class. At the end of the unit the students will organize all artifacts into one final portfolio.
Each of the classes involved is an inclusive class, which contains students that are gifted, average, and those that have special needs. There are also students that are linguistically and culturally diverse. Gifted/Special Needs: For the gifted and special needs students in the class we will offer the option of peer tutoring. The gifted students will have the option of helping other classes during their free periods, lunch periods, and/or after school. Those with special needs have the option of meeting during their free periods, lunch periods, and/or after school to receive the additional help that is needed. Peer tutoring not only benefits the tutee but the tutor as well by allowing them to solidify the skills learned in class while helping those that are having trouble. Linguistically Diverse: Throughout this interdisciplinary unit students are given options on how they would like to display what they have learned. Students that have difficulty expressing themselves through written words have the option of expressing themselves through visual representation. The activities in home and career, art, and Spanish require little to no written work, which gives the students that are not as linguistically advanced an opportunity to display what they learned through different mediums. For the activities that require written reports, these students have access to peer tutors that will help them with these assignments. Students that are better adept at expressing themselves in writing have the option to do so and also have the option of helping those that are not. Also, students that are musically inclined, artistically inclined, etc. have the option of displaying their knowledge through songs, art work, etc. Culturally Diverse: While working on the calendar activity during Spanish class, students that are culturally diverse are able to include the various holidays in their cultures as well as compare and contrast overlapping holidays, which they then will share with the class. This gives the class an equal representation of cultures as well as the opportunity to expand their horizons.
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