THIS was a fun two-week unit: it incorporated art, math, literary thinking, and thinking about social studies. What a winner!
This was a two-week unit: we studied "the city" the first week and "rural areas" the second. What tied them together were the two versions of City Mouse, Country Mouse we chose: this gave an opportunity to talk about similarities and differences between the two books.
BOOKS: Any two versions of City Mouse, Country Mouse (We enjoyed Country Mouse in A Townhouse, DK, 1995, a photo-essay where you had to search for the mice in each picture.)
City Books: Alphabet City or City By Numbers by Stepehn Johnson and Tana Hoban city books are a good choice to give our townie kids a taste of what a city looks like. Busy, Busy City Street by Cari Meiser and Last Stop on Market Street (Matt De La Pena's Newbery winner) are good, too. Something Beautiful is a great choice for additional reading, but I use it for our Day of Action lessons, so I skipped it this year.
Country Books: The original Iris & Walter by Elissa Guest is a great choice to bring living differences into focus: Ma, I'm A Farmer by Michael Marchenko was a hit with the kids (this surprised me!) Cynthia Rylant's Night In The Country is good, too, especially to teach literary devices...
VIDEO: PebbleGo to the rescue, with a fantastic "Living in the City" and "Rural Living" article, including videos.
ART: We built a nighttime cityscape (turned out amazing!) which incorporated math: kids were given instructions to fit as many 1x1 "lights" in their high rise buildings as they could, in a straight line: to put as many people in each building as possible! We previewed pictures of night cityscapes on Google before we started and the results were great.
Country Crafts: We took a poll! Each kid was given a little mouse (3x4 inches) and colored it like they wished, put their name on it, and had to tape it under a picture of city or country life -- each class was close on preference, but each class chose city life in the end! They also had a mouse maze and a mouse connect-the-dots to fill time if they chose books quickly...
RHYME: I love the Elevator Song, which is quite a workout! SIng it normal, then take the high-speed elevator... then take the super-high-speed elevator (faster faster faster!!!)
Oh, the city is great and the city is grand
THere's a whole lot of people on a little piece of lnad
and we live way up on the 57th floor, and this is what we do when we go out the door:
We take the elevator up, we take the elevator down (3x)
And we turn around!