Monday, November 27, 2017

City Living, Country Life 2017

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!