|The five boroughs of New York City - Manhattan, Staten Island, Queens, Brooklyn and The Bronx.|
For the past month we have been engaged in a social studies unit focusing on the following areas; geography, maps and map reading skills and time, continuity and change. We combined this with the Common Core writing objective requiring each child to "use a combination of drawing, dictating, and writing to compose opinion pieces in which they tell a reader the topic they are writing about and state an opinion". In kindergarten the children are not required to provide a reason for their opinion (to state one is enough) but almost all of our students have successfully risen above this expectation. Truly incredible.
We decided to approach the standards by examining the five boroughs of New York City. This started with a look at the map and identifying which borough each student lives in. Since we are not a neighborhood school we have students from each borough attending our school. Although, oddly enough, our class does not have anyone from Queens. We added this information to a large map and then began exploring New York City though children's literature.
The first borough we decided to focus on was Manhattan because it has a plethora of attractions and because our school is located in Manhattan. We are not far from the Empire State Building so we read Sky Boys: How They Built the Empire State Building by Deborah Hopkinson and James E. Ransome.
We also read the delicious visual treat Ankle Soup by Maureen Sullivan and Alison Josephs. In this book another dog, Carlos, explores popular NYC sites like Grand Central Station.
The books helped us create a semantic map of important Manhattan landmarks from which the students chose one to write about using opinion words such as "like" and "think". They wrote about Central Park, Times Square, Rockefeller Center, the United Nations, Madison Square Garden, The Empire State Building, Grand Central Station, The Metropolitan Museum and The Museum of Natural History.
|I think Museum of Natural History (is the best) because you could look at the stars.|
The children certainly give us so much to celebrate!