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Check Out Our World!

We just finished an our economic standards in 2nd grade.  I'm amazed at how much students have to know in the 2nd grade!  Instead of tossing out some worksheets with the terms that they needed to know- I collaborated with my fabulous teammate Kelly Rister, to create a unit.  We decided that if we are going to learn about the economy--- we might as well give students some ownership and allow them to research a country of  their choosing and use that as a springboard for our activities.  We used our unit as a springboard for so many activities and were as always--- so impressed with our students.

First, students got online and checked out World Book online to decide what country they wanted to investigate.  They chose 3 and then I narrowed it down-based on what the other classes did.  They then got on the following sites and filled in a graphic organizer with some information about their country.  After they gathered the information they created brochures about their country and looked on-line and in books for pictures.  

-World Book Online-
Many school districts and libraries have access to World Book Online.  This is an INCREDIBLE resource for research made easy for students.
Click on the World Book icon on the right.
Click on “Kid’s” (purple balloon) à “Compare Places”à Compare Countries
Scroll through countries using the arrows on the right and left.  Click on a country.  On the left there will be contents.  “Explore____” will have quick facts.  View Article will open in a new window and contain informational text, pictures, and videos about the country.
To close out of the country click the small red ‘x’ in the content box. 
-National Geographic-
Scroll and click on countries.  This is not an exhaustive list, but great if you do not have access to World Book or other print resources.
-CIA Factbook-
Click  “Please select a country to view” and select your country. 
Click on economics. Use this for the imports, exports, and resources  for the Country Report Notes handout.
This is also great for students who want to study their country in greater depth.  

I took pictures of their faces and they attached it to the country they were researching.  It was a freakishly cute functional visual. 

While they were researching, we had students as homework look around their home and find where items were made. We created a living bar graph, charted the data, and then made a pie graph. There are endless possibilities of what you could do with this data depending on the age level.  

As students share their reports, look at populations, land area, and where their products are made- this simulation helps them experience the amount of space compared to the amount of people.. Lay out the papers on the floor and have them stand on them, move around.  Continue to take the paper away and make sure they have at least 1 foot on it. Share out on the experience after- make connections as this leads as a great springboard for population, production, economies, etc.

1.   US- 89 (12 sheets of ppr)
2.   Mexico- 157 (7 sheets of ppr) 
3.   China- 372 (3 sheets of ppr)
4.    Japan- 864 (1.5 sheets of ppr)
5.   India- 1,056 (1 sheet of ppr)
# of ppl per sq mile: based upon a classroom of approx. 20 students.
Additional population information by country:

We loved the conversations that came out of this week!  It is amazing what happens when you put students in the driver seat-- and you sit back to facilitate. This unit is easily adaptable to so many skill and ability levels and disciplines.  I'd

This unit can be found on Teachers Pay Teachers with complete instructions and every resource/material you need to complete it. 

I am currently finishing up the home stretch of grad school. !!!WOOOOOO!!! The end is in sight---finally--- but every task feels like climbing Everest. So to break it up and provide some fun for the kids I had one of my best friends come in be mystery read er and then teach my lambs the soul train line.

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