Project 1: Countries of the World: Australia

General Information
Project Overview
Curriculum Connections
Learning Outcomes
Resource Connections
Evaluation

  General Information

Lead Teachers: Angela Murphy: Learning Resources Teacher
anmurphy@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

Marie Mitchell: Grade Four Classroom Teacher
mmitchel@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

Don Carey: Grade Four Classroom Teacher
dcarey@calvin.stemnet.nf.ca

School:Sacred Heart Elementary School
Curling Street
Corner Brook, NF
A2H 3K8
Grade Level:Grade 4
Number of Students:There are two grade four classes participating in this project. One class has twenty-six students, the other has twenty-four students for a total of fifty.
Project Start and Finish Dates:This project will take approximately five to six weeks to complete. The start date is scheduled for late February and run until late March or early April.

  Project Overview

This project fulfils the objectives of the Grade Four Social Studies unit on Australia. This program is designed to extend students' understanding of the elements that comprise a community as a social and economic unit and of the dynamics of community living.

In the implementation of this project the students will be actively involved in the using a variety of resources (print, non-print and human resources) to gain an understanding of the location of Australia, how the people live and the similarities and differences in their home community and Australia communities.

The students at Sacred Heart will be twinned with an Elementary school in Australia. The Internet will provide the opportunity for the students to communicate directly, through the use of E-mail, with Australian students. The students will exchange not only text material but also images.

  Curriculum Connections

Sacred Heart Elementary has been actively involved in delivering a curriculum which promotes the philosophy of resource-based learning. This unit for our Grade Four students fits into this type of curriculum initiative. For two years a committee at Sacred Heart worked to develop an Information Learning Skills plan for the K-6 curriculum. The staff has now given their consensus for the implementation of this plan. Many of the skills from this plan will be integrated into this project. Sacred Heart Elementary received a HRD grant last May for twenty-five thousand dollars enabling us to purchase an additional ten computers. With the addition of those ten computers Sacred Heart's initiative of integrating computers cross the curriculum has been greatly enhanced.

This project involves our Social Studies curriculum, many areas of the Language Arts curriculum as well as areas of Technology Education.

  Learning Outcomes

Social Studies:

The student will:

  1. Explore the location of Australia in the world and compare this with Nfld.

  2. Identify the reasons why seasons in Australia occur at opposite times to seasons in Canada.

  3. Describe the climate experienced in different parts of Australia.

  4. Identify the various groups of people that make up the population of Australia.

  5. Develop an appreciation of Australia's history through the construction of a time line.

  6. Explore the natural resources, landmarks, homes, animals and recreation found in Australia.

  7. Develop an appreciation for the food, customs, festivals, clothing and native aboriginal culture of Australia.

    Those objectives tie into the Provincial Social Studies curriculum goals some of which include:

    1. Geographical literacy:
      1. Understanding of the concept of location (position on the earth's surface).
      2. Understanding of how people and their environment interact.
      3. Understanding of the historical, cultural, economic and the political character of global regions.

    2. Cultural literacy:
      1. Understanding of the complexity of culture.

    3. Global literacy:
      1. A realization that diverse groups have common needs, wants and aspirations.

    Some of the Language Arts outcomes involve:

    1. Reading and interpreting information.

    2. Interviewing and discussing.

    3. Engaging in all stages of the writing process.

    4. Retrieving, analyzing and presenting information.

    In this project the students will be addressing some of the General Curriculum outcomes for Technology Education. They will be investigating the role of information and communication technology in society.

      Resource Connections

    The STELLAR Schools Internet connections in critical to the success of this project. Our students will be able to interact directly with students in Australia. This kind of learning is more meaningful for children; such direct interaction has a greater impact on the learning experience as it is more personal and more motivational.

    Many other resources will be used in this project. The children will be accessing print (books and magazines) videos, slides, resource people in our community, and CD-Rom technology. A scanner will be used to digitize images so that they can be sent to the participating school.

      Evaluation

    Process Skills:

    1. Have an understanding of the Internet and Internet services.

    2. Link with other students in Australia using online communication (e-mail) to share information and resources.

    3. Ability to log on.

    4. Composing e-mail using word perfect and uploading to the Internet.

    5. Ability to download messages to a printer or disk.

    Content Objectives:

    The content objectives previously listed will be used to evaluate student achievement. The children will be evaluated on such things as their ability to work together, to follow directions, their research abilities using different media, their involvement in the writing process. Rough drafts and final drafts of projects will be evaluated. The children will also be evaluated on their oral presentation of work.

    We believe that this project will demonstrate to the teachers at this school the exciting possibilities that the Internet has to offer in the area of Curriculum delivery. It will also expose students to the wonderful possibilities of information technology. This project will demonstrate to parents, teachers and students that learning can take place outside the four walls of the classroom and two covers of a book.

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