Where's My Dot?

by Elaine Kiesner

 

 
Lesson Overview:

We will use the student created book entitled "The Dot." (See text under resources.) Students, you will make this book following the directions in the text. All of the items in the book are based on the five basic elements of Monart, the dot, the curved line, circle, the straight line and the angle line. http://www.monart.com/

 

The Task:

Everyone has his/her very own "dot." Some people call this their "address." An address is the number on the house and the street name where you live. It also includes the name of the town or city where you live and the name of your state. The Post Office also has given your area a "Zip Code." Each person's "dot" is special and unique to them.

Your task will be to share with us what makes your "dot" special. You will do this project as homework. Once your project is complete, bring it to class. We will share all our "dots" in class. Afterwards, we will place our own dots on our classroom town map. You can share your "dot" using drawings, photographs, dioramas or a video. You can even use an audio tape to accompany your "dot" presentation. Be creative and show us what is so very special about your "Dot."

 

The Process:

Learn how to say your address.

  1. Tell your teacher what your address is.
  2. Have your teacher make a map for you with your address on it. This is your "dot." Only your family shares your special dot.
  3. Work with your teacher and classmates to make each page of your book, "The Dot."
  4. Read your book.
  5. Think about how your dot is special. How can you share that with your classmates?
  6. Begin your "share project" at home as homework.
  7. Show us what is special about your dot. You can tell us about the people and pets that live with you at your special dot.

Resources:

The Dot: This is the text for the book you will illustrate.

Books:

Angus Thought He Was Big by Wood

Where Do I Live by Neil Chesanow

My place in Space by Robin Hirst

Me on the Map by Joan Sweeny

Space Songs by Myra Cohn Livingston

 

Video:

"The Magic School Bus Gets Lost in Space" by Kid Vision, 1995

 

Internet:

 

Working With Maps: Grades K-3 by the U.S. Geologic Survey
http://interactive2.usgs.gov/learningweb/teachers/mapadv.htm
 
Mister Roger's Neighborhood: Build a Neighborhood Activity
http ://www.pbs.org/rogers/

California Regional Weather Server from San Francisco State University http://squall.sfsu.edu/

Classroom Activities for teaching the 5 Themes of Geography by National Geographic

http://www.nationalhgeographic.com/resources/ngo/education/themes.html
 

Learning Advice:

The world is a very big place. It is hard to think about how big it is. As you work on your book try to think about how small your friends would look if you were up in a plane. Look at the books and the Internet sites. Talk to your parents and other family members. Look at how small ants and other insects are. Think about big things and small things.

Evaluation:

With a team of three or a partner, talk about what helps you understand what another person is saying when he/she speaks in front of a group. How will you know when a person has really explained how their "Dot" is special and different from everyone else's? Share one of these ideas with your class. The teacher will write down the ideas from the class to make a list. This list will help you learn how to be a good speaker.

 

Conclusion:

What did each of the students have in common and what was special about each of them when they explained their place in the world.

 

Reflection:

How big am I? Am I as big as a "dot"? Am I as big as a house? A town? A state? A continent? A planet?

 

Teacher Notes

Grade Level: Kindergarten: Unit 4

History Social Science Standards

K.4 Students compare and contrast the locations of people, places, and environments and describe the human and physical characteristics of places by:

History-Social Science Thinking and Analysis Skills

Chronological & Spatial Thinking

5.Students judge the significance of the relative location of a place

Language Arts Standards

Comprehension and Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text (Kindergarten)

2.2 Use pictures and context to make predictions about story content.

2.3 Connect to life experiences the information and events in texts.

2.4 Retell familiar stories.

2.5 Ask and answer questions about essential elements of a text.

 

Lesson Description

Using an Internet map program type in each student's address and show him or her that the computer knows where their house is located. Give them the map as the unit begins so that they can learn their addresses. Some Internet resources include:

Yahoo Maps
http://maps.yahoo.com/py/maps.py
 
Map Blast
http://mapblast.com
 
Map Quest
http://www.mapquest.com/

This should spark interest in learning more about how each of us has a special place on this earth.

The students will create their own copy of "The Dot." Print off the pages with only the text on them and make enough so that each student has a complete booklet. The text is placed on the bottom part of the page in the "chunks" delineated by the three asterisks. The student's will illustrate the book under the teacher's direction. Once the students have created and read their own copy of "The Dot" we will begin to discuss how each one of us occupies a "dot" on the globe. We will then talk about how we could share what is special about our very own "dot." We will then discuss the terms "location" and "place."

http://interactive2.usgs.gov/learningweb/teachers/mapadv.htm With this information in mind we will plan how we will share our own very special place and location. By making a list of student ideas you will be guide them to develop their own rubric for evaluating the "Sharing" presentations.

This lesson will probably take about two weeks to complete. It is designed to help students grasp the difficult concepts in the History /Social Science Standard K.4. Through the development of their own book about the concept, they will be guided in seeing that the world is made up of lots of "Dots."

Lesson Purpose: 

Information Literacy Skills: 

Resources and Materials Needed:

Evaluation:

The students will develop their own class rubric for the "Sharing" component of this project. The class should include what they will need to see or hear to convince them that Tommy's "Dot" is unique. They may develop a series of questions to make sure that they get the information that they want. The rubric will then be included in the Weekly Homework assignment so that they can enlist parental help in meeting the requirements of the assignment.

Conclusion:

This concept is a difficult one for young children to grasp. Building from their own experience outward should help them to develop a frame of reference. Having their own book, which they created, will also serve to reinforce the concepts in this lesson.

Credits:

Elaine Keisner
Frazier Park School
El Tejon USD
Last revised Wed, Apr 5, 2006