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How do people's needs and wants change based on their surroundings and make them different?

Lesson Plan Item

General Information
Grade Kindergarten Class Social Studies Length of Lesson 35-40 Minutes
Lesson Title How do people's needs and wants change based on their surroundings and make them different?
Unit Title Kindergarten Identity
Unit Compelling Question How are people unique?
Historical Context:

Our world is made up of many countries that are all very unique in their own ways. We often compare the weather from one state to another, but we also need to look at what it is generally like in the United States compared to other countries such as Africa, Russia, New Zealand, Canada, etc.. Our world is constructed of so many different things that it often affects the people in it. As a human we are all unique in our own ways, but we are often affected by our surroundings. What we think is cold and hot might be different than someone from Canada. Based upon our surroundings and our culture how are we unique individuals?  


~Allyson Simpson, Simpson College


2018.017.012  This photograph shows a farmer in Fredericksburg Township, Chickasaw County, using a John Deere #10 corn picker. This machine was pulled by a tractor and could harvest one row of corn at a time. The machine would separate the ears of corn from the cornstalks as it cut them, and then dump the ears into a separate wagon which typically followed alongside the machine.


~ Matthew Miller, Teaching Iowa History Team
Lesson Supporting Question
Lesson Overview

To begin the lesson you show the students two separate pictures, one of a person plowing a field in the heat and sun. The other is in a frozen tundra with heavy coats on. You have the students discuss with small groups how the two groups (or single people) are different. Bring them back together as a class and have them share out their ideas to the group. If there are differing ideas, have the students discuss them and figure out which of the differing opinions is valid, or if they’re both valid. Tell them that different people are different because who they are, and the environment they are in (this lesson is on the environment they are in). Then have the students go back into their groups and brainstorm some more on what they think they need in Iowa and why that makes them unique compared to other parts of the country or the world. When they are done, have them share out their ideas and list their ideas on the board for the whole class to see. After that, have them draw pictures of the things that make their area unique and have them write a sentence (with help from a sentence prompt) about something that is unique to Iowa. 

Primary Sources Used
Resources Needed
Lesson Target
  • Students will come up with at least three things that people need if they live in Iowa with their small groups.
  • Students will analyze the list of things that make the people in Iowa unique and write a sentence and accompanying picture with 100% accuracy.
Lesson Themes No themes are assigned for this lesson.
Lesson Procedure
Step Procedure Time Differentiation plan / Additional Information
Bell Ringer 

Have the students analyze two pictures, one of people from Iowa, and another of people from another place around the world (just make sure they are different 
Have them discuss with a small group what is different about the two people in the two pictures and ask them where they think each picture was taken
Bring them back together and have them share out their ideas 

Explain to them that one is from Iowa and the other is from a different place (Place of choosing, doesn’t matter as long as it’s not from the Midwestern U.S.
4 Min  Have students that have a tough time seeing the pictures come up to the board and look at the pictures or print out individual pictures for them to have in their hands.

Explain to the students that each person is different based on where they live and/or come from

Tell them that people need different things based on where they live and that makes them unique because not everywhere requires the same things needed to survive 
2 Min  
Student  Have the student brainstorm in their small groups again about what makes Iowa unique compared to other places, what do the people need to live here? What do they need for the seasonal changes? Different Vehicles? Etc.  5 Min For those students struggling, give them an example to get the ball rolling. Talk about specific seasons like winter or summer and what makes them unique
Transition  Tell them one thing that you think makes Iowa unique as far as what you need to live here, just to get the ball rolling and to give them an extra reason to add to their list. 1 Min   

Write their ideas for what make Iowa Unique on the board, if there are differing ideas, have the class discuss what they think and discuss what they think about the idea

Get a hefty list on the board, at least 10 things for them to choose from later when they write their sentences and draw their pictures 
10 Min

Allow students to explain their ideas to the class if someone doesn’t get it so you can differentiate for readiness and still allow students to somewhat run the discussion

Also allow for students to move closer to the board to see the list if they can’t see
Transition  Give them an example of what you want the pictures to look like, for example, draw a winter coat and a truck to represent the winter months. Give them more examples verbally, like swimsuit for summer, flannel for fall, etc. 3 Min Allow them to move closer to the board to see the sample sentence and list of things that make Iowa unique
Transition  Tell them to be creative and connect it to their own life, have them draw and write about what they use or need in the different season while living in Iowa    

Have the students draw and write about the different things people need in the different seasons in Iowa
Give them a sentence structure, for example: “We need ____ and ____ in Iowa during ___.” So they have structure for their sentences 

Make sure the pictures they draw connect to the sentences they write. For example, if they talk about winter, the drawings are about winter 
10-15 Min

Still allow them to be closer to the board, also walk around and help those who are struggling with their sentences.

For those that are above level, have them write more than one sentence and draw more pictures.
Formative Assessment
(How will you use the formative assessments to monitor and inform instruction?)
  • -I will observe students in their small groups to make sure they are brainstorming good ideas to discuss with the class. I will also look for participation and collaboration. -I will have the students turn in their pictures and sentences, I will be looking for the correct season and items that are unique to the students for that season.
Summative Assessment
(How does the lesson connect to planned summative assessment(s)?)
  • This helps students reflect on themselves and figure out how Iowa is unique compared to other places. This helps scaffold them toward the compelling question of how are people unique?
Author Information
Author Nick Squires Reviewer Dr. Chad Timm, Simpson College Created 08/15/2019 Last Edited 09/06/2019
Lesson Plan Development Notes: Social Studies Methods, Simpson College, Spring 2019

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