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What does my city look like?

Lesson Plan Item

General Information
Grade Kindergarten Class Social Studies Length of Lesson 40 Minutes
Lesson Title What does my city look like?
Unit Title Where am I in the World?
Unit Compelling Question What does my city, my state, my country, and my world look like?
Historical Context:

Maps are a useful tool. The earliest map was made on a Babylonian clay tablet.  Some maps were carved in wood. Seafaring ships needed navigation charts,  encouraging the growth of the map making industry.  When people traveled they took detailed notes to create useful maps. The first world map was created about the time of Columbus' voyages.

Following World War I aerial photography began to be used in mapping the earth.   Because the earth changes, and boundaries change, maps are frequently revised.  Maps from long ago are different than maps today.


Today people carry maps on their phones. Voice activated commands help drivers navigate from place to place. 


~  Allyson Simpson, Simpson College


2018.056.010 Map of Iowa exhibiting the townships, cities, villages post offices, railroads, common roads & other improvements.

In 1844, when the population of the soon-to-be Iowa territory was growing, the decision was made to move towards statehood. Governor Lucas, along with politicians, met in Iowa City to draft a constitution and form state boundaries. Original boundaries reached farther North to Minneapolis and the western border further east. The borders were changed after protest from the public to our borders today. On December 28, 1846, President James K. Polk signed in Iowa as the twenty-ninth state.

The population grew drastically over the next few years, from 96,000 in 1846 to 518,000 in 1856. Counties were developed that measured close to 24 miles on each side. The first two counties were Dubuque and Des Moines (of a much larger size than today) that were then divided into smaller parts in 1837, prior to statehood. By 1851, the state had 89 counties. Today, the state has 99 counties.


~ Lauren Adams, Teaching Iowa History Team
Lesson Supporting Question
Lesson Overview

Students will learn about where they live in the world. We will be listening to a song called “Where We Live” and reading part of the student text to gain more knowledge in where each person lives. We will be focusing a lot on our town and what makes us part of our town. How we not only live in a town but also live in a family and a neighborhood. It’s very possible to live on many things at once, so mentioning state, country, and world. Students will have the opportunity to look at maps and talk with peers to gain more insight of where they live. 

Primary Sources Used
Resources Needed
Lesson Target
  • Students will identify one's own city and state and locate them on a map.
  • Students will be able to name the country where they live.
Lesson Themes No themes are assigned for this lesson.
Lesson Procedure
Step Procedure Time Differentiation plan / Additional Information
Bell Ringer Today we are going to learn about where we live in the world. Think of possible ways you can answer that question. Think about whether you live on a particular street, in a town/city, or in a state. I’m going to give you about 2-3 minutes to draw a picture of where you live in your journals. Make sure you add as many details as you possibly can in your picture.  5 Min If some students are struggling to find something to draw, add more prompts to get them thinking about the topic. Some kids may need a limit as well for how many pictures to draw. Some kids may be able to draw 10 and some may only get 1 or 2. 
Teacher After the students reach the carpet space we will now as a class talk about their pictures they drew. Write down on the board a couple of the words that are frequently being said by the students. Now we are going to listen to a song called “Where We Live”. Listening to the song twice, the first time for the students to get acquainted to it and then hopefully the second time they can sing along to it.  5 Min Encourage everyone to sing, but if some don’t feel comfortable just let them listen. The second time it may help for them to stand up and get moving. 
Student The students are now going to think pair share with their carpet partners about what the song was about. They will get a few minutes to talk about it and brainstorm how they fit into the song, and then we will come back as a class.  3 Min  
Transition When the students are done think pair sharing they will now turn back towards the front of the classroom so we can read the student text together.  5 Min  
Teacher Read through the student text and allow time to stop at any vocabulary words to help explain to the students what they are or if they have any questions.  10 Min Allow for plenty of time for questions and concerns. Have the kids who get distracted easily move to the front of the carpet. Remind students proper sitting and listening skills before beginning. 
Student The students will now have the opportunity to go through a checklist with several different places to live at on it.  A few students will be called up to the board to mark off where they live and where they don’t live.  5 Min Read the bullets for some of the children that can’t read them. If they can’t make the mark do it for them, or encourage them to make a different mark instead. 
Transition As students sit down their will be four different pictures projected on the board. Some of the photos are of smaller cities and some are of larger cities. They will have a few minutes to decide what city looks most like the one they live in. We will show the image of the old map and then also use google maps to project where we are currently.  3 Min  
Student The students will now go back to their desks and they will fill out the What city do we live in? Worksheet. They will write the name of their city, draw something they like about their city, and then draw themselves in it. S 5 Min Write the name of the city they live in on the board in the front big for them to copy. Write some additional words that they may need to know as well. Give them several prompts of things they could draw on their sheet of paper. 
Formative Assessment
(How will you use the formative assessments to monitor and inform instruction?)
  • Be able to see who has an idea of their city and state by the checklist that we will complete as a class. I will have a clear understanding if they get that we can live in several different places at one time. Depending on what they check I will get an understanding of what they understand and what they may need further instruction on.
Summative Assessment
(How does the lesson connect to planned summative assessment(s)?)
  • The summative assessment will be a drawing worksheet.
Author Information
Author Allyson Simpson Reviewer Dr. Chad Timm, Simpson College Created 08/19/2019 Last Edited 09/06/2019
Lesson Plan Development Notes: Social Studies Methods, Simpson College, Spring 2019

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