Fourth grade recently wrapped up their "Footprint on Florida" unit guided by the question: How have different industries impacted Florida’s growth?
The unit was broken into three phases:
Exploration and Discovery
Research and Questioning
During phase 1 students learned about Florida's history including the topics of Tourism, Beaches and Hotels, Theme Parks, Space and NASA, The Everglades, Citrus farming, Military and Sports. They enjoyed a field experience at the Tampa Bay History Center, which houses three floors of galleries focusing on 12,000 years of Florida’s history.
During phase 2 the Chargers began to narrow down what they wanted to focus their research on, knowing that a website and project was on the horizon. The study integrated nonfiction reading and writing units into the study of Florida’s history. The fourth grade teaching team worked with the students to identify the unique features of nonfiction texts and to write in expository format. Lower School Technology Coordinator Katy Deegan taught fourth grade students how to design a website to showcase the information that they've learned. Fourth Graders also practiced their citation skills by citing and hyperlinking their sources.
During phase 3 families were invited to a project showcase and learned from the young experts. For this final project of the 2021-2022 school year, fourth graders created videos, scavenger hunts, board games, children’s books, newscasts, interviews, puppet shows, dioramas and more to express what they learned about the impact that development had on Florida's landscape. Students explored topics such as endangered species, pollution, land development, population growth, railroads, indigenous populations, the draining of the Everglades and then the efforts to restore it, and state industries such as tourism, agriculture, coral reefs, sports/entertainment, NASA, and the military. Following the presentations, visitors were able to visit the students' websites, the fruit of their reading and writing efforts.