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Fifth Grade - Geography - Overview - November/December

November's two lessons, 8 and 9, are part of a four-lesson, two-month-long (November-December) unit entitled 'Political Geography of Europe.' It includes a unit-long research project. The unit looks at the geography and history of western Europe. Each lesson builds on the previous one. They culminate in Lesson 11, which takes place in December.

In November, Lesson 8 deals with the physical geography of Europe. It includes a phys-ical map of Europe depicting the mountains and rivers, etc. to be studied. Hand out the attached list of research topics to students at the end of Lesson 8. They will select a topic. Lesson 9 deals with the countries of Europe. It includes a political map. Students' reports on their selection of a topic will be due at this time.

In December, Lesson 10 traces the rise of European nation-states from Charlemagne to the present. The lesson uses six maps to show the changes in national boundaries over the same period. At this time, students will report on the progress of their research. Lesson 11 focuses on the location of European national capitals and includes a political map depicting national bound-aries and city locations. Sometime after Lesson 11, students complete their research.

The unit offers many opportunities to make connections across the curriculum, including Science (Science Biographies), History, Literature (Story Settings), Visual Arts, and Music. It also emphasizes students' personal responses to the geography of Europe and a geography pro-ject. Please tailor the personal response questions on students' ancestry to the needs of your classroom population. Not doing so might embarrass your students. Also, feel free to modify these lessons to suit the research needs of your students. Invite students to select their research topics as early as possible and use subsequent lessons to guide students towards the completion of their chosen projects. Research should be a step-by-step activity. The help students need will depend on their experience with independent work. Every effort should be made to guide students along each step of the way. At the start of their projects, the time line is indicated by their geography schedule. Should the interval between lessons prove insufficient for students to complete their assignments, feel free to make the necessary changes. Also, it would help if students could be exposed to samples of the work they are expected to produce. Counting books, picture post cards, travel books, and travel brochures would do. Finally, set aside a place and time that do justice to students' research efforts.
 

Sample Time Line
 

1. Start date: ............................................................. (Lesson 8)

2. Explain the topic by: ........................................... (Lesson 9)

3. Research from: ........... to: .................................... (Lesson 10)

4. Writing/Construction from:................ to: ............

5. Editing from: ................................... to: ...............

6. Submission by: ..................................................... (Lesson 11)

7. Presentation on: ....................................................

Fifth Grade - Geography - Lesson 10 - Political Geography of Europe
Objectives

Locate specific countries on historical maps of Europe.

Appreciate the changes over time in the boundaries of European countries.

Compare and contrast successive political maps of the same region.

Understand that territorial disputes may lead to war.

Understand that war may lead to territorial changes.

Report on research in progress.
 

Materials

Outline political map of Europe in 1997 (for transparency) attached

Outline political map of Europe about 814 (for transparency) attached

Outline political map of Europe in 1190 (for transparency) attached

Outline political map of Europe in 1560 (for transparency) attached

Outline political map of Europe in 1815 (for transparency) attached

Outline political map of Europe in 1914, before World War I (for transparency) attached

Outline political map of Europe in 1923, after World War I (for transparency) attached
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Bender, Lionel. Simon & Schuster Picture Pocket Geography. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers: New York, 1991.

Sipiera, Paul. I can be a Geographer. Children's Press: Chicago, 1990.
 

Teacher Reference

Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier: Danbury, 1997.

Hirsch, E. D. What Your 5th Grader Needs To Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Nystrom. The Nystrom World Atlas. Nystrom: Chicago, 1995.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book: Chicago, 1994.

Zeman, Anne and Kate Kelly. Everything You Need to Know About World History Homework. New York: Scholastic, 1995.
 

Teacher Background

This is a lesson about territorial changes that have occurred in Europe from 814 to 1997. Students should understand that countries come into existence, and may cease to exist. Also, their territories may shrink or expand.

Deliver this lesson at a brisk pace. In World Civilization, the following topics were introduced: the geography related to Western Europe in the Fourth Grade, the geography of the Mediterranean region in the Third Grade, the history of Ancient Greece in the Second Grade, and the geography of the seven continents introduced in Kindergarten and reviewed in the First and Second Grades.
 

Procedure

Start by telling students that countries come into existence and may cease to exist. Also, their territories may shrink or expand. Remind students that a country is the territory of a nation or people. Tell students that this lesson deals with some of the territorial changes that have taken place in Europe from 814 to 1997.

Present the political map of Europe in 1997. Tell students that Italy (point it out) was founded in the 1870s and the Czech (CHEK) Republic (point it out) was founded in 1993. Tell students that Portugal (point it out) has remained stable over most of the period from 814 to 1997 and Poland (point it out) was founded, ceased to exist as a country, then reappeared as an independent nation in 1918.

Present the political map of Europe in 814. Tell students that 814 is the Middle or Dark Ages. Explain that feudalism was the system of government then. The feudal system existed in hundreds of kingdoms called fiefdoms (FEF-duhm). These fiefdoms were ruled by kings and lords, called nobles. These nobles gave land and protection to a vassal or lesser lord. The vassal paid taxes and provided military service to the noble. The land given to a vassal was called a manor. Serfs (similar to slaves) worked the land while the nobles lived in castles. Squires were young nobles in training. Squires who had mastered the skills and duties of a noble became soldiers or knights of that noble.

Tell students that 814 is the year Charles the Great or Charlemagne died. Charlemagne had been named Holy Roman Emperor or leader of the Holy Roman Empire by the Pope, because he had united Western Europe and helped spread Christianity throughout his empire. Tell students that the Holy Roman Empire (point to it) included territory that is now France, Italy, Germany, Austria, and Switzerland, etc.

Present the political map of Europe about 1190. Explain that kingdoms grew out of fiefdoms that were united through conquest. Tell the students that the Kingdoms of Portugal (point it out), Hungary (point it out), and Poland (point it out) had been founded prior to 1190. Point out that the Holy Roman Empire continued to exist but had grown smaller since 814.

Present the political map of Europe about 1560. Tell students that this is the period of European History called the Renaissance. Point out that the territory of the Kingdom of Portugal had grown in size since 1190, however, the shape and size of the Kingdoms of Poland and Hungary (point them out) had not changed since that time.

Present the political map of 1815. Tell the students that from the 1500s, the monarchs of Europe had begun to increase their power and to unite larger and larger territories. By the 1600s, they had unlimited power. These monarchs were known as absolute monarchs. Spain had discovered the New World and had become powerful and Prussia (point it out) under Frederick the Great added Poland (point it out) to his territory. Explain that Prussia became a much larger Germany in the 1800s. Tell students that the Kingdom of Portugal (point it out) continued to occupy the same territory as it did in 1560. Point out however, that the map of Poland continued to change shape.

Present the political map of Europe in 1914. Tell students this is before the start of World War I. Italy (point it out) had been founded in the 1870s. Portugal (point it out) occupied the same territory as it had for nearly four hundred years. Point out that Poland had disappeared from the map, part of its territory having been absorbed by Prussia (later, Germany) its neighbor to the northwest.

Tell the students that World War I (1914-1919) was the first war in which countries from all over the world took sides. It is also considered the first modern war because modern inventions such as submarines and airplanes were used. World War I started when Archduke Ferdinand of Austria-Hungary (point it out) was killed in 1914. Tell students that the true cause of the war was that Germany and Austria-Hungary especially wanted to increase their territories.

Germany lost the war and as a result Poland gained its independence in 1918.

Present the political map of Europe in 1923. This is after World War I. The Czech (CHEK) Republic had not yet been founded. Its territory was part of Czechoslovakia (point it out). Tell students that Portugal's territory had not changed. Poland (point it out) had reappeared on the map after it gained its independence in 1918. Explain that Portugal (point it out) has remained unchanged since the 1500s.

Tell students that Portugal's territory has remained stable in size over time partly because Portugal had few neighbors and no significant disputes with neighboring countries. Point out that the boundary between France and Spain and the sea boundaries of Britain have also remained stable over long periods. Explain that the boundary between France and Spain has long been on the Pyrenees mountains. Explain that mountains make stable boundaries probably because mountains stand out and so mark territories clearly, thus lessening the likelihood of territorial disputes.

Tell students that the Second World War (1939-1945) was the second war in which all the major nations took sides. World War II started because Germany and Italy tried to conquer their neighbors. In 1938, Germany took over Austria and added it to its territory. In 1938, Adolf Hitler, Germany's leader captured all of Czechoslovakia. In 1939, German troops took over Poland, then Denmark, Norway, Netherlands, and Belgium. Explain that Germany lost the war and the country along with its capital, Berlin was divided into two.

Return to the contemporary political map of Europe and explain that in 1993, Czechoslovakia divided into three countries. One of those countries was the Czech Republic (point it out).
 

Ongoing research

Students should report to the teacher on the progress of their research.
 

Fifth Grade - Geography - Lesson 11- Political Geography of Europe: Major Cities
 

Objectives

Determine the type of map (political or physical) that is appropriate for the lesson.

Recognize map conventions: boundaries, capitals, etc.

Recognize national capitals on a map of Europe.

Recognize the influence of physical geography on political geography.

Recognize the influence of physical geography on human settlement.

Submit completed research projects.
 

Materials

Classroom-size political map of Europe

Outline political map of Europe (for transparency and one copy per student) attached

Outline political map of Europe annotated for teacher (attached)
 

Suggested Books

Student Reference

Bender, Lionel. Simon & Schuster Picture Pocket Geography. Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers: New York, 1991.

Sipiera, Paul. I can be a Geographer. Children's Press: Chicago, 1990.
 

Teacher Reference

Encyclopedia Americana. Grolier: Danbury, 1997.

Hirsch, E. D. What Your 5th Grader Needs To Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993.

Nystrom. The Nystrom World Atlas. Nystrom: Chicago, 1995.

World Book Encyclopedia. World Book: Chicago, 1994.

Zeman, Anne and Kate Kelly. Everything You Need to Know About World History Homework. New York: Scholastic, 1995.
 

Teacher Background

This lesson focuses on the location of the national capitals of the European countries studied in this month's unit. The aim of this lesson is not memorization but recognition of names, symbols, and locations on a map showing the cities under study.

Deliver this lesson at a brisk pace. In World Civilization, the following topics were presented: the geography related to Western Europe in the Fourth Grade, the geography of the Mediterranean region in the Third Grade, the history of Ancient Greece in the Second Grade, and the geography of the seven continents introduced in Kindergarten and reviewed in the First and Second Grades.
 

Procedure

Tell the students that in this lesson they will learn where the capitals of the European countries already studied are located. Define capital as the seat of government, the place where officials meet to pass laws for the whole country. Use the example of the United States to illustrate this point. Ask: What is the capital of the USA? (Washington, D.C.) Explain that Washington D.C. is the capital because the President of the United States and Congress have their offices there. Tell students that the capital is not always the largest city. To illustrate this point, ask: What is the largest city in the USA? (New York City) Ask: What kind of map would be appropriate for use in this lesson, a physical or political map? (political)

Tell students that certain natural conditions attract people towards one place, and others push people away from other places. People settle where it is easy to meet their basic needs and move away from places where it is difficult for them to survive. Ask: What are some basic human needs? (food, clothing, shelter) Ask: What geographic conditions make it easy to meet those needs? (accessible land, abundant water, fertile soil, moderate climate) Ask: Which of these features studied in physical geography would make it more difficult for people to meet their needs, mountains or plains? (mountains) Ask: Why don't people settle densely in mount-ains? (inaccessible, steep land, dense forests, extreme weather) Explain that mountains are a push factor. They discourage settlement.

Tell students that by pushing people away, mountains tend to form natural barriers or frontiers between countries. Explain that very few cities and only one national capital, Lomé, the capital of Togo in West Africa is on a border between countries. Explain that in case of war or military attack, it would be difficult to defend a city on a border since it would be within easy reach of the enemy.

Ask: What physical features pull people to settle, plains or mountains? (plains) Ask: Which conditions make it easier to meet people's basic needs? (accessible land, abundant water, fertile soil, moderate climate) Ask: What single physical feature studied in Lesson 8 occurs in part on low-lying land, helps create fertile soils, and brings abundant fresh water? (river) Remind students that rivers have especially wide valleys near their mouths, that floods deposit rich soils, and that rivers provide fresh water for humans, animals, and serve as transportation networks. Explain that seas provide a means of transportation and are a source of food. Tell students that these are pull factors. They attract human settlement.

Tell students that nearly half of the European countries studied here have their capitals located on rivers. Tell them that Vienna (point it out), the capital of Austria (point it out), is on the River Danube. Tell students that there are major cities on the German Rhine, that the Oder river in Poland runs close to a few cities, and that the Rhone in France brings water to a few important French cities, too.

Ask: What is the capital of the United Kingdom? (London) Tell students that London (point it out) is on the river Thames (TEMS). Tell them also that Dublin (point it out), the capital of Ireland, Paris (point it out), the French capital, Warsaw (point it out), the Polish capital, Prague (point it out), the Czech capital, Budapest (point it out), the Hungarian capital (Danube tributary), Ankara (point it out), the Turkish capital, and Madrid (point it out), the Spanish capital, are all on or close to rivers. Explain that many of these cities are also important ports for sea, land, and air traffic, and are the economic centers of their countries.

Tell students that Amsterdam (point it out), the capital of the Netherlands is on the sea coast, that Copenhagen (point it out), the capital of Denmark, Oslo (point it out), the capital of Norway, Stockholm (point it out), the capital of Sweden, Helsinki (point it out), the capital of Finland, Athens (point it out), the capital of Greece, and Lisbon (point it out), the capital of Portugal are all on the sea coast.

Tell students also that Bern (point it out) is the Swiss capital, and Berlin (point it out) is the German capital but that Bonn (point it out) is also an important German city. Brussels (point it out) is the Belgian capital. Tell students that the capital of Italy is Rome (point it out) but that Florence (point it out) has been an important city especially since the Renaissance.

Finally, ask students to imagine that they were free to start a new city from the ground up and could choose any place they wanted to. Then, ask: What would you avoid in the spot you pick for your capital? (Answers may vary.)
 

Ongoing project

Students should have completed their research projects by this time. Completed research projects should be submitted to the teacher for review
 


Bibliography


 





Student Reference

Bender, Lionel. Simon & Schuster Picture Pocket Geography. New York: Simon and Schuster Books for Young Readers, 1991. (0-671-75996-5)

Sipiera, Paul. I can be a Geographer. Chicago: Children's Press, 1990. (0-516-01961-9)
 

Teacher Reference

Encyclopedia Americana. Danbury: Grolier, 1997. (0-7172-0129-5)

Hirsch, E. D. What Your 5th Grader Needs To Know. New York: Doubleday, 1993. (0-385-31464-7)

Nystrom. The Nystrom World Atlas. Chicago: Nystrom, 1995. (0-88463-480-9)

World Book Encyclopedia. Chicago: World Book, 1994. (0-7166-0094-3)

Zeman, Anne and Kate Kelly. Everything You Need to Know about World History Homework. New York: Scholastic, 1995. (0-590-49635-5)