Who’s a Hoosier by Bringing Indiana to Life
Our team of fourth grade teachers has designed the Social Studies and Language Arts curriculum to provide positive experiences for our students, bringing “Indiana to Life” and allowing for memorable opportunities that make learning meaningful.
We will start the school year off with a unit on Indiana symbols and facts with Indiana’s bicentennial celebration. Students will take a virtual trip to the State Fair by using the website to plan a day at the fair. We will have a short celebration with Orville Redenbacher popcorn and a watermelon seed spitting contest, celebrating Indiana’s 200th birthday.
In the fall, we will continue to our study of the regions of Indiana and create Indiana salt maps. Students get to use their hands and follow steps to create a physical map that demonstrates the characteristics of the three distinct regions as well as highlighting rivers and major cities.
After a trip to the Indiana State Museum in November, students begin studying Native Americans, the first settlers of Indiana. We read and study why Indiana’s rich natural resources satisfied the needs of different tribes of Native Americans. Students will create and present a Native American Shoebox Scene. Each teacher sets up a trading post where students can trade for materials needed to complete their scene. We encourage students to be creative and resourceful when designing their scene. Students write up a research report and present their shoebox to their classmates and other grade levels as well as display their project in the library.
The “Who’s a Famous Hoosier” project is an opportunity for students to learn research skills and strategies. Students think about their own interests and pick a famous Hoosier to research. We provide the students with books, websites, and a way to organize their facts with folders, envelopes, and notecards. Students create a PowerPoint of their famous Hoosier and then dress up in clothes and costumes to become the person they researched. Then we host a television show where we will interview the famous Hoosier in first person.
In spring, each class will learn how to operate and run a small business in Indiana. Students will use math skills, business and economic skills, teamwork, problem solving, and some old-fashioned hard work to operate a lemonade stand. Students fill out a job application and are selected based on the positions available. This is usually a great fundraiser that provides some money for books and other supplies for the school year. Our lemonade stand is in collaboration with Indiana’s Lemonade Day.
This entire year-long exposure to Indiana and the use of higher order thinking skills in Social Studies and Language Arts makes their year in fourth grade memorable and gives them a stronger sense of being a Hoosier!