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Lesson #4 of Green Spaces Unit

Topics

Fiction, Physical Geography

Grades

3rd, 4th, 5th

Subjects

Social Studies, Geography, English Language Arts

Duration

45 minutes

Regional Focus

North America, United States, USA - West

Format

Google Slides

With and Without Green Spaces (Green Spaces #4)

Created By Teachers:
Last Updated:
Oct 2, 2022

Synopsis

This lesson asks students to consider how their communities would look and feel with and without green spaces. 


Step 1 - Inquire: Students draw a community without any green space. Students think, notice, and wonder about this community and how it might feel for humans and animals to live in that community.


Step 2 - Investigate: Students learn about a community activist named Ken Sparks who turned his patio into a green space and inspired others to do the same. Then students listen to a read aloud of Bee and Me.


Step 3 - Inspire: Students conduct research to further explore the relationship between green spaces and mental health, physical health, ecosystem health, and climate change. Teacher collects student notes on a word wall. Finally, students draw another map of their community featuring as many green spaces as they would like to include.

Accompanying Teaching Materials
Inquire
10 minutes
  • Teacher projects a map of the school campus with labeled green spaces to remind students what it looks like.
  • Students draw their own community map with the challenge of not including any green space in their drawing. Students may not include any green spaces, including parks, tree cover, gardens, etc.
  • Students turn and talk, sharing what it might feel like for humans and animals to live in this imagined community with no green spaces.
Inspire
20 minutes
  • Students use the kid-friendly search engine Kiddle to research the relationship between green spaces and mental health, physical health, ecosystem health, and climate change.
  • Students record their facts on note cards or on devices.
  • Students can watch these videos to help them conduct research:
  • Teacher collects students' research on a word wall.
  • When this is finished, students draw another map of their community featuring as many green spaces as they would like to include. Students may label the type of green space they are designing for their community (e.g., parks, tree cover, gardens, etc.).
Teaching Tips

Positives

  • Students have agency over their learning when conducting their own research.
  • This can be integrated into an ELA class, as students will be reading informational text when conducting their own research.
  • This can be integrated into an art class, as students will be drawing multiple maps.

Additional Prerequisites

  • This is lesson 4 of 6 in our 3rd-5th grade Green Spaces unit.
  • It may be helpful to have a mostly blank map of the school campus or community for students to use.
  • Students should have some prior experience conducting research. This lesson uses Kiddle, a kid-friendly search engine.

Differentiation

  • You may need to preselect resources for some students who need scaffolding when conducting research.
  • Some students may need a blank map of the school campus or community. Other students may wish to draw their maps from scratch using blank paper.
  • Some students may prefer to draw, type, or use text-to-speech while taking notes.
Scientist Notes

The lesson accentuates the benefits of having green spaces vis-a-vis not having them in their community. We recommend this lesson for students to explore the benefits green spaces have on ecosystem health, mental health, and physical health. Students can also explore the maps to gain skills in urban planning. All the materials have been properly cited, and this lesson has passed our credibility process.

Standards
  • College, Career, and Civic Life (C3) Standards
    • Dimension 2: Geography
      • D2.Geo.1.3-5 Construct maps and other graphic representations of both familiar and unfamiliar places.
      • D2.Geo.2.3-5 Use maps, satellite images, photographs, and other representations to explain relationships between the locations of places and regions and their environmental characteristics.
  • Common Core English Language Arts Standards (CCSS.ELA)
    • Writing (K-12)
      • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.W.5.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Green Spaces Unit Lesson Plans

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