This is my last post on the CA Regions Series. I have shared with you the work my students did for the desert, mountains, coast and now I am sharing our last unit on the series – the CA Central Valley. We wanted to make something special for this region as it was the last one we were studying. The final project was amazing, so here is a snap shot of our progression.
1. Throughout each one of the units, we talked about a major problem in the state of CA – water (lack of that is). We brought articles and showed a couple of videos on how water was affecting our state (especially the central valley). Here is one of the videos we showed. We liked this video particularly because it touched upon the drought’s effect on CA agriculture: http://www.nytimes.com/video/us/100000002980095/californias-extreme-drought-explained.html
2. After discussing the different features that make our central valley unique, we moved towards small group work. Students were divided into groups of 4. Each group had the ‘task’ of becoming an expert on a specific agricultural product. They would then demonstrate knowledge of their assigned product by creating a game board with questions pertaining to the item they were assigned
- Each group received a non-fiction article that described the ‘product’ they were to become experts at
- We (teachers) modeled the process: how to formulate questions and what we were looking for
- Among the agricultural products studied were: almonds, avocados, walnuts, dairy, veggies (kale, lettuce, etc), fruits (grapes, tomatoes, oranges, etc) and water
- Many of our resources (reading) came from this WONDERFUL website: http://www.cfaitc.org/factsheets/ The site has several fact sheets that make teaching this unit so great. There are plenty of other resources one can use. Feel free to visit the site and browse all the different resources
- Teachers can sign up and receive FREE resources for their classrooms
3. Rules for the games were as follows:
- Cards will have questions on them about the product
- Each small group will come up with 10 game cards. That way each game will have 20 card
|Raw California Almonds|
|I showed my students a few pictures of the farmer’s market I usually go to|
|Students playing the board games|
Whether you teach in CA or not, I am wondering about how you teach about your state. Feel free to comment below.