Tuesday, November 13, 2012

Where in the World is Vermont?

     Today we switched from our animal science unit to the geography of Vermont.  We began by looking at the globe on Google Earth.  We were able to then zoom in to North America. Most students were quickly able to identify that Canada was to our north and Mexico to our south.  We zoomed in further to the United States.  When asked where Vermont was on the map, some students struggled. Many new that it was somewhere in the east, but the actual location was a little daunting for some. We colored the state green and then colored and labeled Maine, New Hampshire, Massachusetts, Connecticut and Rhode Island yellow. I was pleasantly surprised to see how many students recognized that these states were part of New England.  We colored the rest of the United States red, and students were asked to fill in any states that they may recognize and know. The focus of this unit is not to learn all the fifty states, but I thought it important to give the kids a chance to share what they know about the geography of the United States of America. 
    Tomorrow we will be zooming into New England and looking at Vermont's placement more carefully. We will then zoom in one more time onto the state itself.  In the coming weeks, students will be learning the counties and geographical regions of our state. Eventually everyone will be working with partners to create a Glogster! This is a very cool online poster that is made of video, audio, and visual representations. I can't wait to get started on this project.
    At home, be sure to talk to your students about the geography of Vermont. You might start pointing out the mountains or some of the rivers as you drive.  You may mention when you cross over into New Hampshire and how you knew you were no longer in Vermont.  Mention the borders of the state or even the borders of the counties.  I always encourage talking to your kids about what we are doing in class as it only enhances their learning process and encourages them to be active learners in and out of class.

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