Site hosted by Angelfire.com: Build your free website today!

 

                                                               

Ms. Thompson's
Third Grade

travels to...

Botswana, Africa

                                                              

Hello Class!  This month's webpage focus is on the country of Botswana in Africa.  This will be our Social Studies focus for the next two weeks.  We will discuss the history, government, geography, climate, economy, culture, and education of Botswana.  This is going to be a very interactive and exciting learning experience.  This webpage will provide you with the basic information we will be covering in class.  It is filled with facts about Botswana, pictures and links to websites that will help you.  As always, a description of this unit's homework assignments and due dates will be posted.  With that being said, I know you all will have everything in on time!  Feel free to share our webpage with your parents!  I have included many of the lesson plans for this unit so they can see what interesting activities we are doing in the classroom.

If you need any help, you know that I am always available for you.  I am in the classroom until 5:00 pm (Monday-Friday) or you can contact me via e-mail or telephone.  My contact information is listed in the school directory, as well as on your syllabus.

   BOTSWANA      

                                                             

History: Botswana, formerly the British protectorate of Bechuanaland, received its name when the country gained independence on September 30, 1966. 

Language: English (official) and Tswana (national)

Government: Parliamentary Republic

In a parliamentary republic, a head of state is elected.  However, the head of state does not have full executive powers.  Many of the powers are granted to the "head of government", usually called a prime minister.

Capital (largest city): Gaborone

Flag:                                                                             

               

 

 

 

Coat of Arms: This is Botswana's coat of arms.  The two zebras are there because of their importance to the wildlife of the country.  One zebra is holding a tusk of ivory, symbolizing the ivory trade that once was.  The other zebra holds an ear of sorghum, a type of grass, symbolizes the crops industrial importance.  The three cogwheels at the top of the shield represent the country's industrial strength.  The word "Pula" is the country's motto and means rain.  Botswana's motto stresses the importance of water for the area.  The three waves in the coat of arms also symbolizes water.  The head of the bull at the bottom of the shield shows the importance of cattle herding for Botswana. 

 

*Homework #1: For this assignment, you will create your own coat of arms.  I want you to think about what things represent who you are.  What is your favorite food?  What is your favorite color?  What is your favorite hobby?  What subject in school are you best at?  What is your family role? What do you want to be when you grow up?  Using these questions as examples, design a coat of arms that represents you.  I want it to be sketched and colored using whatever medium you would like.  I would also like an explanation, in paragraph form, of what your symbols represent. 

Due Date: November 29, 2006

 

 

Geography: The geography is primarily flat with some gentle rolling hills.  The Kalahari Desert covers most of the country.  Other notable geographic features of Botswana are the Okavango Delta and the Makgadikgadi Pan. The Okavango Delta, the largest inland delta in the entire world, is in the northwest.  In the north lies the Makgadikgadi Pan, a large salt pan (flat ground covered in salt and other minerals).

*Just a comparison: Botswana, Africa is about the same size as the state of Texas in our country! Can you locate Texas on a map of North America?*

Botswana, Africa: 224,606 square miles (area)                                                     

      

Texas, United States: 261,797 square miles (area)

      

*Homework #2: take a journey into the Okavango Delta with "National Geographic".  This video clip is a five-minute presentation.  We will be viewing it in class, however I want you to view it again outside of class.  Pay close attention to the animals seen in the video and the geography of the Okavango Delta.  Along with watching the video, I would like for you to pick your favorite animal seen and write a one-page paper.  In your paper, include the characteristics of the animal, the regions where the animal is most populated and the role that the animal plays in Botswana, Africa.

Due Date: November 30, 2006

 

*Homework #3: Take a safari trip in Botswana, Africa.  Using the websites provided, view the information on tourism opportunities in Botswana.  Make a brochure advertising your own safari company in this country of Africa.  Provide the following information: the name of your safari company, the price of the excursion, the length of time the safari will last, the area of Botswana the safari will take place in, the animals expected to be seen on the safari and the climate conditions of the area.  Be as creative as you want!  I expect the brochures to be informative and colorful.

Use these sights: Safari Planner and Eyes on Africa

Due Date: December 4, 2006

Economy:

Education:  Since gaining independence from Britain, Botswana has made great strides in education since 1966.  Before that year, not many people attended school past elementary school.  Can you imagine not being able to go to school after you were in the sixth grade?  When the diamond industry became so popular in the country, more money was given to education.  Children in Botswana are guaranteed ten years of education, and some continue their education past that point.  Many will attend technical schools to learn to be teachers and nurses.

(Left: children in a village in Botswana; Below: schoolroom in Botswana, Africa)  

      

 

*Homework #4: We are getting pen pals!  I have arranged for each of you to have a pen pal in Botswana, Africa.  You will exchange letters with this student until the end of the school year.  We will write the first letter.  You will introduce yourself to your pen pal, telling them where you live, how old you are, what your family is like, what you enjoy doing in your spare time and any other information you would like to share. It might also be nice to include a picture of yourself in your letter to your pen pal. I will mail your letters to Botswana and we will wait to hear back from!  All of you will have a chance to share with the class when you receive a letter!

Due Date: on going until the end of the school year, May 2007

 

 

Lesson Plan #1:

"Traveling to Botswana": Physical and Political Regions

Grade Level: 3rd

Subject Area: Social Studies

Duration of Lesson: 1hr.

Standard(s):

1.   Differentiates between natural physical regions and formal political regions.

 Objective(s):

2a.  Students will demonstrate basic knowledge of bodies of water and other physical regions in Botswana by finding and labeling their locations on a map.

2b.  Students will know the difference between countries and cities within the continent by labeling the country of Botswana on a map and labeling key cities in Botswana.

 Materials/Resources/Technology:

 Anticipatory Set:

Make a slideshow with pictures of some of the major mountain ranges, rivers, lakes, cities, forests, etc. in Africa in order to let the students see what they will be identifying during the lesson.  Hopefully, the neat photographs will peak their interest in the subject.

 Vocabulary:

 Procedure:

Objective 2a.

1.      Show the slideshow you have prepared as your anticipatory set.

2.      Describe and explain the different vocabulary words above using definitions from a dictionary.

3.      Ask the students to identify the pictures on the slideshow as they appear using the vocabulary words you have already taught. 

4.      Give the students a map of Africa.

5.      Have them identify the major physical regions in Africa by looking in an atlas for guidance.

 Objective 2b.

1.      Give the students another map of Africa that only contains lines dividing the countries.

2.      Have the students identify the country of Botswana and cities in Botswana (give the students a list of cities to identify).

 Vulnerabilities:

The lesson plan may be altered to meet the needs of any student with a disability.  Teachers should be aware of special needs in their classroom and plan accordingly.

 Meeting the Diverse Needs of Learners:

Individual students learn in different ways.  Teachers should keep that in mind when teaching a lesson.  Accommodations should be made for students that are either gifted or disabled, or for students that simply need extra attention.

 Extended Activities/Skills:

Students should prepare for a short quiz in class the next day over physical and political regions.  Make sure they know the location of Botswana on the map of Africa and that they are able to locate cities in Botswana that have been discussed.

 Assessment/Evaluation:

The teacher should reflect on the lesson and identify what he/she should have done differently.  Did the students seem to grasp the concept?  Were they enjoying this educational opportunity?

 Closure:

I think it is important for the teacher to point out the major regions he/she want identified on the maps.  The teacher must be clear in their directions to the students.  I recommend that the teacher show the students an example of a completed map so they know what is expected of them.

 

Lesson Plan #2:

"Traveling to Botswana": Plotting Coordinates and Measuring Distance

Grade Level: 3rd

Subject Area(s): Social Studies/Math

Duration of Lesson: 1hr.

Standard(s):

1.  Uses appropriate mathematical language to find a point on a grid using whole number coordinates.

2.  Applies one or more of the following concepts and skills to solve mathematical real world problems.

        Geometry (measurement)

        Graphing

 Objective(s):

3a.  Students will be able to find locations on a map using number coordinates and lines of latitude and longitude.

3b.  Students will be able to measure the distance from one coordinate to the next using a ruler, and the concept of scale, and in turn, be able to pick the most efficient routes.

 Materials/Resources/Technology:

 Anticipatory Set:

The teacher will draw a line on the board and tell the students that it represents a distance of twenty miles.  Draw another line on the board that is 1/20 the length of the first line and ask the students to estimate the distance of the second line.  Explain to them that if the first line is twenty miles and the second line is 1/20 itís length, then it must represent the distance of one mile.  Explain to the students that when using a scale model, everything is proportional to the actual size.

 Vocabulary:

        Graphing

        Coordinates

        Latitude

        Longitude

        Scale

        Measurement

        Distance

        Prime Meridian

        Equator

 

Procedure:

Objective 3a.

1.      Give students a copy of the map you are providing that includes lines of latitude and longitude, and the names of cities you wish for them to find the coordinates for.

2.      Explain to them that lines of latitude go east and west, and lines of longitude run north and south.  Along those lines are number values based on their relation to the equator and prime meridian.

3.      Lines above and below the equator are labeled north and south, while lines to the left ad right of the prime meridian are labeled east and west.

4.      When lines of latitude and longitude meet they form what is known as a coordinate that consists of the number values assigned to those particular points along the lines.  For example, Nashville is approximately at the coordinates 36 N, 86 W.

5.      Give the students time to plot the coordinates for the cities you have identified. 

6.      Allow them to use an atlas or Google Earth for more help.

 Objective 3b. 

1.      Next, explain the concept of scale, referring to the lines on the board you used during your anticipatory set.

2.      Give the students a ruler and have them figure out the distance between two of the points you have provided, referring to the scale of course.

3.      Students may work in groups to answer this problem.

 Vulnerabilities:

The lesson plan may be altered to meet the needs of any student with a disability.  Teachers should be aware of special needs in their classroom and plan accordingly.

 Meeting the Diverse Needs of Learners:

Individual students learn in different ways.  Teachers should keep that in mind when teaching a lesson.  Accommodations should be made for students that are either gifted or disabled, or for students that simply need extra attention.

 Extended Activities/Skills:

Students should use Google Earth at their house or library to identify the exact coordinates of their house.

 Assessment/Evaluation:

The teacher should reflect on the lesson and identify what he/she should have done differently.  Did the students seem to grasp the concept?  Were they enjoying this educational opportunity?

 Closure:

Overall I think this was a very effective lesson to teach to third graders.  It gives them the chance to use the Internet while they try to understand plotting coordinates and measuring distance according to scale. 

 

Lesson Plan #3:

 "Traveling to Botswana": Climate

Grade Level: 3rd

Subject Area(s): Social Studies/Writing

Duration of Lesson: 30 min.

 Standard(s):

1.  Identifies basic components of Earthís systems.  (i.e., landforms, water, climate, weather).

2.  Determines the climate of a region of the world.

 Objective(s):

9a.  Students will be able to recognize climates of different regions around the world.

9b.  Students will be able to identify the Earthís biomes and how their climates are different.

 Materials/Resources/Technology:

 Anticipatory Set:

Lead a discussion on weather.  Ask the students to brainstorm as many different kind of weather as possible.  Focus on the climate of Africa, primarily in Botswana.  Talk about the geography of the location and how weather effects the land.

 Vocabulary:

 Procedure(s):

Objective 9a.

1.       Give the students the climate map of the world.

2.     Discuss the different climates and what the weather is like in these regions.

3.     Have the students choose their favorite type of climate, and write a brief paragraph describing why they like that particular kind of weather.

 Objective 9b.

1.       Assign the students groups.

2.     Review the different biomes of the Earth.  (deciduous forest, tropical forest, desert, tundra, taiga, steppe, grassland).

3.     Assign the groups a biome.

4.     Allow the students to work in groups.  Each group should draw a representation of their biome on the large sheet of paper.

 Vulnerabilities:

The lesson plan may be altered to meet the needs of any student with a disability.  Teachers should be aware of special needs in their classroom and plan accordingly.

 Meeting the Diverse Needs of Learners:

This lesson allows students to be creative and take a hands-on approach to learning.  Group work provides an opportunity for students to work together and share their knowledge with one another.

 Extended Activities/Skills:

For extra credit, students may write a one-page paper on weather patterns and how/why they form.

 Assessment/Evaluation:

The students will be evaluated on their ability to work in a group, not on the content of their work.  Group work allows students to be social and collaborate their ideas into a finished product.  The teacher should evaluate him/herself based on the content of the studentsí work.  Did the work relate to the content knowledge presented?

 Closure:

The lesson was well planned, and the students seemed to be enjoying themselves while they learned.  This activity was great because it allowed the students to be creative and participate in a group activity.