The Travel Pals Journey
- Grades: 1–2
- Unit Plan:
- Watch educational programming to gather information about a particular state.
- Create a state poster for each state the Travel Pal visited
- Write about their favorite thing they learned about each state
- Complete other activities depending on where the Travel Pal visits
- Access and answer emails from the Travel Pal email account
- Access and play geography games on the internet and complete activities from the USA center in class
- Access the internet to use Google Earth and Google Maps to look at places the Travel Pal has visited
- Update the hallway display that is shared with the whole school
"The States" DVD series by The History Channel, art supplies (construction paper, crayons, markers etc.), Travel Pal Interactive Notebooks, computer access, geography games, puzzles etc.
When a TP is sent to a new state students can:
1. Read and respond to their emails. As we would read an email, we would write possible research ideas and questions on separate index cards, so we could easily keep track of new ideas and questions!
2. Watch the corresponding video segment from "The States" DVD's.
3. Write a list of things they learned as a class.
4. Create a state poster (large construction paper) using that information.
5. Write about our favorite thing we learned.
6. Look on Google Earth or Google Maps to access a city, street or landmark.
7. Complete any number of projects in correlation to where your Travel Pals happen to visit! Here are some examples of activities I completed with my students:
- After Pinky went to an Edward Hopper art exhibit, we researched and illustrated Edward Hopper paintings and my students created their own "Hopperesque" painting.
- After Pinky was photographed in front of the White House Christmas tree in D.C., we researched other trees from the White House and then illustrated our own special Christmas tree.
- After Moo went to the Golden Gate Bridge in San Francisco, we researched any special monuments we have here in Austin. We glued pictures of these monuments in out Interactive Notebooks and labeled them. Finally, students wrote about the one they like the best.
- After Moo went to a Phoenix Suns game, students brainstormed as many sports as they could think of, and wrote about their favorite.
- After Snort went to New Orleans and tried jambalaya and attended Mardi Gras, my students tasted jambalaya, ate king cake and were given some Mardi Gras beads to keep.
- My students learned about mountains and other landforms from Colorado and the difference between the American desert of Southwest Arizona and the Egyptian desert in Africa.
8. Finally, we would ALWAYS update our Travel Pal hallway display with new information and student work.
Supporting All Learners
All students are able to participate in projects that challenge their own level of learning because there are so many options to respond to what is being learned; oral discussion, writing, art, educational programming, media interaction and more.
Students complete several geography activities throughout each week by using games, puzzles, books and maps set out for use in the USA Center or by accessing geography games on the Internet such as Scholastic's Puzzled States.
Travel Pal Hallway Display was kept current.
Books were read throughout the project that correlated with different activities.
Review Travel Pal Interactive Notebook.