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Venn Diagram Country and City Life
It has been great for me to start with a big piece of chart paper with venn diagram circles on it. As I start reading the OCR stories as well as others, they share their observations about what is similar and different about city and country life. It is relatively easy for them to start talking at once about this comparison because we did such an intensive study of "city wildlife"! I enjoy seeing them using that knowledge as we explore country life.
International Country Life Collage
I have really enjoyed making a collage on posterboard for this unit with my classes (It can be a center or "may do" after other work is done). It is perfect for all the old National Geographic magazines that focus on rural places and landscapes and have such poinant images. I am also trying to expand "country life" to include much more than the antiquated, provincial, romanticized farm life that OCR dwells on. My school has so many families who have immigrated to the US and most of them have rural backgrounds. There are some major "funds of knowledge" that the kids already bring with them, including that they may raise urban chickens and visit rural Mexico during the summers.... Opening with a diverse look at country life around the world is very rich to me, and they also begin at once to try to quantify what country life is and how it looks very different from place to place.
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