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Matthew Henson

Unit Opener Ideas:

Grade 4 - Unit 4
Survival

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Survival Scenarios
Submitted by:
Mathew Needleman
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I put my students in groups and sing the Survival Scenarios sheet, I either assign each group a different scenario or ask everyone to discuss each survival scenario. Later, this can be used as the basis for writing and the concept question board but at first we just discuss each scenario trying to focus on thinking logically and using available resources.


Earthquake Survival
Submitted by:
LeVada Gray
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I bring in an example of a earthquake survival kit: water, flashlight, batteries, radio, first aid kit, and samples of imperishable food, etc. The students and I discuss why certain things are included and not included in the kit. It also connects to earth science.


Frontloading
Submitted by:
Jascinth Bernier
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I ask students to share what they know about Anne Frank. Next, I play a united streaming video about the Holocaust and guide students through it. Students record information they wish to know more about. We discuss their feelings and plan to read about a young girl who actually experienced the tragedy.

Teachers can also show a full length Anne Frank film.


What Would You Need to Survive?
Submitted by:
Dunlap
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I had my students write down a list of 10 things that they would need if they were stuck on an island. They had to list them from 1 being the most important to 10 being the least important. It was amazing how materialistic my students were. Then we shared our list and I took tallies of the items students chose on the board. We then had a small discussion about what we would really need and what we wouldn't. Students found this to be interesting and it made them want to research stories about survival.


Cast Away
Submitted by:
Caudle
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This is my first year teaching fourth grade. At a training I was told by a colleague that she had success showing a part of the movie Cast Away as her unit opener. I am trying it in a few weeks.


Red Cross
Submitted by:
Patricia Corona
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I went to the web site of the American Red Cross and looked for information regarding survival. They have a great deal of information and great photos of disaster survivors. I downloaded some of the photos and shared them with my students. This was a springboard for a great discussion of "Survival". I also downloaded info on how to survive a disaster and after we discussed those pieces, I posted them on the concept/question board. I also ordered a disaster kit, which I will bring in and share with my students, when it arrives. I think teaching the student's what to do to prepare for a disaster is a great way to approach the "Survival" unit.


Survivor Man
Submitted by:
Trish
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For my unit opener, I started with a clip from the 'Survivor man' series. I wanted the students to see objects not always intended for survival that would be helpful in a survival situation. Then I gave the students a scenario - they are stuck in the middle of the desert with no working transportation; what 10 things can you use to survive that would fit in your backpack? You can also give the students several minutes to look around the classroom and figure out ways that classroom objects could be used for survival.


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