NYCDOE: Passport to Social Studies: Grade 5, unit 4
This is the fourth unit of the grade five Social Studies scope and sequence, titled: The Western Hemisphere Today. It was developed by a team of NYCDOE staff and teachers, in collaboration with scholars of the humanities and social sciences as well as museum curators. Students will immerse themselves in the topic by discussing focus questions, reading and analyzing a rich collection of diverse primary and secondary sources, examining artifacts, and interpreting images, such as: paintings, photographs, and maps.
This guide offers a multitude of perspectives on how different countries in the Western Hemisphere view issues such as individual and social rights, the role of government in the lives of citizens, and how certain countries respond to challenges that are specific to current events in the Western Hemisphere, all in the service of completing a research project. Topics and skills addressed in the lessons of this unit include having students identify issues and concerns affecting the Western Hemisphere, researching one present-day issue affecting two Western Hemisphere countries, reading informational texts both individually and in small groups and taking notes to support their research, weighing and selecting evidence to support an effective opinion about the issue, and learning how to employ an effective note-taking strategy.
To evaluate student mastery of content knowledge, cognitive processes, and critical thinking skills, this unit includes formative assessments, and a performance-based assessment activity, which has students petitioning the Organization of American States (OAS) on an issue relating to the economic, social, or cultural conditions in the Western Hemisphere. They research different issues as part of a group to decide on one issue that they feel the OAS needs to address. In order to complete this task, students compare how this issue affects two different nations in the Western Hemisphere.
Please note: the complete set of NYCDOE K-8: Passport to Social Studies Core Curriculum materials include a wide-range of trade books and primary documents, in addition to this unit of study. In order to support rigorous social studies instruction and student inquiry, we recommend that teachers integrate these resources into their daily instruction and assessments plans.
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