State of Connecticut

Interrelationship of Geography and People


State of Connecticut Unit Matrix

First Trimester

Essential Questions: How does where you live affect how you live? How have the geographic features of Connecticut shaped its history? How does the passing of time change the way people interact with the environment?
Essential Understanding: There is an interrelationship between the natural environment and the history of the people in a particular area.
Performance Task: Powerpoint presentation

Grades 3-5 Research Cycle

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Reading Unit:Nonfiction: Structures and Strategies
Writing Unit:Nonfiction/ExpositoryInformational Writing in the Content Area
Social Studies:Interrelationship of Geography and People
Media/TechnologyThe Research Process
Week 1
  • Various types of non-fiction
  • Read non-fiction for a variety of reasons
  • Expository vs narrative non-fiction
  • Prepare for reading by activating prior knowledge
Immersion: Elements of expository nonfiction
Lessons 1-3:
1. Geographic features around school
2. Geographic features of Connecticut
3. Different types of maps
Google Earth
Week 2
  • Using text features to build on previous knowledge
  • Hold on to new learning by asking “What did I just read?”
  • paraphrasing
  • Categorizing new information into boxes and bullets
  • Using expository text structure to communicate
  • Analyzing expository writing
  • Planning writing using notes from research
Lessons 4-6:
4. Climate and things that impact climate
5. How Connecticut's climate impacts our lives
6. How Native Americans lived in Connecticut
Research process
Week 3
  • Grow thinking by adding new information to boxes and bullets
  • Synthesize and summarize
  • Reflect: What is something new or surprising about what you learned and how it affects the way you live?
Guided Practice:
  • Organizing subtopics
  • Using detailed sentences
  • Concluding sentences
  • Crafting leads and concluding paragraphs
  • Revision
Lesson 7:
7. Comparing Ways of Life

Sample PPT for performance task

Citing sources
Week 4

Publish and Celebrate

Introduction to Power Point
Storyboarding (writing?)
Locating images
Week 5

Creating a Power Point presentation
Week 6

Transdisciplinary: Transdisciplinary learning is the exploration of a relevant issue or problem that integrates the perspectives of multiple disciplines in order to connect new knowledge and deeper understanding to real life experiences. Transdisciplinary units culminate in authentic assessments with a genuine audience. Transdisciplinary units weave throughout the school day and are taught through multiple disciplines. Although content may be grounded in a discipline, the unit is not considered a science unit or social studies unit.

Inquiry: A student-centered, active learning approach focusing on questioning, critical thinking, and problem solving. It's associated with the idea "involve me and I understand."

Subject/Discipline Areas: Social Studies, Language Arts, Media.

Time Required: 4-6 weeks

Unit Summary: The study of environmental features of Connecticut (geography and climate), and how it affected the lives of people in the past (Native Americans of Connecticut) and today (ourselves).

Social Studies
Strand: 1.1 Significant events and themes in United States history
Grade Level Expectations:
1. Identify the cultures and traditions of Native American peoples before colonization

Strand: 1.4 Geographical space and place
Grade Level Expectations:
8. Locate man-made and physical characteristics of Connecticut.
9. Compare and contrast map types (e.g. political, physical, population).

Strand: 1.5 Interaction of humans and the environment
Grade Level Expectations:
10. Describe how physical systems (weather and climate) have affected people’s lives in
Connecticut (e.g. economy, recreation, transportation).
11. Explain the relationship between the environment and Native Americans’ way of life in
Strand: 1.12 The interdependence of local, national, and global economies
Grade Level Expectations:
22. Analyze how trade among colonists and with Native Americans in Connecticut affected each

Language Arts (Reading)
Common Core Standards: Reading Strand: Reading for Information Standards
Key Ideas and Details

  1. Refer to details and examples in a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
  2. Determine the main idea of a text and explain how it is supported by key details; summarize the text.
Craft and Structure
5. Describe the overall structure (e.g., chronology, comparison, cause/effect,
problem/solution) of events, ideas, concepts, or information in a text or part of a
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
8. Explain how an author uses reasons and evidence to support particular points in
a text.
10. By the end of the year, read and comprehend informational texts, including
history/social studies, science, and technical texts, in grade 4-5 text complexity
band of the range.

Language Arts (Writing)

Performance Task: PowerPoint