Danielle Taylor & Rebecca Sacra P.S. 261
New York, NY
Danielle Taylor is in her fourth
year of teaching as a fourth grade teacher. She has
a Masters degree in elementary education. Rebecca Sacra
graduated in 2004 from NYU with a Masters in Childhood Special
Education. Rebecca is a fourth grade CTT teachers at
spent a full week beforehand exploring the geography of the
world as the explorers knew it as opposed to how we know it
today, and what would motivate explorers to take these long,
arduous journeys. Rather than posters, students created Explorer
Trading Cards. Individual timelines were created on index cards
(with each explorer having a different colored border) and
the class timeline was assembled by putting all the index cards
in order and on display. Rather than doing the “World
at the Time” piece, we focused on one motivator-spices-and
did a mini-investigation (adapted from National Geographic).
Students will address the following questions:
Who were the explorers?
Where were they exploring?
WHY were they exploring?
laptops to research a particular explorer in partnerships.
Students also used laptops to do a guided exploration of spices
and spice trade. In addition, students worked in computer class
creating explorer cards with their research.
were assessed by observation of their use of time during laptop
sessions and on the completeness of the guided research. The
effort and completeness of Explorer Cards were assessed as
well as participation in the class timeline.
I made the decision to do a more concrete hands-on timeline because it
seemed developmentally appropriate. For the research, it was helpful
to have them work in partnerships. I highly recommend doing hands-on
exploring of the world’s geography such as labeling continents,
comparing to Ptolemy’s map, and a fold a map down the Atlantic
Ocean to understand the idea of traveling west to get to The East.