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TeachNet Grant: Tourism in South America
Mary Kate Blakeman

Public School 88
1340 Sheridan Avenue
Bronx, NY 10456

Grade/Subject: Grade Level: 3/ Reading, Writing, Social Studies, Science and Technology
About the Grant:

About the Grant:

  • Students take on the role of a tour guide in a South American country of their choice.
  • Students will use multiple kid friendly texts, search engines to conduct research and find websites.
  • Students will collect information on the geography, people, and culture of their chosen country.
  • Students will create a persuasive brochure that they will publish using a Microsoft Word brochure template.
  • Students will then celebrate their work at a travel expo where they convince other classes to travel to their country.
How This Grant was Adapted:

How This Grant was Adapted:

What Students will do:

  • Students will learn how culture, geography, and the people in various communities of South America represent it as a whole.
  • Students will be able to use a wide variety of quality resources to collect information.
  • Students will learn how to navigate websites, use text features, and take notes from texts, charts, and pictures.
  • Students will plan where the text and images will go in their brochures. They will use persuasive language to write the various sections of their brochures.
  • Students will strengthen their computer skills; typing using Microsoft word, navigating sites on the internet, experimenting with font styles and colors, as well as inserting images into the final brochure.

What Students will learn:

  • Students will learn about a specific country in South America. They will learn about the geographical features (land, climate, waterways, vegetation, wildlife) and the cultural features (sports, arts, music, food, dress, language, iconic places to see).
  • Students will learn how to collect notes to develop persuasive writing for their brochure.

Final Project/Product:

  • Students will create a Brochure on South America using a Microsoft word brochure template.
  • Students share their work at a travel Expo and they get to see which place ohter students would like to visit most often!

Overall Value:

  • This project gives students the motivation to learn information and do something fun and creative with it by creating a brochure.
  • Students get to choose their own country and try to convince someone why it would be the best place to visit!
  • Students are not just collecting information and taking notes to spit information back out. They internalize the information and use their creativity to display their new found knowledge.
  • Students navigate the internet, using many different websites that specifically cater to various reading levels and ELLS.
  • Students get to design and personalize their own brochure based on what they think is the best way to entice the reader (where the text and images are places, color, size, font style, and language).
  • Students can feel proud of themselves at the travel Expo where they see which places they can convince students to travel to the most often.

Tips for the Teacher:

  • Teacher can take this project and implement it in any grade level by adapting the topic!
  • Teachers can have students create a brochure on which community job is the most important, which community is the best place to live/visit, or even which part of the United States or the world is best to visit.
Project URL


  1. Students will know how to use and navigate through different resources on the internet and in actual books, magazines, and newspapers to collect information.
  2. Students will know how to look at photographs, charts, subtitles, captions, and diagrams to collect information.
  3. Students will be able to identify the level of importance of different notes. 
  4. Students will know how to map out and design a brochure. 
  5. Students will know how to use Microsoft word to create and publish a brochure.
  6. Students will know how to insert images, vary the size, color, and style of font, and placement of the text and pictures in the brochure template.
  7. Students will know how to write texts using persuasive language. 
  8. Students will understand geographical features of a South American country.
  9. Students will understand cultural features of a South American Country. 
  10. Students will learn about different countries in South America and what makes them unique places at the travel expo.
Websites Used

This website is very easy to navigate.  It is a great starting point for collecting basic information on a country.  The website displays both a map and flag of the country as well as fast facts students can quickly learn.  It also provides additional fact monster encyclopedia links that give further information on a country.  Some of the topics students can research are land, people, economy, government, and the history.

http://worldbookonline.com/student/home (need subscription but actual site is included here from my own)
This edition of worldbook online if for the more advanced readers.  The text is more challenging but provides more valuable research opportunities.  Students can research by keyword or content area subject (narrow and broad).  Aside from the basic information on Peru this website provides students with hundreds of encyclopedia articles, various maps, tables, pictures, articles, and more research websites that can be of additional support.  If students just choose to click the link on their country they will find information on the country, facts in brief, government, people, land regions, climate, economy, and history.  Students will be able to view pictures under each topic.  Students can even save specific articles in a reseach folder right on the website.

http://worldbookonline.com/kids/Home (need subscription but actual site is included here from my own)
This edition of worldbook is for readers who need more support.  The website is a bit more simple when navigating although it does provide students with both a keyword or content area subject research option (narrow or broad).  Students will find information on their country broken down into topics such as introduction, land, people, resources and products, and history.  Students have the opportunity to read other articles, view pictures, and analyze maps.  The text is both easier to read and more simple when navigating. 

http://worldbookonline.com/eeh/Home (need subscription but actual site is included here from my own)
This website is a Spanish edition of the worldbook online.  This site is great for those ELLS that speak Spanish and need extra support.  It is similar to the previous two websites that students can conduct specific or general research.  It also provides students with articles, photographs, and maps. 

http://auth.grolier.com/login/go_login_page.html?bffs=N (need subscription but actual site is included here from my own)
This is a great research tool for advanced readers.  The text is challenging but very thorough. 

This website gives specific information on the countries Peru and Brazil.  It provides enlarged maps of each country with various site seeing places that can be clicked for more information and photographs.  It provides a history timeline, opportunities to learn the native language, and a quiz to help students see what information they have learned. 

This website shows many different virtual tours of different countries in South America.  A specific favorite is the one on Peru's Machu Picchu. 

This is another great website that provides information and shows virtual tours for just about any country you are looking for. 

This site focuses on the Amazon Rainforest.  It is a DVD collection through PBS that provides additional information on one of the greatest parts of South America.  Students learn about both the water world and life on land.

This is another great site that students can begin with collecting information on a specific country.  Students will learn about the location, geography, climate, people, religion, language, history, economy, and other industries. 

This website breaks down a lot of information into basic categories.  You can find flags, maps, and many photos of each country.  There is information from geography, people, transportation, economy etc.

Standards Addressed:

Standard 1:

3.1b: draw maps and diagrams that serve as representations of places, physical features, and objects
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 2:

2.1c: study about different world cultures and civilizations focusing on their accomplishments, contributions, values, beliefs, and traditions
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 3:

2.4c: view historic events through the eyes of those who were there, as shown in their art, writings, music, and artifacts
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 4:

2.3a: understand the roles and contributions of individuals and groups to social, political, economic, cultural, scientific, technological, and religious practices and activities
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 5:

2.3b: gather and present information about important developments from world history
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 6:

3.1c: locate places within the local community, state and nation; locate the Earth's continents in relation to each other and to principal parallels and meridians
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 7:

3.1d: identify and compare the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of different regions and people
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 8:

3.2a: ask geographic questions about where places are located; why they are located where they are; what is important about their locations; and how their locations are related to the location of other people and places
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 9:

3.2b: gather and organize geographic information from a variety of sources and display it 
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 10:

5.3a: understand that citizenship includes an awareness of the holidays, celebrations, and symbols of our nation
Grade: 3
Subject: Social Studies

Standard 11:

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for information and understanding.
Grade: 3
Subject: E.L.A.

Standard 12:

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for literary response and expression.
Grade: 3
Subject: E.L.A.

Standard 13:

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for critical analysis and evaluation.
Grade: 3
Subject: E.L.A.

Standard 14:

Students will read, write, listen, and speak for social interaction.
Grade: 3
Subject: E.L.A.

Standard 15:

Students will apply technological knowledge and skills to design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy human and environmental needs.
Grade: 3
Subject: Math, Science, and Technology

Lesson 1:

Title: Locating Places of Interest in South America


  1. Use a map of South America to locate three different places of interest.
  2. Use the compass rose to navigate location of oceans and bordering countries of the chosen countries.


  • Post its,
  • pencils,
  • maps of South America (website can be used as well)


  1. Teacher tells students they will begin to study South America as a class.  Teacher tells students they will act as tour guides and create their own travel brochures.
  2. Teacher and students interactively find South America on a map.  Teacher prompts students to think about locations of oceans and specific countries using the compass rose.
  3. Teacher tells students they will get to pick three different countries that they may be interested in researching.  They will get one of their choices.
  4. Students look at maps independently and choose three different countries that they would be interested in researching for the brochure project.  Students write their choices on post its.
  5. Share- Teacher and students make research groups according to areas of interest.


  • Teacher informally assesses if children know how to use the compass rose to locate specific places. 
Lesson 2:

Title: Researching and Collecting Information Using Various Websites, Books, Magazines, and Newspapers


  1. Students will be able to use multiple resources to collect information on their specific country.
  2. Students will differentiate between significant and insignificant information when taking notes.
  3. Students will take notes on focused subtopics such as land, culture, people.
  4. Students will learn to navigate the different websites to locate specific information.
  5. Students will use photographs, text, tables, and other features of nonfiction to take notes. 


  • Note taking sheets,
  • pencils, various websites for research, books, magazines, and articles on South America.


  1. Teacher tells students that today they will begin to use different resources to find information on their South American countries. 
  2. Teacher models how to use a book to take notes.  Teacher shows students how they can use the table of contents and the index to have a more focused note taking session.  Teacher models how to look at the subtitles, photographs, and tables to help jot down important notes.
  3. Teacher models how to use the multiple websites (different world book online sites, groliers, and atlaspedia etc.) Teacher shows how to locate information by keyword and general searches.
  4. Students take notes across a few days, weeks depending on how much time is available.  Students recognize which information is significant and insignificant.  Students also decide which websites work best for their reading levels.


  • Teacher conferences with groups of students. 
  • Teacher assesses student strengths and weaknesses when taking notes. 
  • Teacher jots down noticings as which resources students use and how well they navigate the internet. 
  • Teacher makes noticings on how notes are conducted.
Lesson 3:

Title: Mapping out our Brochures


  1. Map out the Brochure.
  2. Develop subtitles for different text categories on the brochure.
  3. Decide where images and text will be displayed.
  4. Decide which images will be placed on the brochure. 


  • plain white paper,
  • pencils,
  • examples of actual brochures


  1. Teacher tells students now that they have collected information in different categories about their country, they will map out their brochure.
  2. Teacher shows students various brochures and how they are set up.  Teacher points out the location of text, photographs, captions etc.
  3. Teacher models how students can map out their brochures by writing down where the subtitles for each category will go, where images will be displayed, and what specific images will be displayed.
  4. Students use plain white paper to map out their brochure structures.


  • Teacher walks around and makes note of the structure of each brochure.  
Lesson 4

Title: Drafting our Brochures Using Persuasive Language


  1. Make a list of persuasive words on chart paper.
  2. Use persuasive Language to make our writing convincing and exciting.
  3. Use notes to create writing on each subtopic. 
  4. Edit and Revise our Writing.
  5. Conference with teacher and Publish writing.


  • Persuasive language chart,
  • examples of travel brochures,
  • lined paper


  • Teacher conferences with students at various stages of their writing. 
  • Teacher makes sure students have properly revised and editing writing before publishing their work.
Lesson 5:

Title: Creating the Brochure using Microsoft Word


  1. Use Microsoft Word to choose a brochure format.
  2. Utilize the various text styles, fonts, sizes, and colors to differentiate and make each brochure individualized by creativity and physical appearance.
  3. Type text for each section of the brochure.
  4. Insert images into the document.


  • Microsoft Word, Google and other image capturing sites


  1. Teacher models how to open up Microsoft word and browse through the project gallery.  Students click on brochure and choose a brochure structure they would like to use.
  2. Teacher models how to type the text and vary the size of the boxes where the text fits.  Teacher models how to move the text and image parts to where students would like them to be located.
  3. Teacher models how to vary the font style, size, and color when typing the text.
  4. Teacher models how to type on the front of the brochure and the back side of it.
  5. Teacher models how to insert pictures by dragging them to the box, using cut and paste, or inserting clip art and google images.
  6. Students work on these steps across days. 


  • Are students able to experiment with the font style, size, and color?
  • Do students incorporate images into the brochures?
  • Do students present themselves well at the travel expo?
  • Do students persuade other students to visit specific countries?

Mary Kate Blakeman graduated from the Fordham University Graduate program with dual certification in general and special education for elementary students.  She has been working as a third grade teacher at Public School 88 in the Bronx for the past four years.  Using differentiated instruction to assess and drive instruction has become essential to her teaching style.  Mary Kate has become very interested in using technology to increase motivation and maximize student learning.  In recent years, she has taken multiple courses that support the use of technology in the classroom. 


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