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Impact II: Projects & Lesson Plans: E Pluribus Unum

E Pluribus Unum

HOW I T WORKS
One objective of E Pluribus Unum is to see how our nation has evolved from the original thirteen colonies into what it is today. People
from all over the world with many different cultures and languages come to the U.S. and form one country. We first read, discuss, and review If You Lived In Colonial Times by Ann McGovern and take a  trip to Historic Richmond town in Staten Island to see how early Americans lived. Then every student picks a state they would like to learn more about. They use different research tools, such as the software programs Talking Map USA and Where In The USA Is Carmen Sandiego?, which provide information on every state. They also learn how to search the Internet for information. 

The students then write a report on their state . They search the  Internet (www.yahooligans.com) to learn how to write letters to obtain information about other states. The excitement is great when the replies come in from all over the country.  They share the maps, fact sheets, and pictures that are received, and learn how to make a spreadsheet with the names of state governors, capitals, flowers, and birds. They then read If Your Name Was Changed At Ellis Island by
Ellen Levine, which comes with a software program that shows what it was like leaving one’s home for a new place. The students then write of their own experiences in coming to America. They explore the origin of the motto E Pluribus Unum (Out Of Many, Comes One), which is found on our coins, and research the lives of Susan B. Anthony and Sacagawea, the women featured on the dollar coins. All of their work is then laminated and bound into a book that stays in the school as a memento of their accomplishment.

THE STUDENTS
Our school is an urban school with over five hundred students and many special education classes. We are working very hard to bring our reading level up, and it is climbing. Many of our students are newly arrived Americans. A multitude of languages are spoken at home including Bengali, Spanish, Arabic, Russian, and the Slavic languages. 

THE STAFF
Katarina Kupfer has been teaching for sixteen years, the last six of them as a computer teacher. She feels strongly about integrating different  curriculum areas with technology. She designed her school’s web site and is currently participating in a peer review class. 

WHAT YOU NEED
For this program we use computers with Internet capability, a scanner, digital camera, software, multimedia encyclopedias, and sets of the books, If You Lived In Colonial Times, by Ann McGovern, and If Your Name Was Changed At Ellis Island, by Ellen Levine, which includes a software package. Other software programs are The Cruncher, Talking Map USA, and Where In The USA Is Carmen Sandiego? We also use word-processing software such as Student
Writing Center and Word, and for graphics, Print Shop Deluxe and Kid Pix. 

OVERALL VALUE 
Working on this interdisciplinary program gives students a chance to explore different facets of American history, culture, government, and geography, with technology integrated into every phase of the project. Whether it is doing a search on the Internet, viewing software, or putting together a report, technology is integral. The culminating book is something concrete to bring it all together. You can also create slide shows with HyperStudio and a digital movie with a camcorder. Teachers enjoy working on this project because there are no boundaries.

View the Curriculum Unit/Dissemination Packet

CURRICULUM AREAS
Social Studies
Technology

GRADES
Grade K-5

MORE INFORMATION

Katarina Kupfer
Caesar Rodney School
P.S. 164
4211-14th Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11219
Phone: (718) 854-4100
configp@aol.com
Principal: 
Ann Marie Gillen

IMPACT II Catalog 2001-2002

 

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