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Lesson Plans Created by TeachNet Adaptor Grants
My Neighborhood
Name: Patricia Lee
School: PS 124
Address: 40 Division Street
City: New York, NY, 10002
Original Project: My Neighborhood
Author: Carolyn Hornik
URL: http://teachersnetwork.org/teachnet-lab/hornik/neighborhood/neighborhoodindex.htm

How did you modify this unit for use in your own classroom?: One of the lessons in the original unit required students to write about their neighborhood by looking at photos of their neighborhood. As part of our study on New York City landmarks, I gave students photos, pictures or postcards of landmarks. Using writing strategies that we have learned such as including details and descriptive language, students wrote their observations and what they learned.

List your primary instructional objectives for your students.

  Students will learn about New York City landmarks by making observations through the study of a photo or picture .
  Students will apply and incorporate details and descriptive language in writing about what they observed and learned.
  Students will compare their observations with others who wrote about the same landmark to see similarities and differences.

What role did technology play in this curriculum unit?: Photos of New York City landmarks were downloaded and printed from the Internet. The following web sites were used: EMPIRE STATE BUILDING Homepage http://esbnyc.com Homepage Kids Tab www.esbnyc.com/kids www.esbnyc.com/tourism/tourism_history.cfm CENTRAL PARK ZOO Homepage http://nyzoosandaquarium.com SUBWAY Useful Information http://nyctourist.com/subway_page1.htm Subway Art http://nycsubway.org/perl/artwork CONEY ISLAND Astroland www.astroland.com Steeplechase http://history.amusement-parks.com/insidesteeplechase.htm What’s inside http://history.amusement-parks.com/steeplechasegrounds.htm Horse Race http://history.amusement-parks.com/steeplechaseride.htm Parachute Jump http://history.amusement-parks.com/parachute.htm Dreamland http://modern-ruins.com/coney/coneytext.html Coney Island Hot Dogs http://brooklyn.about.com/od/coneyisland/gr/Nathans.htm STATUE OF LIBERTY Homepage www.statueofliberty.org

How did you assess and evaluate student performance?: First, I looked at the picture or photo that the students studied and wrote about. The first level of assessment was based on whether the student was able to give details based on the physical and apparent evidence from the picture or photo. The second level of assessment was based on whether the student was able to use descriptive language to give as many details as he/she could about their landmark. Lastly, I also looked to see which students could draw inferences based on what they observed and learned.

Please tell us briefly about your background & teaching experience: Ms. Lee is originally from Hong Kong. She has lived in Hong Kong, Australia and Boston. She graduated from Wellesley College with a BA in economics and music. After college, Ms. Lee worked for two years at a non-profit organization in Hong Kong, sending English teachers to inland China. She then attended Teachers College for an MA in Elementary Education and has been teaching 2nd grade at PS 124 for the last 3 years.

What are your recommendations for other teachers interested in adapting this unit?: Have students work in groups during some of the lessons so they can brainstorm and bounce ideas off each other. It creates a collective learning environment and students can mutually excite and propel each other's learning.

Samples of Student Projects

  This is written about a picture taken inside a subway car. A few passengers are on, but it is quite empty. The student connects her observations with prior knowledge and makes further inferences.
  This is written from a postcard of the Empire State Building from an aerial view. The student makes simple observations and uses detailed, descriptive language.
  The student studied a picture from the book, “Boy of Steel” by Ray Negron and made some acute observations about the Yankees by studying a picture of their locker room. The student uses descriptive language to record her observations and includes some inferences she has drawn by connecting her prior knowledge and personal experiences.


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