History of Ann Arbor
In this unit, students use historical thinking to explore their local community’s past and how communities change over time. Reading Workshop, Writing Workshop, and Social Studies will blend together throughout this unit. Using the book Next Spring an Oriole by Gloria Whelan and The Gristmill by Bobbie Kalman, students identify evidence that the story took place in the past. Students will explore the historical fiction genre and learn about pioneer life in early Michigan. Using Popplet, students will create a map showing life in the past with life now and engage in other writing pieces using facts from books and social studies unit. The Popplet and writing will be put on Seesaw. Using Google Earth and Desk Maps students will identify the natural and human characteristics of Michigan and the unique features of Ann Arbor. Students will practice using cardinal directions and using a map key. Upon completion of these lessons, the students will take part in a mystery Skype with a class somewhere in Michigan. The students will use their new map skills to help them find the location of the mystery class. Using a Power Point made by AAPS students will analyze various human and physical features of Ann Arbor. Students will create a timeline using Read, Write, Think website, as they learn how Ann Arbor began by analyzing a powerpoint created by AAPS. Acting as historians, students investigate various ways we learn about history and begin to gather information about the history of their local community. In a lesson on chronology (sequence) they explore a timeline of local community events. In order to enrich the unit, students will go on a field trip to Parker Mill where they can tour a grist mill and see a log cabin. Interpreters will present information on pioneer life in Washtenaw County. Finally, using the information about their community’s past which they have gathered throughout the unit, students create a class book describing and illustrating the history of their local community.