One of the ideas that we have been studying is how geographers use the five themes of geography to describe a certain location/place. These five themes are location, region, place, human-environment interaction, and movement. I hadn't known about these themes before I started sixth grade, so it was cool to learn about what real geographers used to format their describings of a place.
I think that it is really cool that we get to practice describing a place just like real geographers! This way, we feel like actual geographers in class, and we also understand how they write descriptions. Later this year, we'll be able to identify the different themes in writing that is describing a certain place.
The first project that we did this year was on an explorer in the Age of Exploration. The explorer that I researched and presented was a Portuguese explorer named Vasco da Gama. He was the first person to open a trade route to the east, or to Asia. Europeans at this time were dependent on some Asian goods, so when the Crusades closed off their land route to Asia, the King of Portugal at the time, King Manuel I, asked da Gama to lead the expedition to find a sea route.
It's really cool to wonder what would have happened if the Crusades had not closed off the land route. Would we have less geographical knowledge today, or just at that time? We would definitely know less about what the coast of Africa was like in the 1500s, at the time of da Gama's expedition.
My wonderings about this idea:
Vasco da Gama - Hero or Tyrant?
We also learned about Spanish conquistadors; my group researched Hernan Cortes. We made a paper slides video (https://flipgrid.com/a1b171) about him. A paper slides video is when you create a slide show on paper and slide them in and out of the camera while speaking about your topic. I think that it was a really fun opportunity to try a new way of presenting information and collaborate with our group. It was also a chance to be creative and show your artsy self!
One of the projects we did during our fifth unit (Rise of Nations) was the Urban Game Redesign! In class, we had the opportunity to create a small, peaceful village. Mrs. Gilmore then walked us through the urbanization of our city, which grew more and more crowded and polluted, and decreased the sense of community in our cities. In our redesign, we were invited to redo our city with the thought in mind that our city would grow larger.
(Pictures will be attached shortly. 12/13/18)
To see test and quiz scores for Social Studies, see this document.