SS Gr 5 Unit 5 Teacher Tips

Fifth Grade Social Studies
Looking at Unit 5
Bigger, Better, Faster: The Changing Nation
Marlo Mong
January 6, 2009
Here’s the
How do I know what concepts to teach?
• Use your curriculum map!
– Remember, unit one lists all the
concepts used throughout the year
– Every piece of content from the GPS is
listed under a relevant concept
• These are suggestions – make
them work for your class!
• Keep up with it all using a
concept wall.
– Students should be beginning to see
some patterns emerging from their
study of history so far.
A Sample from the Framework:
SS5H3a, SS5E1b, SS5E3a
Explain that cattle sold for about $4 each in Texas, but nearly $40 each in the
Northern and Eastern United States. Discuss the supply of cattle in each area and
compare that to the price. Explain that low supply leads to higher prices, and as a
result, the ranchers worked hard to get the cattle supply to the people who were
willing to pay the most. Discuss modern examples of items that are brought into
Georgia for consumers. Consider how prices are affected by the supply and the
demand for the item. Fresh produce at the grocery store is a good example of this
concept. The teacher may want to invite a produce manager from a local grocery
store to discuss this with the class.
Integrate some math!
Here is another real world application of interdependence and voluntary exchange!
Have students look at the label in their shirt (or have a friend loo, if they’re not
feeling flexible ) to see where the shirt was made.
Write the name of the country above the appropriate continent on the graph. For
example, if the shirt was made in Germany, write “Germany” in the Europe
Another Sample…
Using resources from the school Media Center or public
library, collect a text set of historical fiction picture books
featuring immigration at the turn of the century. A sample list
is provided on
Fiction_for_Kids_and_Teens but many, many more picture
books exist on this topic. Work with the school media
specialist for help locating appropriate books.
Provide a book to partners or small groups to read and
discuss. Rotate the books between groups so that each
group has the opportunity to read several picture books. As
students read, they should fill out the “What can historical
fiction teach me about people’s lives?” recording sheet (see
After students read several picture books, the teacher will
read a nonfiction book about immigration or show a movie
such as “Immigration to the United States: American
Heritage Series” found on As
students listen or watch, they should fill out a Venn diagram
(attached below) listing similarities and differences between
the fictional stories and the nonfiction information. Students
will share their findings as a whole group or in small groups.
Students should understand the reasons
people emigrated to the United States.
•Students do not need to know specific
names of countries that emigrated to the
•Think about what was going on in Europe
and else where in the world that was
causing or even forcing families to move to
the US.
•For example: people were emigrating to the US
from countries that were suffering from poor
economic conditions, places where jobs and
farms were failing; countries that were at war;
even places where you were persecuted for your
faith, etc.
•You could then use specific countries that are
examples of this mass migration like Ireland or
China or even the migration of Jewish families to
the US so students can see examples of the
conditions of life in those areas that made families
choose to leave their country.
•This leads into how places like Little Italy or
Chinatown would be created in the places
(major cities) where emigrants would settle.
Don’t forget location, location, location!
SS5G1a, b
On a large map of the United States, ask
students to locate important historical locations
including the Chisholm Trail; Pittsburgh (Steel
City), Pennsylvania; and Kitty Hawk, North
Carolina as they are discussed in class. Keep
the map on display throughout the year.
Additional sites will be added to the map later in
the year (including Pearl Harbor, Hawaii and
Montgomery, Alabama). Students should mark
these locations in a personal map to be kept in
their Social Studies notebooks. Next to each
location students should note why these
locations were historically important. A blank
political map of the United States can be found
Teachers may choose to give a quiz to
determine if students are able to identify these
locations on a map.
Reinvent an old vocabulary strategy!
Use the Frayer Model to help students understand
the importance of places included in the standards
by turning this into a game.
For more information on the Salton Sea, visit this
Economic Resource
from United States Economics History
Georgia Council on Economic Education
This lesson refers to the file
Fifth Grade Unit 5 GCEE Lesson
3 that was sent at the beginning
of this Elluminate session.
This lesson was included in the
frameworks as a resource; to
get the full sequence of lessons,
you can register for this
workshop from the Georgia
Council on Economic
The Seymour, Texas Chamber of Commerce has created this website that shares history, maps, and tales from the Great Western Trail.
Maps of the Chisholm trail
Learn more about the life and presidency of William McKinley..
Information about the presidency of William McKinley. There is a brief explanation for the US’s involvement in the Spanish-American
The National Parks Service website shares information about the areas Theodore Roosevelt lived and explored before his presidency.
Students can also learn about the need for conservation, a movement important to President Roosevelt.
From Time Magazine, read a fun and unique perspective about the work and attitude of Theodore Roosevelt. Within this article are
several paragraphs about the reasoning behind the US’s involvement with the Panama Canal as well.
Panama Canal Authority: Learn about what’s happening with the Panama Canal. At the bottom of the home page, look for a link called
webcams and see real time video of ships passing through the canal’s locks. There are also links for researchers and students that tell
the story of the Panama Canal and a kids link with pictures, puzzles, and an explanation of how the canal works.
Remember! These are only suggested resources. Make sure to preview
these sites before sharing them with your students. You know your
students better than I do!
Look up several of the inventions created by the inventors listed in several of the 5 th grade standards.
Compile by the Education Technology Center at Kennesaw State University, this has links to more resources about important inventors
and inventions. There is also a section that has lessons and activities.
More Resources! 
The Wright Brothers for Kids:
How They Invented the Airplane
By: Mary Kay Carson
Topeka Bindery
Theodore Roosevelt
Thomas Edison
Time for Kids Biographies
HarperCollins Publishers
A Man for All Seasons: The Life
of George Washington Carver
By: Stephen Krensky
HarperCollins Publishers
Dear Dr. Bell... Your Friend,
Helen Keller
By: Judith St. George
HarperCollins Publishers
My Brothers' Flying Machine : Wilbur,
Orville and Me
By: Jane Yolen
Little, Brown Books for Young Readers
The Groundbreaking, Chance-Taking Life of
George Washington Carver and Science
and Invention in America
By: Cheryl Harness
National GeographicChildrens books
Thomas Edison
Alexander Graham Bell
Photo-Illustrated Biographies
Coughlan Publishing