Caitlin is a sixth grade geography teacher in Connecticut. She holds a Master's Degree in Educational Techonology.
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
- Identify Thailand's political features on a map.
- Draw conclusions about Thai culture from a variety of maps and artifacts.
Common Core Curriculum Standards
Integrate visual information (e.g., in charts, graphs, photographs, videos, or maps) with other information in print and digital texts.
Cite specific textual evidence to support analysis of primary and secondary sources.
Two 45 minute class periods (three centers per day)
- Physical and political maps of Thailand
- Blank maps of Thailand
- Student Atlases
- Bamboo and palm fronds (live, dried, or photograph)
- Thai food dish to sample
- Paper cups or bowls and utensils
- Thailand reflection sheet
- Direction sheets for each center
- Climate map puzzle
- Physical feature name cards
- Buddha statue
- Copy of a Buddhist prayer
- Buddhist prayer flags and prayer beads
- Political Geography
- Physical Geography
- Students will be visiting a variety of Thailand centers. Create a Thailand Exploration Sheet for students to write down their reflections as they visit each center. Have five boxes on the sheet with the name of each center, corresponding guiding questions (see below), and room for students to write their reflections.
- Invite students to look at a map of Thailand. Be sure to choose a map with both physical and political features on it. Have them use map skills to locate and point out the title, key/legend, and compass on the map. Ask students to infer the topic of the day's lesson based on the map.
- Explain Thailand's relative location including the hemisphere, continent, and region in which it can be found.
- Going back to the map of Thailand, have students locate and point out the capital city, three additional cities, and two physical features that they see in the map.
Have the following Thailand centers set up in your room. Create a short direction sheet for the students to follow as they visit each center. Allow small groups of students to visit each center for 10-15 minutes, depending on the time you have. When each activity is complete, the students should answer the corresponding question on their Thailand Exploration Sheet.
|Center 1||Political Geography||Students will use an atlas to complete their own political map of Thailand. Students should label 3-4 political features on the map and create a title, key and compass. They should also label the countries that border Thailand and wrap up with the center guiding question.|
|Center 2||Religion||Provide students with several Buddhist artifacts including a copy of Buddhist prayer, a statue of Buddha, and prayer flags or beads. Have students explore the artifacts and answer the guiding question provided.|
|Center 3||Physical Geography||Create cards naming the major physical features of Thailand. Have students locate each of the features on a physical map and answer the guiding question on their reflection sheet.|
|Center 4||Climate||Create a climate map puzzle for the students to work on. Mount a climate map onto cardboard and cut it into puzzle-like shapes. Have students assemble it to discover the climate of Thailand. Have examples or photos of Bamboo and palm branches to illustrate the corresponding vegetation that grows in the tropical climate of Thailand. After finishing the puzzle, students answer the appropriate guiding question.|
|Center 5||Food||Have a sample of Thai food for students to try. Reach out to a local grocery store, Thai restaurant, or family in your community who may be willing to donate. Have students write down their reaction to trying a Thai dish. Remind students to be respectful of the culture they are learning about in their reactions and reflections.|
After students have a chance to discuss their answers to the guiding questions, wrap up the lesson by having the students do a think-pair-share with a partner to discuss one thing they each learned about Thailand.
As the students move between the centers, have them answer guiding questions to focus their thinking. Some sample questions are:
- Religion Center - How does Buddhism impact the daily lives of Thai people?
- Food Center - Why is rice an important food in Thai culture?
- Physical Geography Center - Near which physical feature do you think most people in Thailand live?
- Political Geography Center - Why are most of Thailand's large cities found near bodies of water?
- Climate Center - How does climate effect they type of vegetation that grows in Thailand?
After the students have visited each center, discuss their reflections as a class.
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