Is your grade 4 Social Studies class about to dive into learning about Alberta’s geographical regions? If so, this blog post is for you! If you use any of the ideas that I share, please take a picture and tag me on Facebook or Instagram! I would love to see your geography unit in action.
Looking for information about teaching Canada’s Geographical Regions in Grade 5? Check out this blog post that’s full of ideas!
1) Set the Stage to Engage
Geography is traditionally a unit which can be a bit dry. One way to spice it up and make the learning more fun is to do mini room transformations.
Now don’t worry, I’m not suggesting that you go out and spend $100s of dollars and create an instagram worthy room each day. However, adding a tent and some sleeping bags when you visit the Rocky Mountain Region or placing a “Welcome to Stampede” sign on your classroom door when visiting the Grasslands Region can really make an impact.
2) Take a Trip
Kids are super motivated by vacations and travel. They are naturally curious and want to experience new places. They also LOVE talking about the places in Alberta that they have already traveled to.
You can leverage these interests by turning your unit into a trip across Alberta. You might even choose to launch your unit by giving each student a bus ticket and telling them to bring their favourite road trip snack to school for the big kick off.
3) Incorporate Videos into your Unit
It’s no secret that grade 4 students LOVE to watch videos. I find that short clips are the most effective.
The key to utilizing videos in the classroom is to FOLLOW UP after showing the clip. Students can turn & talk with a partner, share as a whole group or respond to a comprehension question.
4) Allow Kids to Debate
There are a ton of current issues that are of great interest to Grade 4 Alberta students. I highly encourage you to facilitate a debate surrounding these issues when visiting the corresponding region.
For instance, when visiting the Boreal Forest Geographical Region of Alberta, you might ask students to debate Forestry or the Oil Sands.
If you’re not sure how to effectively facilitate a debate, I have included a step by step guide in my Alberta’s Geographical Regions unit.
5) Have Students Make Connections With What They Are Learning
Asking students to reflect on their knowledge of Alberta’s geographical regions by answering whether or not they would want to visit or live in a specific region is a great critical thinking activity. It forces students to synthesize all of the learning that they have done about that particular geographical region of Alberta.
There you have it, my top 5 tips for teaching Alberta’s natural regions. If you don’t have time to create all of these activities from scratch, I have an awesome unit on TPT that covers everything your grade 4 kiddos need to know about Alberta’s geographical regions. Best of all, there are print and digital versions!