This week, my students began learning about the past and present with regards to analyzing how technologies related to communication, transportation, occupations and daily life have changed. The evolution and progress made over time in these areas fascinated my students during our discussions.
I created graphic organizers to help them display their understanding of how communication, transportation, occupations and daily life has changed from past to present. The graphic organizers were set up similar to a time line in that the students could display progress in a sequential order.
Big Universe Learning has a great series of resources for helping students understand how occupations have changed from the past to the present. The series is published by Teacher Created Materials, and the books outlines different occupations and compare how they have changed between "then and now." Since there are many books in this series, I chose a few and assigned them to groups of students. The groups were required to read the book, determine the main ideas and supporting details, and then share their findings with the rest of the class. This way, the students were experiencing opportunities to learn in a cooperative group setting, as well as, present their findings to their peers.
In addition to these books found on Big Universe, I also used the book titled Pony Express to illustrate how communication has changed, specifically using chapter four as my focus. This helped the students begin to realize that the technologies that they have grown used to having did not always exist and that trying to communicate with others long ago was much more difficult.
At the end of the unit, I read the book 2030: A Day in the Life of Tomorrow's Kids by Amy Zuckerman, James Daly and John Manders. This book helped my students begin to wonder what life might be like in the future, and what technologies haven't even been invented yet that could help them communicate, travel, create new jobs or make daily life easier. After I read this book, the students were asked to pick a category (communication, transportation, occupation or daily life) and invent something that would impact this category that doesn't already exist. The students had to then answer reflection questions related to the progression of their chosen category over time. The kids really enjoyed this project and were eager to work on their inventions! It was a great way to culminate this unit, and come full circle in their learning about the past, present and future!