Performance indicators are evaluated through the use of three rubrics and a compare/contrast Venn diagram. The Inuit Report Rubric (see below) assessed individual student's ability to study how the Inuit people live, work, and utilize natural resources, and their ability to identify and compare the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of the Inuit people. The Inuit Project Activities Rubric (see below) assessed individual student's ability to study how the Inuit people use legends and folk tales to transmit values, ideas, beliefs, and traditions of their culture. It also assessed their ability to locate where they live in the world on a globe and/or map, their ability to understand how the Inuit utilize natural resources and their ability to identify the physical and cultural characteristics of their region. The Inuit Presentation Rubric (see below) assessed individual student's ability to convey to their classmates their understanding of how the Inuit people live, work, and utilize natural resources, demonstrate where the Inuit people live, and the cultural and physical characteristics of the Inuit. The compare/contrast Venn diagram assesses each student's ability identify and compare the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of the Inuit People when compared to our own culture and geographic area.
Inuit Project ChecklistInuit Report RubricInuit Project Activities RubricInuit Presentation Rubric
Learning Context/ Introduction
The purpose, objective, or focus of this unit was to provide students with disabilities the opportunity to develop a presentation for their non-disabled peers, which would enhance both groups' understanding of the social studies curriculum.
To be able to succeed with this learning experience, students need to be able to read and to understand material that is presented visually and in an auditory mode at the second grade level. They need to be able to form a complete sentence and to perform basic editing skills with some teacher assistance.
- Select traditional library books about the Inuit people.
- Initiate web searches to locate information and ideas for activities to extend learning. Preview CD-ROM programs. Determine subtopics for the main report and select an appropriate graphic organizer to use with the students.
- To begin this unit of study students worked in small groups of three to four students to fill in a K-W-L chart of what they knew and what they wanted to learn about the Inuit people.
- The CD-ROM program "My First Amazing World Explorer" from Dorling-Kindersley was used with groups of three to four students to locate the tundra area in which the Inuit people live. They were then able to transfer this knowledge to a traditional wall map and globe.
- To introduce students to the lifestyle of the Inuit and how it is influenced by environmental and geographic factors, the CD-ROM program "Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia" from Dorling-Kindersley was used. This program includes video clips of an Inuit child and his family and how they live in the tundra. The students also viewed a video on the tundra region. The video included a segment on the Leo Ussak School where we had sent our keypal messages.
- Students then selected a subtopic to research for the composite report. Slips of paper with the subtopics written on them were placed in a paper bag and students chose at random. Students used a graphic organizer to collect the information by taking notes and then wrote a rough draft of their section. Students used trade books as well as information culled from the Internet by the teacher to research their topic.
A list of Report Subtopics and related activities that support the content understandings is available below.
Each student conferenced individually with the teacher to assist the student in revising the rough draft. The rough draft was also edited for capitalization and punctuation errors. Then using the CD-ROM program "Student Writing Center" from the Learning Company each student word-processed their sections. The spell-checking feature was demonstrated for each student. When each student had added his/her sections to complete, the text portions of the report graphics were added. Students practiced reading their portion aloud to gain confidence and fluency before the classroom presentations.
To complete the unit of study students helped to design a booklet of follow-up activities for their classmates using the computer programs "Crossword Companion" and "Teacher's Helper Plus" from Visions Software as well as additional activities discovered on the Internet. Students helped to brainstorm a vocabulary list for the crossword puzzle and word search. The list of vocabulary words was divided into envelopes of increasing difficulty described as $1.00 words, $5.00 words and $10.00 words. Students took turns choosing words and adding them to the programs. Franklin Bookman Speaking FUNdamental Electronic dictionaries were used by the students to develop clues for the crossword puzzle.
Each page of the composite report was completed by a different student. Various levels of understanding and writing development can be seen. By the end of this unit of study the students’ composite report as well as the booklet of activities indicates that they had met the performance indicator of studying how the Inuit people live, work, and utilize natural resources. Each student diligently completed their sections of the report as well as demonstrating good listening skills and cooperation when their fellow group members were reading aloud their part of the report. They also demonstrated through their completion of the mask and mukluk activities that they understood how the Inuit utilize their natural resources. They were also able to identify the physical, human, and cultural characteristics of the tundra region and the Inuit people who live there. They were all able to demonstrate their understanding of cultural characteristics of the Inuit when they proudly recited their Inuit phrases and displayed their names in Inuktitut. They were able to demonstrate their understanding of the physical characteristics of the region when they completed and discussed the snowflake crystal experiment. All students were able to locate the Arctic region on both a map and a globe. Students were observed completing their slide presentation on an Inuit belief to demonstrate their understanding of how the Inuit use legends and folk tales to transmit their ideas, beliefs and traditions to each generation. They were also observed relating their understanding of the Michael Kusugak folk tale to their classmates during the classroom presentations.Student Work
History of the Inuit
The Inuit People
Virtual Inuit Exhibit
More About the Inuit
My First Amazing World Explorer: DK Multimedia
Eyewitness Children's Encyclopedia: DK Multimedia
Student Writing Center: The Learning Company
KidPix Deluxe: Broderbund
Crossword Companion: Visions Technology
Teacher's Helper Plus: Visions Technology
VideoWhat's It Like Where You Live? from the Missouri Botanical Garden Learning Network and the Evergreen Project (1-800-927-9229)
MaterialsFor snowflakes: aquariums, borax, salt, pipe cleaners, string, pencils
For mukluks: brown paper bags, cotton balls, crayons or markers, twine
For masks: paper plates, feathers, markers, string, construction paper
For creating clues for the crossword puzzle: Franklin Bookman Dictionaries
Web Sites See links at the bottom of the page
All students involved in this project were identified with learning disabilities. The project was designed to enhance their learning in conjunction with their classroom study of the tundra biome. The presentations were made in their regular third grade classrooms as well as a special education self-contained classroom. Individual modifications were made based on each student's reading and writing skills. One on one assistance was provided for editing their writing. To help structure the work a project check off list was used.
To modify the project to use in a regular classroom the teacher may want to assign topics to small groups to research. The associated activities can be used in a whole class setting.
Teacher planning time: approximately five hours
Implementation: one hour per day for two weeks
Assessment/classroom presentations: one hour each
Karen A. Vitek, Nassau Spackenkill School, Spackenkill Union Free School District
This unit of study was developed for the specific learning standard and performance indicators listed to provide students with disabilities receiving resource room services with a motivational project that would extend their classroom study of the tundra and in so doing strengthen their ability to meet the requirements of the performance indicators. Technology was used as a motivational tool as well as an instructional tool to develop a multimedia presentation that they made to the regular third grade classrooms. Another objective of the unit of study was to provide students with a means to boost their sense of competence and self-esteem among their peers.
This was a terrific learning experience not only for the students but also for me. I learned just as much as they did, if not more. This unit of lessons expanded my knowledge of the Internet and its capabilities. It was exciting and at the same time challenging, to design a unit of integrated lessons and activities. The students were very motivated to complete each activity. The best comment I heard was when one of my students said, "I'm getting better each time I read it!". They were beaming with a sense of competency and self pride and they all rose to the occasion and did their best work of the year! Later in the school year, one of the students told of how they received a new encyclopedia and they looked up and found the Inuit.
When I teach this unit again, I would first review whether the Internet sites were still available. I would make use of the Inuit Games book received from the Inuit culture center in Canada to help students to understand how the children use the resources in their environment to develop their own forms of recreation. I have also been able to locate more information and examples of string games that is a specific storytelling method employed by the Inuit. I would demonstrate this method to the students so they could better understand how the Inuit transmitted beliefs and customs from one generation to the next. I would also ask the classroom teacher to complete the Inuit Presentation Rubric for each of their students to increase objectivity.
This learning experience was initially written for and reviewed by the Model Schools program. Additionally, it was reviewed at Dutchess BOCES with Catherine Fish Peterson. From this experience, I learned exactly what performance indicators were and how to integrate them into this learning experience. I also learned how to more closely relate the content understandings directly to the actual activities completed by the students. During the statewide peer review in Albany (March 1999) this learning experience was also reviewed. Through this process, I was able to learn how to improve the assessment plan.