Sunday, October 12, 2014

Reading is Thinking

In Social Studies we are learning about the regions of the United States. The first region we learned about was the Midwest. We started there because that is the region we know the best because we live in it!

The states in the Midwest region are Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Illinois, Wisconsin, Minnesota, Iowa, Missouri, North Dakota, South Dakota, Nebraska, and Kansas.

We have been learning about these great states and also working on strategies for reading informational text.

One of the things we've been learning about is the products and natural resources of each region. 

We learned that natural resources are the materials we get right from the earth. These are things like sand, soil, water, or trees.

We learned that products are things we can make from natural resources, such as glass, corn, energy, and paper.

Sand is a natural resource. It comes right from the earth.

It can be made into glass, which is a product we use.

We used our iPads and the app Dream-X to make a web, or a Mind Map, of the products and natural resources of this region. We got right to work reading the text and creating our webs.

After working for awhile we got together to take a look at what we had so far.

When we looked at the Mind Maps we created, they were telling us that soil is a natural resource, and wheat comes from soil, and corn comes from wheat, and iron ore comes from corn, and...

Wait a minute. That doesn't sound right!

Hooray! We had a golden opportunity for a lesson discussing what it means to think when we read. Too often we read quickly and don't take the time to make sure we understand something, especially when we read a text packed with information, like this one.

We took a good look at our webs and asked some questions. What does it mean that products are made from natural resources? How will we show that on our web so it makes sense? What information is important and what isn't? Does it matter where we put the words on our web?

We read the selection again, more carefully this time. We made some changes.

When we were finished, we shared our Mind Maps with each other again. They made a lot more sense because we read very carefully and then thought very carefully about how to share the information we learned.

Here are some examples of what we made!

These webs made a lot more sense! We shared them with each other, and we noticed that there were minor differences between them, but that we all had the same natural resources and the same products made from those resources.

We have learned a lot about the MidWest over the past week or so. We shall soon be turning our attention to the Northeast United States.

Before we do so, we are going to do one last activity for the Midwest. Each of the midwestern states is special in its own way. If you were going to go on a vacation to one of the Midwest states (not Michigan!), which one would you choose and why? Let us know in the comment section below.


  1. Dear class

    I would want to go to Iowa case I like corn.

  2. Dear Class,

    I would go to Wisconsin because i want to see how cold and hot it is there.


  3. Dear class,

    I would go to Illinois.

  4. Dear Class

    I want to go to Ohio because it is near michigan

  5. Dear Class,

    I would go to ND to see Mt.Rushmore.

  6. Dear class,

    I would go to North Dakota because its windy thar.

  7. Dear Class,

    I would go to Chicago in Illinois because win I first windt I really like it and I wont to go ugen.

  8. Dear class,

    I would go to Wisconsin and Ohio because they're cool.

  9. Dear Class,

    South Dakota because there are a lot of animals.

  10. Dear Class,
    If I could go some place in the Midwest it would be Wisconsin
    because I want to go to Green Bay.


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