I think this project was very exciting for 4th grade. They jumped right in and had lots of ideas about the project. Even some of the behavioral issues that normally arise during 4th grade seemed to be minimal during this project. I did hit a snag during my first week of teaching this lesson. I realized that having the bordering state lines exact caused some confusion and frustration among certain students. After noticing this, I quickly adjusted my demonstration to do a walk through of all the lines. This mitigated most of the issues of state lines throughout the project. Also allowing the students to do “ideal” versions of their Colorado can bring in more kid culture which is a huge part of my teaching philosophy. I also adjusted having them use their own laptops provided by the school rather than having each table share a singular iPad. This makes things go a bit faster with looking up proper geography and historical sites in Colorado as well references for layering their visual information.
I think bringing in more contemporary artists like Paula Scher and even Basquiat (although not technically contemporary any more) helps them realize that cartography is not a dying art form or something that Google maps has entirely taken over. Art and mapping can have a lot of promise. I think this is a great start on this unit, I would tinker a little and having each class be able to use their computers and other technology, it helps the students work better at that technology as well as integrate geography, history and their imagination into their
I do believe that one of my goals was closer to becoming accomplished with this unit. I have struggled in the past with making meaningful and authentic connections among the Colorado State Standards, the lesson objectives and assessment. I believe having the students have an in progress critique and a critique at the end of their projects helps them understand positive parts of their projects as well as learn how to defend their choices and elaborate on intended meaning within the project. I believe with every lesson I teach I get closer to this goal.