North and South America
Age 10-12: Concept 4 - Systems and Interaction: Unit 1

In this unit, you'll explore the political systems, histories, economic systems, and cultures of North America and South America. During this journey through the western hemisphere, you'll discover the geography of two continents, explore the connections between the past and the present day, compare different forms of government, learn about the economic connections between nations, and consider the cultural traditions of North and South American peoples through holidays, foods, music, and crafts. For your final project, you'll host an embassy reception to teach others about the country of your choice or create a trivia card game to test your knowledge of the diverse and interesting countries of these two continents.

This unit can be used independently, but it is designed to be used concurrently with the literature unit for Esperanza Rising.

Prerequisites

  • Able to read and comprehend novels at a late 6th or 7th grade reading level
  • Able to write multiple paragraphs on a topic
  • Familiar with the five-paragraph essay
  • Usually used by children in the fifth or sixth grade

Table of Contents

  • Lesson 1: North American History and Government
  • Lesson 2: Economies of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico
  • Lesson 3: Culture of Canada, the U.S., and Mexico (2 Days)
  • Lesson 4: Central American History and Government
  • Lesson 5: Central American Economies
  • Lesson 6: Central American Culture
  • Lesson 7: South American History and Government
  • Lesson 8: The Economic Systems of South America
  • Lesson 9: South American Culture
  • Final Project: Embassy Reception or Trivia Game (3 Days)

Summary of Skills

Moving Beyond the Page is based on state and national standards. These standards are covered in this unit.
  • Analyze the different forms of government in South America (Social Studies)
  • Analyze the impact of interactions between humans and their physical environments in South America (Social Studies)
  • Assess the relationship between the physical environment and cultural characteristics of selected societies and regions of South America (Social Studies)
  • Assess the role of political parties in society. (Social Studies)
  • Categorize economic resources found in the United States and neighboring countries as human, natural, or capital and assess their long-term availability. (Social Studies)
  • Compare and contrast changes in rural and urban settlement patterns in the United States, Canada, Mexico, and selected countries of Central America. (Social Studies)
  • Compare and contrast the government of the United States with the governments of Canada, Mexico, and selected countries of Central America. (Social Studies)
  • Compare and contrast the roles various religious and ethnic groups have played in the development of the United States with those of Central America. (Social Studies)
  • Describe art, music, and craft forms in the United States and compare them to various art forms in Canada and Mexico. (Social Studies)
  • Describe art, music, and craft forms in the United States and compare them to various art forms in Central America. (Social Studies)
  • Describe how physical processes such as erosion, earthquakes, and volcanoes have resulted in physical patterns on the earth's surface and analyze their effects on human activities. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the ways in which the economies of the United States and its neighbors are interdependent and assess the impact of increasing international economic interdependence. (Social Studies)
  • Describe the ways the United States and its neighbors specialize in economic activities. (Social Studies)
  • Evaluate the ways people of South America make decisions about the allocation and use of economic resources. (Social Studies)
  • Examine the different economic systems such as traditional, command, and market developed in selected countries of North America and assess their effectiveness in meeting basic needs. (Social Studies)
  • Identify significant patterns in the movement of people, goods, and ideas over time and place in South America (Social Studies)
  • Identify ways in which people of selected areas in South America have used, altered, and adapted to their environments in order to meet their needs, and evaluate the impact of their actions on the development of cultures and regions. (Social Studies)
  • Recognize the common characteristics of different cultures in South America (Social Studies)
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