4-6, Unit One:"The Geography of Me"

Introduction & Teacher Background

In this unit, students explore their spatial relationship to Waterton-Glacier International Peace Park (W-GIPP). At the 4 – 6 grade level, maps become more understandable as abstract representations of location, and children become more aware of their relationships to other places.

The sequence in this unit starts with where students usually spend their time – their home, school and play places. Those places are then fit into an increasingly larger picture, so that students feel they are citizens of the northern Rockies and the Crown of the Continent Ecosystem (COCE). Finally, through their own experiences with belonging to a larger picture, they examine the idea that W-GIPP is not isolated in the COCE, but is also a part of the bigger picture.

This is an age when field trips to W-GIPP become meaningful and more concrete. You are encouraged to make use of W-GIPP interpreters and on-site educational programs. It is the perfect time for them to explore the idea that the park belongs to them and they belong to the park.


Activity 1: You Are Here!
Grades: 4-6
Methods: Students map their own favorite playing places and set themselves in the context of W-GIPP.
Time: Two, 1-hour classes, with research time between
Subjects: Geography, mathematics, life science

Activity 2: Boundaries and People
Grades: 5-6
Methods: Students will outline watersheds on a map, and explore the differences between political and natural boundaries.
Time: 1-2 hours
Subjects: Geography, life science

Activity 3: Turning Parks Into Islands
Grades: 5-6
Methods: Students view overheads that show how places can change over time. Then they become land managers and make decisions xabout a range of developments proposed in and near a park.
Time: 1 hour
Subjects: Geography, political science

Last updated: November 8, 2017

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West Glacier, MT 59936


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