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Here are the responses I received.  Thank you so much to all-I don't know
what I would do without this group!

I'm really behind in my e-mail, so that's why I'm
replying so late, but one thing I've done is taken our
school name, Crescent, and had the kids find a town or
city that starts with the each letter, along with the
page number and map coordinates.

use the book:"How to make apple pie and see the world" - I read it through for
enjoyment and then the 2nd read through they get into small groups and locate
the map or atlas each place she visits in the world.  Of course at the end we
all eat apple jolly ranchers!!

have a great atlas lesson that I do with my kids, but it does take
some time to set up.  It's called gastronimic geography, and the kids are
given a set of questions for places to find, and the answers all have to do
with food.   I have pasted in some of the sample questions below.  I have a
set of worksheets, decorated with graphics that help with the answers, and
they are laminated.  The kids use overhead pens to write the answers, and
the sheets can then be cleaned and reused.  The trick is, you have to make
sure your atlases have the locations in them, and that they are fairly
easily found.  This may be more than you can do quicklly, but it is a good
lesson, and one that the kids have a lot of fun with.  You might want to
keep it in mind for the future.  Good luck,

Linda Lucke

?Gastronomical Geography!

Our fourth grade studies the regions of the US in Social Studies so I did a
reference scavenger hunt with them a few weeks ago.  Each of their six
tables had one type of reference book on it - one copy or more if I had
more.  I used the dictionary, thesaurus, atlas, almanac, the encyclopedia
and encyclopedia index (World Book).  I made up six questions - one for each
source.  Kids had to determine which question could be answered with the
source on their table, find the answer, and write it on a worksheet I had
created.  Then they passed the book clockwise to the next table and started
on the next question/answer.  It was fun and they learned a little bit, I
think.  Questions were all related to states, regions of the US.

) We also do a scavenger hunt with our reference books.

Place your reference books (even sets) out on tables. Questions have
been made from each. Groups of 2 or 3 move about the media center to
each of the learning stations and answer all the questions they can in
6 or 7 minutes. I use a timer to keep everyone moving. They stop when
it rings and move to the next station.

2) We also do 10 minute research reports.
Put an encyclopedia or other reference book in front of each student.

They have 2 minutes to look over the book to get the lay of the land.
They have 5 minutes to read an article of choice.
They have 3 minutes to write a quick summary in their own words of what
they learned.

Have fun.

used different types of atlases -- Atlas of Native Americans, Space
Atlas, World Atlas, Political Atlas, road atlas, etc. I had 7 or 8 of

We divided a class into groups. Each group got an atlas. They had to
work together to answer a sheet of questions about atlases in general
and theirs specifically. Then the groups shared their atlas.

Some of the questions were:  have index?, table of contents?, how is
the atlas organized, copyright date, what was the atlas about, find 3
pictures/maps they wanted to share about their atlas.

I usually left the atlases in their classroom for a week so they all
could look at them. Kids usually responded well.

Kathleen, I have been doing Round Robin Reverence lessons with both
fourth and fifth grades.  I pick a topic, like presidents, states,
inventors and pair the kids up (because I too don't have enough
materials for every kid.)  Then I tell them that they are going to
find the information on the sheet I prepared, and they are going to
use three different reference sources.  My sources have been a
non-fiction book, an encyclopedia and the web.  They could be most
any other resources you wanted, atlases, almanacs etc.  The lesson is
split into three ten minute sections and a third of the kids use the
encyclopedia, a third the web, and a third the non fiction book.
Then I ring a bell and the kids switch to the next source and then
the last one. I number the tables so they know who goes where. It has
worked well.  We have 45 minute grade 4 and 5 classes so this fits
into that period with the additional book exchange time.  I don't
remember where I got this idea but it has been successful.

Our third grade just finished an Information Scavenger hunt.  The room was
set up in centers and the students had a two page handout to fill in.  Each
student was to figure out which center had the material that was needed to
fill in the blanks.  Information resources were: telephone books, Atlas,
encyclopedia, social studies book, and dictionaries.

I am willing to send you a copy if this would be a assistance.

Martha Pilegard, Librarian
Sanger Academy Charter
Sanger, CA

I don't know if this is exactly the kind of help you need...
  Sometimes I make a "sample" page from the source on an overhead
transparency and put in things that I want to illustrate.  I can copy things
from the web onto a transparency page in my computer printer.
  If there aren't enough copies, have them work in teams.
  I like to put questions on 3 x 5 cards and not require a written answer
(give an oral report to your team or to the class); it's less overwhelming.

I play a game with the 4th graders where I give them the name of a place that
they've probably never heard of, or one that doesn't exist.  Their job is to
find out if it does, by using the atlas index (which is where I check for the
names myself). I use names like Timbuktu( they're all POSITIVE that Dr. Seuss
made that one up!) I make sure I write the place down so they have something
to see while they look it up.  I let them work in groups of 2-each group is a
team. Each team gets a different place to look up, so you need less atlases.
After they have all looked up the place I gave them, and found out if there
really is such a place, they ask the other teams if they think it exists.
Each correct team gets a point, nothing for the teams that are wrong.
However, the incorrect teams can get a "rebound" point if they can look it up
and find out what continent it's on. They have to use the index and go to the
actual map to see where it is. I have them write their answers down on big
cards and they all think they're in a game show or something!  Great fun, and
they're learning how to use an atlas at the same time.

Sounds complicated, but if you can find or make up some really silly names
they  enjoy it.  More than once I've heard kids in the lunch line asking
someone in another grade if they think Tarzania is a real place!!

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