If you need a break from the humdrum routine, or you want to start or end the year with a surprising twist, this integrated language arts, science, math, and social studies unit may be just what you are looking for. It has never failed to get my kiddos energized and interacting. Who doesn't want to be a spy!
When I asked a class of fourth and fifth graders what topics they would choose if they could study anything they wanted, the Bermuda Triangle was one of their top choices. The Bermuda Triangle is an integrated language arts, math, social studies, science, and art unit focused on examining the claims regarding mysterious forces of this notorious area of ocean. Students research records, including reports, newspaper articles, and letters, about a number of disasters purported to have occurred mysteriously in this region. Since people can easily make fake images, videos, and news reports with the technology available today, it has become increasingly important for us and our students to be able to analyze and evaluate everything we hear and see to determine if it is fact or fiction. This thematic unit focuses students on how to do just that.
Whether you use The Bermuda Triangle as a 1-5 day unit for a substitute (complete detailed substitute lesson plans are included) or you choose to spice up a week with a little something special, your students will have plenty of practice using many of the reading, research, writing, problem solving, and thinking skills you’ve been working on throughout the year. I hope you’ll find it interesting and exciting!
Reading activities center on finding, analyzing, and evaluating information written about the Bermuda Triangle in reports, newspaper articles, letters, and magazine articles. Students research the information in order to determine whether the stories of the Bermuda Triangle are FACT or FICTION. A sort activity gives students an opportunity to analyze statements and decide if they are facts, opinions, or theories. Students will make an interactive notebook where they can record the information they find as they complete their research.
Writing activities center on how to construct an opinion essay. Students will create the essay to answer the big question of the unit--is the Bermuda Triangle FACT or FICTION?
Math worksheets provide students with a series of puzzles and conundrums related to triangles. There are 6 worksheets included in the unit.
Science activities allow students to explore magnets, build a compass, explore whirlpools and bubbles.
Art Students create a collage of real and/or abstract images depicting information or ideas about the Bermuda Triangle.
Educational Materials for Literacy Through Art, Science, and Social Studies.
Thematic Unit Materials include:
I hope you and your students will find these materials exciting and educational and that they will provide you with an example of thematic teaching in the upper grades. It’s a really effective, efficient, and fun way to provide instruction for a wide variety of students.
Other Thematic Units for this grade level:
Cave Paintings and Petroglyphs
Art of the Pennsylvania Dutch
Loch Ness Monster
Codes & Ciphers
The unit will take 5 days to complete.
The unit is appropriate for grades 4-6.
135 pages. PDF 87MB