State Research using ChatterPix
This project is modeled after a book called The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller. After reading the book students will create their own state and make it come to life. Students will research a state of their choice. They will collect basic facts about their state including what region it is a part of. Then they will evaluate their facts to decide which should be shared. They will use an app called ChatterPix (iOS) to share their work.
- Be able to recognize that the United States can be divided into different regions.
- Be able to use print and digital resources to find and collect information about a state.
- Be able to use the research process to choose a topic, collect information about a topic, and share their information with others.
- Be able to evaluate the information they have collected to determine what is important to share.
- Be able to take a screenshot and create a sound recording using the ChatterPix app.
State: A state is a defined area in the United States that has its own government. There are currently 50 states.
Region: A region is an area of land with common features.
Evaluate: To evaluate is to assess a set of data or information.
Fact: A fact is a thing that is known or proved to be true.
Landforms: Landforms are a natural feature of the earth’s surface.
To prepare for this lesson:
Have a copy of the book The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller.
Read the book before sharing it with students.
Print copies of the graphic organizer or have another way for students to take notes about their state.
Check to see if your school has a subscription to PebbleGo Next. (Michigan eLibrary will give you free access through http://mel.org for those that live in Michigan.) You may be able to request a free trial to use during the project. Identify the username and password if available.
Make sure you can access Britannica Elementary through mel.org.
Have a print book available on all 50 states for students to use for their research. Have these divided into sets by regions.
Make sure you have the Chatterpix app (iOS) on the device that will be used to record.
Become familiar with the ChatterPix app and how it is used.
Here is a short video tutorial demonstrating ChatterPix.
Have a list of the 50 states available so students can easily spell them correctly when searching.
Decide if students will draw their own map or use a printable version. If using a printable option have those prepared.
See Accommodations Page and Charts on the 21things4students.net site in the Teacher Resources.
Directions for this activity:
This project will need to take place over several lessons.
Goal: Have students choose their state.
- Introduce the project. Tell students they are going to be choosing a topic for their research today.
- Have the state books out around the room divided by region for students to explore.
- Review with students what a state is and what a region is.
- Show students how to access and browse PebbleGo Next if it is available to you.
- Show students how to access and browse Britannica Elementary available through mel.org.
- Give students time to explore both the digital and print resources to see what state they would like to learn more about.
- Have them share their topic with you.
Lessons Two and Three:
Goal: Have students begin their research. Write down where their information was collected from.
- Make copies of this graphic organizer or another way of collecting their notes. (If you use Google Classroom assign as an assignment to make a copy for each student.)
- Explain that you will be collecting facts about their chosen state.
- Review what a fact is.
- Review the resources they have available to find their information using the nonfiction book, PebbleGo Next (if available), and Britannica Elementary.
- Show them where to write down the source they used to find their information.
- Give students time to collect their facts.
Goal: Create a map of their state including major cities and landforms.
- Show students where to find a map of their state. This could be from their nonfiction book or another resource where they can draw the state on their own.
- If you do not want students to draw the shape of the state on their own you can use a printable map of each state from this site - https://www.50states.com/maps/.
- Have students add major cities, lakes, rivers, and other landforms that are part of that state.
- Give students time to create their map to allow it to be detailed and neat.
- This map will be part of their final product.
Goal: Read aloud the story and have students evaluate their facts.
- Read aloud and discuss the book The Scrambled States of America by Laurie Keller.
- Identify that this was a fiction book since the states could talk. Share that even though this is a fiction story we are going to model our final project after it to share our research.
- Explain that students are going to evaluate their research today. They are going to review their information and share four facts they think are the most important to share. One of those facts needs to be the region their state is in.
- Give students time to review their information and write down their four facts.
Goal: Use ChatterPix to record and share their facts.
- Have students collect their completed map and the four facts they choose to share.
- Model how to use the ChatterPix app. Show them how to take the picture of their map, create their mouth, and record. Then model how to add eyes, hat, or glasses.
- Tip: Make sure to decide if they will be able to add other filters or use stickers that are not related to the state they are researching before allowing them to record.
- Have them record their project.
Two ways to share:
- Have them save their project to the camera roll. Then airdrop it to one device. Compile all the recordings in an iMovie so it can be shared in one video.
- Have a ChatterPix museum. Have students open their project on a device. Then have them walk and explore each other's final projects.
Different options for assessing the students:
- Check for understanding
- Research notes where students collected the facts about their state
- Final recording that they create to share their work
- If you use Google Classroom create a rubric for the students to follow
MITECS Competencies & ISTE STANDARDS
MITECS: Michigan adopted the "ISTE Standards for Students" called MITECS (Michigan Integrated Technology Competencies for Students) in 2018.
3a. Students plan and employ effective research strategies to locate information and other resources for their intellectual or creative pursuits.
3c. Students curate information from digital resources using a variety of tools and methods to create collections of artifacts that demonstrate meaningful connections or conclusions.
6b. Students create original works or responsibly repurpose or remix digital resources into new creations.
6d. Students publish or present content that customizes the message and medium for their intended audiences.
Devices and Resources
CONTENT AREA RESOURCES
Students will make connections from a fiction story included in the lesson to their own research.
Students will draw a detailed map of their state including major cities and landforms. This will be used as they create their final project.
Students will describe ways in which the United States can be divided into different regions. Students will use print and digital resources to find and collect information about a state.
This task card was created by Kelly Hincks, Detroit Country Day Lower School, June 2020. Updated November 2021.