Saturday, May 30, 2015

What's Inside a Missouri Region?

published on: 2/28/2003

Contributing Teacher(s): Merrie Williams

Subject Area: Social Studies/MO History

Grade Range: Upper Elementary (4-5)

Materials Needed:

  • Trade books, textbooks, almanacs and encyclopedias
  • Computers for additional research
  • Inspiration software (not necessary, but helpful for students' organizational purposes)
  • 4" x 6" unlined index cards
  • Cassette player
  • Cassette tapes (one for each group)
  • Construction paper
  • Art supplies
  • Shoe box (one for each group)


  • Students will research one region of Missouri including the region's location, natural resources, landmarks, attractions, and jobs.
  • Students will create time capsules depicting the region studied.
  • Students will share their time capsules with the class.

Process Standards:

  • Goal 1.2 conduct research to answer questions and evaluate information and ideas
  • Goal 1.8 organize data, information and ideas into useful forms (including charts, graphs, outlines)
  • Goal 2.1 plan and make written, oral and visual presentations for a variety of purposes and audiences

Content Standards:

  • Communication Arts 1. Speaking and writing standard English (including grammar, usage, punctuation, spelling, ...)
  • Communication Arts 6. Participating in formal and informal presentations and discussions of issues and ideas
  • Social Studies 5. The major elements of geographical study and analysis (such as location, place, movement,...

    Time Allowance: Approximately five class periods

    Description: Students choose a Missouri region to research, includes artifacts, time capsule, post cards.

    Comments: If students are familiar with the research process, research could be completed in two fifty minute class periods. The students then would use up to three additional class periods to complete the artifacts to be placed inside the time capsule.

    Classroom Component:
    Click here to see the video clip of this lesson.

    "What's Inside a Missouri Region?" provides students an opportunity to research a region of Missouri and to create a time capsule containing items that represent the studied region.


    "What's Inside a Missouri Region?" allows students to choose the Missouri region they wish to research. Using trade books, textbooks, almanacs, and encyclopedias, students will complete the research necessary to complete the project.

    Students should first determine the information that must be shared with the class. To ensure that specific information is shared, provide students with a graphic organizer which will guide students' research. Topics might include climate, land, natural resources, major agricultural products, jobs, landmarks, historic information, etc. Students can provide additional topics that would interest them. If Inspiration software is available, students can generate their own graphic organizer as well.

    Students can work cooperatively or independently to complete this activity. If a teacher chooses to have students complete the time capsule individually, students might be provided opportunities to work cooperatively during the research portion of this activity.

    Once students have chosen one of the regions listed below, they will need to complete their research. (Various textbooks use different names for Missouri Regions. Adjust the names of the regions as necessary.)

    • Northern Plains
    • Western Plains
    • Ozark Highlands
    • Southeast Lowlands

    The artifacts that must be included in the time capsule are listed below. In addition, students are provided a project checklist to assist them as they complete each artifact.

    • an outline map of Missouri with the researched region colored and labeled
    • two postcards that illustrate important natural resources of the region
    • paper doll which has at least two sets of clothing that represents the types of jobs available in the region
    • the lyrics and a tape recording of a jingle or song that would convince others to visit the region
    • a three-dimensional item that is made at school representing a "don't miss" for the region

    Once the artifacts are complete, place the artifacts inside a shoe box. On the outside, students should decorate the shoe box with at least twenty words that describe the region. The words can be cut from magazines or generated with Word Art in Microsoft Word.


    While completing the time capsule, many of the artifacts are motivational in nature and would not be difficult for students with special needs to complete. The following modifications for students may be considered:

    Enrichment or gifted - Students may produce a PowerPoint presentation that can be shown simultaneously with the recorded jingle.

    At-risk or slow learner - The teacher may choose to select the research materials for the following groups of teachers so that the reading levels closely match the students' ability thus reducing frustration levels. In addition, those students that need it will be given additional guidance including dividing the tasks into smaller steps and time specifications for completion of tasks.

    IEP - In addition to the modifications for at-risk learners, students will also be provided with graphic organizers that are more direct and require minimal writing.

    ESL - In addition to the modifications for at-risk learners and IEP students, research materials will be read to students. Students may substitute the jingle with a poster that would convince relatives to move to the researched region. Students could use their primary language to complete the poster and then share verbally with the class the poster.

    Student Self-Evaluation

    Students will use the following form to assure completion of the time capsule. Students can check off the requirements as they are completed.

    Missouri Map

      We have drawn an outline of Missouri
      We have outline and labeled all regions
      We have shaded the region we studied


      We have made two postcards
      We have written a description of each natural resource and how the resource is used b humans
      We have included colored pictures

    Paper Dolls

      We have made two paper dolls
      We have dressed our dolls in clothing that would be typical of someone who works in this region
      We have included at least one accessory for each doll that correlates with his/her job


      We have chosen an easy song (examples you might try include "Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star" or "Mary Had A Little Lamb").
      We have written lyrics that would convince others that they would want to come visit or live in this region.
      Our lyrics relate information we have learned about your region

    Three-Dimensional item

      We chose one landmark or time that represents the area
      We have made the item three dimensional using art materials (construction paper, modeling clay, etc.)
      We have included a label that identifies the landmark
      We have included an explanation of the importance of this landmark

    Scoring Guide for Time Capsule

    Students will be scored based on group work using the rubric below. In addition to the quality of work, students will also be evaluated on how well the group works together.

    4 = Excellent
    3 = Good
    2 = Satisfactory
    1 = Needs Improvement
    Required Elements The time capsule includes all required elements as well as additional information. The time capsule includes all required elements. The time caps

    For additional information contact :
    Merrie Williams
    Osage Upper Elem.
    School of the Osage R-II
    (573) 348-0004

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