And finally, Ta-da! I have found the theme for my classroom. After over a month of debating and weighing different ideas, last week I was browsing through the Utah State Curriculum for Social Studies, Grade 4. In the midst of standards on Utah's natural resources and erosion, I came across these little ditties:
Students compare governments and economies of Utah and Japan."
Students use geographical tools to analyze political and physical features of Utah, the United States, China, and Asia."
Utah and...Asia? Who would've thought?
Random, I know...and yet, so promising. Frankly, I would rather do a random theme that comes from the core curriculum than something completely arbitrary, such as frogs or crayons. Cute themes, to be sure--but I think the fourth graders might like Asia a little better.
I have already started looking for deals on Chinese lanterns. If anyone has some random Asian artifacts they are looking to give away, I would be interested in getting them for my class.
Perhaps the reason I am most excited for this theme is that I can pull in a lot of literature to integrate in to the theme. One of my favorite children's books, given to me by Aunt Janet, is Minyo and the Moon Dragon.
I think this is going to work out well. I also have some great plans for math integration...but more on that later. If you have any tips and suggestions, I will take them in a heartbeat.