Grade 2History and Geography

Focus: The Grade 2 Core Knowledge History and Geography unit Culture of Japan explores the physical geography and society of Japan, as well as the rich cultural traditions that still resonate within this modern, industrialized nation.

Students begin the unit by looking at the geography of Japan—its thousands of islands and varied landscapes. They will travel through mountains, rice fields, and volcanoes, and take a look at Japan’s wonderful wildlife. Then students will explore the large and populous cities of Japan and the technology and industrialization that fuels its economic growth. They will learn about the Japanese government and the day to day life of their fellow students in Japan, including school. Finally, students will study the rich art and traditions that underlie Japan’s culture.

In just three chapters, students will learn about origami, haiku, agricultural and religious festivals; the physical geography that informs much of Japan’s way of life; and the busy modern culture that is Japan today.

Additional Search Terms: social studies • geography • religion • nonfiction • informational text • volcano • Mount Fuji • snow monkey • cranes • fishing • paddy fields • Tokyo • yen • robots • emperor • earthquakes • kimono • origami • shichi-go-san • haiku • woodblocks

CKHG Grade Levels: CKHG units are correlated to topics at the grade levels specified in the Core Knowledge Sequence, which allows students in schools following the Sequence to build knowledge grade by grade. In other settings, individual CKHG units may be used as supplemental resources. In general, the content and presentation in the CKHG units for Grades K-2 are appropriate for students in the lower elementary grades. The Student Book is intended to be read aloud by the teacher as the students look at images on each page.

We have intentionally left the pacing and timing needed to teach the content presented in the Teacher Guide and Student Book very flexible. Teachers can choose how much they read aloud and discuss in a single instructional period, as well as how often each week they use the CKHG materials.

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