Lesson Plan

Southwest Travel Adventures

Students will learn to use various digital tools to create a travel brochure or newspaper about the American Southwest.
Erica K.
Classroom teacher
Nellie F. Bennett Elementary School
Point Pleasant, NJ
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My Grades K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5
My Subjects English Language Arts, Math, Science, Social Studies

Students will be able to design a travel company that will help families plan a vacation to the American Southwest. They will locate information using online resources by applying their online research skills to identify appropriate websites for learning.  

English Language Arts
reading comprehension
using supporting evidence
writing clearly
Social Studies
cultural understanding
historical figures
Grades 4
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

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To hook the students display colorful travel brochures and flyers in the front of the room from various places and travel destinations.  Ask the class to think about a time that they visited a new place, either for vacation or on a field trip.  What part of going on a trip is the most fun and engaging?  

Student Instructions

Student will respond verbally or using a sticky-note app to describe qualities of a fun vacation.  Ex. answers include, good weather, food, activities, meeting people, learning new things, etc.  

They will think about a place they have visited before and if they received a brochure or flyer about the place.  What features are included in the brochure?  What qualities of a field trip or vacation make the trip fun and exciting?  

2 Direct Instruction

The objective is for the students to use their online research skills to learn about the American Southwest and then design a travel brochure or newspaper to help families plan a vacation in this region.  My method in the beginning of the lesson is to elicit prior knowledge of effective keyword search skills and model how to effectively find information about the topic using Google as a search engine.  


Tell students that they will have to find out four things about the American Southwest and learn a variety of key terms. 

1.  Location- Where is the American Southwest?  Which states?  

2. Geography- What does the American Southwest look like?  Beach, mountains, forest, desert?

3. Famous Landmarks

4. Climate

Key terms to find: Colorado River, Rio Grande River, Grand Canyon, Sonoran Desert, Chihuahuan Desert. 

Student Instructions

Students will watch the teacher model how to effectively research information.  Students will be asked questions about proper search technique to check for their understanding.  

3 Guided Practice

Teacher will travel around the classroom to assist students as they conduct their research on the Southwest.  Be available to answer questions, direct attention, prompt for further understanding and review proper keyword search strategies.  

Student Instructions

Students will recall and apply previously taught Internet search skills to find facts about the Southwest region.  They can record facts in a Google doc or on the Lino website or app. 

4 Independent Practice

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Teacher will move around the room to help students design their travel brochure or newspaper article. It's important to remind students to refer to the grading rubric to be sure that they include all of the important vocabulary terms. 

Student Instructions

Design either a travel brochure or newspaper article using Google Docs or Lucidpress.  Students will have to formulate paragraphs based on the notes they took about the Southwest region.  They can recommend places to visit and suggest what to pack for a vacation to the Southwest.  Next students can decide what images would be most appealing for a southwest travel guide and insert images that they search for from Google Images.  Finally they will select appropriate font type and colors to complete the design of their project. 

5 Wrap Up

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Have students save all of their work in the appropiate Google folder or on Lucidpress. Have students present their travel project by sharing it in front of the class.  

Student Instructions

Share their Southwest Project with the class. Discuss as a class what you learned about visiting the Southwest region. Students should highlight key landmarks, geography and climate.