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Unique Places

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School(s): Northeast Elementary
Grade(s): Fourth Grade, Paula Kilts
Subject(s): Social Studies, Reading and Writing, Art

Essential Question(s)

What are the geographic elements and natural resources that make Ithaca and New York unique?
Case Study At A Glance

Students used digital and text resources to understand the regions, resources, landforms, and geography of New York State. Individual, small group, and whole group explorations also involved researching and demonstrating understanding of unique aspects of ourselves and our community. Projects included narrative and persuasive writing, oral presentations, and travel brochures to teach others about favorite places in Tompkins County.
Standards Addressed/Long Term Learning Targets
  • I can identify where a given state is and the region it is in, given a map of NY.
  • I can identify and map NY State’s major physical features.
  • I can draw realistic images of landforms in NY.
  • I can write descriptive passages about NY landforms.
  • I can write a descriptive paragraph about a unique feature of NY State (agriculture, natural resources, physical features, etc.)
  • I can draft, revise and edit a narrative piece about a place I have visited.
  • I can combine information from two texts on the same topic to write about the subject(a state).
  • I can write an opinion piece that supports a point of view (my state is the best).
  • I can use digital tools to produce and publish my work.
  • I can conduct a short research project to build knowledge on a topic.
  • I can provide a list of sources used for a research project.


Bruce Stoff, Ithaca/Tompkins Convention and Visitors Bureau


Anchor texts and Supplemental texts

New York's Land and Natural Resources, Daniel R. Faust and Amelie von Zumbusch (e-book)
True Flix (digital resource)
New York: Adventures in Time and Place, McGraw-Hill - National Geographic Society.


Belle Sherman
Beverly J Martin
Cayuga Heights
Fall Creek
South Hill
Boynton Middle
DeWitt Middle
Ithaca HS
Lehman Alternative


Ithaca City School District
Dr. Luvelle Brown, Superintendent
400 Lake Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
(607) 274-2101