A Sample Introduction to the World's Fair
Welcome to the 2013 World’s Fair! At this exciting global expo, our geography experts (Jefferson High School’s freshman class) will be taking teachers and students on a tour around the world. This year’s theme is WATER! How have Netherland’s polders affected the environment? Are some countries guilty of wasting water? How do desert countries manage to gather enough water to drink and irrigate their farms? At the World’s Fair, our geography experts will answer all your questions! Using the tried and true Five Themes method of studying geography, our experts will tell you everything you ever wanted to know about countries around the world.
These resources include an 11 day guideline/student work packet for the World's Fair Project, a cumulative assessment designed for a 9th grade geography course. The idea is to have students select and research a country using the 5 themes of geography while focusing on an overarching topic (water, poverty, pop music, economics, food, geopolitical issues, etc.) completely up to the teacher's discretion. In 2013, I chose water as the theme which could be reused for the 2015 school year, considering California's current water crisis.
In your classrooms, begin with a discussion on the history of the World's Fair, the importance of [insert whatever topic is the focus of the project], and your expectations for this project (download the power point instructions as a guide). Keep in mind that this project requires a considerable amount of computer lab time and visits to the library so reserve those ASAP (especially if you plan to make this a school-wide project). While it may appear overwhelming at first, the project is actually student-centered work and relatively easy on you, the teacher. Aside from changing the World's Fair topic and dates on the student packets (highlighted in yellow for your convenience), there is little prep work to be done. If you plan to make this a school-wide project, make sure you receive advance approval from the principal to hold the World's Fair during lunch (and that students are fed beforehand), coordinate with other geography teachers presentation dates and assigning continents (ex: if Mrs. A gets Europe, Mr. B gets Africa, we avoid the problem of two groups presenting the same country), designate a space (the gym is usually the best spot), and encourage as many students and faculty you can to attend.
When I designed and coordinated our school's first annual World's Fair, I was saluted as a pioneer, an innovator, a total G. I hope it does the same for you.