Alexis Scheck’s PBL Content Area Unit Plan
Unit Title: New Jersey Counties Related Lessons:
Grade Level: 4th Subject: Social Studies
State Content Standards Addressed:
New Jersey Core Curriculum Content Standards (NJCCCS) (New Jersey Department of
6.1.P.B.1 Develop an awareness of the physical features of the neighborhood/community.
6.1.4.B.6 Compare and contrast characteristics of regions in the United States based on culture,
economics, politics, and physical environment to understand the concept of regionalism.
6.1.4.B.5 Describe how human interaction impacts the environment in New Jersey and the
6.1.4.B.8 Compare ways people choose to use and divide natural resources.
6.1.4.B.10 Identify the major cities in New Jersey, the United States, and major world regions,
and explain how maps, globes, and demographic tools can be used to understand tangible and
intangible cultural differences.
New Jersey Department of Education. (readopted 2008). New Jersey Core Curriculum Content
Standards. Trenton, NJ. Retrieved May 312, 2010, from
1. Creativity and Innovation: Students demonstrate creative thinking, construct knowledge,
and develop innovative products and processes using technology.
2. Communication and Collaboration: Students use digital media and environments to
communicate and work collaboratively, including at a distance, to support individual
learning and contribute to the learning of others.
International Society for Technology in Education. (2008). National education standards for
teachers (NETS-T). Retrieved from
Students will research a New Jersey county and learn about its population, features, attractions,
and historical value. Students will design an authentic artifact to entice visitors to that county.
Prepare a large map of New Jersey showing its 21 counties.
Time Instructional Activities Materials and Resources
1 class period of 35 minutes Students and teacher create a 55” plasma connected to desk
concept map using top using Interwrite software.
Webspiration about NJ
counties. Try to name the 21
counties and some features we
know about each. Use this as
a KWHL chart
10 minutes Students choose to work in a Student Notebooks
small group of 2 or
independently to create an
authentic artifact that will
entice visitors to their chosen
One Class Period Introduce students to Computer Lab
Delicious a social
bookmarking site and School
Fusion class website that
contains some links of
websites that could provide
them with information on
their counties. Allow students
to begin researching their
20 minutes Create a blog where students Computer Lab and/or Student
can share their knowledge Home Computer Access
about any of NJ counties as a
resources for students to use
for their own research on their
chosen county. For example,
I may blog I have visited the
Barnegat Lighthouse State
Park in Ocean County and
explain why I thought it was
interesting. This way students
can share their knowledge or
our state and learn from each
Assessments: Students will be working in this PBL as an out of school project. Although some
time will be devoted in school to check progress and provide help when needed this will be
worked on outside of class. Students will be given a rubric to help guide them to the
requirements of their final project.
Accommodations and Extensions: Students without home computer access will be given more
class time to work on their project. Students may also borrow equipment such as a camera from
Back-Up Plan: Although students are encouraged to use technology to create their final artifact
such as a PowerPoint or video, students may choose to create a poster and give an oral
presentation as if they were a represented for the tourism department of their chosen county.
Lesson Reflection and Notes:
Students were interested in this project, however most students wanted to complete their
research on a county they were familiar with. One that is either the one they live in or
one connected to their home county. The other popular counties were shore points. Not
all 21 counties were chosen or reported on. Therefore, when we shared our work student
did not get exposure to all of NJ’s counties. Next year I can either assign one county per
student or work with the other two 4th grade classrooms so that all the counties are
covered and students can then participate in sharing all the knowledge.