Proposed Unit 4-1: The Ripple Effect
SS Topic: New Jersey
The Stink Files: The
The Weird Club:
Harriet the Spy
Fourth Grade Unit 1
As a small stone is thrown into the vast waters, the ripples created by that stone are felt across
great distances causing changes in the surrounding areas. The theme, “The Ripple Effect,” was
selected as the first marking period interdisciplinary study of New Jersey and the impact of its
legends, people and communities in determining environmental, economical, cultural and state
accomplishments. The goal of this unit is for students to recognize the influence of their state and
appreciate that although it is the third smallest state in the country, it’s presence is felt not only in
the metropolitan areas, but nationwide. Through a variety of possible projects, students will
research and investigate the people, landmarks, tourist attractions, natural resources,
transportation, industry, inventions and other NJ “Firsts” that factor into the makeup of New Jersey.
In addition, students will read a variety of genres including expository text, fiction, and realistic
fiction, as they simultaneously research topics on suggested websites. The thematic unit will
incorporate language arts, social studies and technology standards. Students will be able to work
as individuals, teams and in small groups.
Essential Question: How has the history of New Jersey impacted
• How do personal decisions influence others and the world around them over time?
• What is the correlation of setting and environment in impacting fictional characters’ and
real life decisions?
• What are the physical, economical, structural and social factors that make New Jersey
the “Garden State”? Is this name