Unit 1: Reflection

Unit 1: Maps and Geography

The first unit of social studies was titled “Maps and Geography”, so expected, we learned a lot about maps and geography. Our unit started off with one of the main questions: In ten years time, will people still be using paper maps? Debates were risen about this question, which led us to the next part. We questioned ourselves about what maps include. From that, the KTW (Know, Think, Why) Chart was born. In this chart, we listed what we know about maps, what we think we know, and why. This chart helped us a lot through the unit. As homework, we were assigned to complete two packets from the textbook. Personally, I think these packets really challenged what you learned from class, helping us improve on the test. Then we looked at what makes a good, interesting, informational map. One website that showed us lots of interesting maps was a website called 40 Maps That Will Help You Make Sense of the World. The picture below was taken from the website.

Map of Europe Showing Literal Chinese Translations for Country Names


That was one of the most enjoyable parts of this unit. I really loved how enjoyable our teacher made this class really interesting, fun and engaging. I really liked how even though the assignments or homework might take some time, the class is unique and enjoyable. I also really like how there’s a lot of systems, like the China Chair, the Current Events Slips, the Elysium Field thing, and the Prize Box. Some may be bad, like the $2 box, where if you lose something you need to pay in order to get it back. The money goes to the charity.


Another cool system that our teacher made was the Badge Award, given out after each unit. For this unit, there are four badges: the Neil Armstrong badge, or exceeding above standards. Bartolome De Las Casas Badge is like meeting expectations, with three different tiers like Gold, Silver and Bronze. The Ferdinand Magellan Badge, which is like approaching standards, also separated with Gold, Silver and Bronze. And the Marco Polo Badge, which represents the developing badge. I was given the Bartolome De Las Casas Gold badge. I agree with the badge I was given, because I hadn’t expect such a low badge, but I also think I don’t deserve the Neil Armstrong badge. From the grades from the assessments and the work habits, I think the Bartolome De Las Casas badge was the most fit for me.


While studying for a test, I found that taking notes on all the main points of the textbook just didn’t work. It was tedious work, and sometimes I didn’t get what the main point was. So instead, for the summative, I studied by reading the two chapters and doing the reading challenge. I especially like studying with the reading challenge because it questions you like the actual test. Similar to last year, I found that using the reading challenge and reading through the chapters again can be really useful when studying for a test.


For Unit 2: Challenges of a Growing Population, I want to set a goal to try to determine if China’s population is decreasing at all. I also want to challenge myself to find the reason why China’s population topped the highest in the entire world.