2nd Grade New York

Geography, Humans, and Environment

This inquiry explores how communities develop and sustain themselves by examining the positive and negative impacts of development on community environments. In considering the idea that communities grow and change over time, students develop an argument with evidence that answers the compelling question “How do we shape our environment?”


Compelling Question:

How Do We Shape Our Environment?

Staging the Question:

Watch a time-lapse video of a city being built and discuss what is changing and why.

Supporting Question How do we modify our environment over time?

Formative Task Complete a graphic organizer demonstrating how people have modified the environment of a location in New York State.

Sources Source A: Image bank: New York City in 1609 versus 2009


Supporting Question How do we use land in different ways to shape our community?

Formative Task Create a community map classifying land as residential, industrial, commercial, or recreational.

Sources Source A: Image bank: Various uses of land
Source B: Google Maps


Supporting Question How does our use of land improve or harm our community?

Formative Task Complete a T-chart demonstrating the pros and cons of building the Tappan Zee Bridge.

Sources Source A: Image bank: Historic and current images of the Tappan Zee Bridge
Source B: Tappan Zee Bridge: Life in Rockland before the Span


Supporting Question Research Opportunity: How has a local development improved or harmed our community?

Formative Task Create a group pictorial essay demonstrating how a local development has helped or harmed the community, and invite local officials to class.

Sources Source A: Teacher- and student-generated sources on a local community-development project

Summative Performance Task

Argument: How do we shape our environment? Construct an argument supported by evidence that addresses how we shape our environment and/or are shaped by our environment.

Taking Informed Action

Understand: Accomplished through Performance Tasks 1 and 2
Assess: Accomplished through Performance Task 3
Act: Accomplished through Performance Task 4