Date of Defense


Date of Graduation



Teaching, Learning and Educational Studies

First Advisor

Jonathan Bush

Second Advisor

Adrienne Redding


“An Ode to Michigan: A 3rd Grade Teacher’s Guide to the Great Lakes State” is a thesis project outlining nine essential questions that can be explored using the Common Core State Standards for third grade as a guide. The questions and their importance are introduced. Then two different types of resources are introduced. The first category is resources for teachers. The goal is for teachers to feel prepared and inspired to teach that particular essential question. The resources include books, websites, and articles. The second category is resources for students. The goal of this section is to help students with independent research, inspiration for final projects in an inquiry-based lesson, and books to read aloud in class.

The resources are varied, reliable, and most are centered around Michigan. The commentary for each resource discusses the pros and cons of the resource, ideas on how to adapt lessons, and connections to Michigan and Michigan history. The introductions for each essential question weave the author’s personal narrative with how these questions correlate and incorporate the Common Core State Standards. The introductions also talk about different interpretations of the question and areas for further discussion and exploration that students might be interested in.

The nine essential questions are: How did the history of Mackinac shape the history of the whole state; How do natural resources shape a region; How does a city's infrastructure influence industry and economy; How does the movement of people influence a city; How can we keep ourselves and the living things around us healthy; How can we stay informed and express our opinions; How can a place change and grow; How can we learn more about and use government to help us. These questions highlight important content knowledge areas for third grade students. The whole project is applied to Michigan, but these questions can be adapted to other states. This thesis project urges teachers in other states to learn more about the history of their state and lean into what makes their state unique as inspiration for lessons and activities in the classroom.

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Open Access