Communities Around the World
Teaching Suggestions for Community e-bookPrint this Page
- Subject(s): Social Studies & Geography, Cross-Cultural Understanding
- Grade Level(s): 3–5, K–2
- Related Publication: E-book | Community
Where we live helps shape who we are. By examining the concept of community and its importance in our lives, students will gain an appreciation for their own community while gaining respect for communities that may be very different than their own. They will also explore their role within the community around them.
- Our Community
Take your students on a neighborhood walk around your school. During the walk, take photos of some of the homes, shops, or other buildings. Back in the classroom, create a large community map on a bulletin board. Include landmarks, names of streets, and the location of your school. Print some of the photos you took on your neighborhood walk, and place the photos in their correct locations on the map.
Looking at the map together, discuss questions such as:
- What makes our community unique?
- How would our community be different if it were urban or rural?
- How would our community be different if it were located in a different area of the U.S. (in the mountains, near the ocean, etc.)? In another part of the world?
- What are some things all communities have in common?
- Welcome to My Community
Have students create a walking tour or travel brochure of their community. Students can practice taking the role of a tour guide and sharing with each other, or with another audience, the unique features of their community.
- Our History
As an individual assignment or with the whole class, research the history of the community. Explore questions such as:
- When was our school founded? How many students have attended over the years?
- What new buildings have been constructed in the past 50 years? 20 years? 10 years? 5 years?
- What have been primary industries in the past? Are they the same or different today?
- What have been important events in our community's history? Who are the important figures in our community's history?
- How have population demographics changed?
- How We Build
Select one of the countries highlighted in the e-book. Compare and contrast some of the country's architecture with the architecture we see in the United States. Discuss questions such as:
- What do stores, schools, homes, hospitals, and other buildings look like?
- What kinds of materials are used in construction?
- What are some of the architectural features we see in buildings? (ex: shape of roof, flooring)
- Our Café
Many communities have restaurants or places to eat. Using one of the countries highlighted in the e-book, research some of the foods you might find there. Explore questions such as:
- What are typical fruits and vegetables are used in dishes?
- What are local restaurants like?
- Where do people eat? (e.g., inside at tables, outdoors)
- What language do they speak?
- Our Leaders
As a whole group or individually, research the leaders in your community. Discuss each leader's role and how they represent the interests of all community members. Discuss the process of decision-making in your community, highlighting events such as city council meetings, community forums, and elections. Create a simple organizational chart of your community's leaders. Each person can be represented by a photo, drawing, or figure made out of construction paper.
- Community Charades
Play a game of charades, in which students act out the roles of different community members. Start by writing the names of different community members or leaders on small slips of paper (e.g., firefighter, teacher, local athlete, grocery store clerk, etc.). Have each student take one slip of paper. Select a student to ?act? as the community member they chose, while other students guess her or his identity.
- Community Circle
Have each student create a figure representing a member of their community. These can easily be made out of decorated toilet paper rolls as the body with faces, arms, etc. attached. Example community members could be a mayor, school principal, police personnel, fire personnel, store owner, or students. With your class in a circle, have students hold one of the figures they made. This figure will represent the role the student will play. Explain that the circle is their pretend community. You can even place small items to represent areas of their community such as blocks that represent the school, firehouse, police station, streets, etc. Present several community events or situations? give the students an opportunity to react and act out what they (their figure) would do. Examples of events could be:
- A cat is stuck in a tree on Main Street. What community members should respond? What are their roles?
- There is a fourth of July parade.
- An important visitor is arriving in their community.