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    Unit 1: What is a Community?

     

    Overarching Question:
     
    What is a community and why do families live in communities?

     

     

    Previous Unit:
     
    First Grade
    Families and Schools

     

     

     

    This Unit:
     
    What is a Community?
    Next Unit:
     
    Where is My
    Community and What
    is it Like There?

     

     

    Big Picture Graphic

     

    Questions to Focus Assessment and Instruction:
     
    1. What is a community?
    2. Why do families live in comunities?
    3. How are communities alike and different?

    Types of Thinking:

     

    Compare/Contrast
    Descriptive

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     
    Unit Abstract: In this foundational unit students explore characteristics of communities, the reasons people live in communities, and different kinds of communities. The unit begins with a review of the concept of family and explores the question, "Why do families live in communities?" Students then investigate common characteristics of a community including location, physical characteristics, history, government, people, and businesses. Students explore two reasons people live in a community and are introduced to the concept of government. Using a variety of resources, including photographs and illustrations from picture books, students then examine different kinds of communities and explore how communities differ in size and geography. Using a Venn Diagram, students identify similarities and differences between two communities. Finally, students begin to create a profile of their local community by gathering information from family members and friends about what makes their community special.

     

     

     

    Focus Questions:

    1. What is a community?

     

    2. Why do families live in communities?

     

    3. How are communities alike and different?

     

    Content Expectations:

    1 - G2.0.1: Distinguish between physical (e.g., clouds, trees, weather) and human (e.g., buildings, playgrounds, sidewalks) characteristics of places.

    2 - G2.0.1: Compare the physical and human characteristics of the local community with those of another community.

    2 - G4.0.2: Describe the means people create for moving people, goods, and ideas within the local community.

    2 - C1.0.1: Explain why people form governments.

    2 - E1.0.3: Describe how businesses in the local community meet economic wants of consumers.

    Integrated GLCEs

    R.NT.02.02: Identify and describe the basic elements and purpose of a variety of narrative genre including poetry, fantasy, legends, and drama. (English Language Arts)

    R.NT.02.03: Identify and describe characters’ actions and motivations, setting (time and place), problem/solution, and sequence of events. (English Language Arts)

     

    Key Concepts:

     

    basic needs

    businesses

    community
    family
    government
    human characteristics of place
    location
    physical characteristics of place
    transportation

     

     

     

     

    Lesson Sequence:
     
    Lesson 1: What is a Family?
    Lesson 2: What is a Community?

    Lesson 3: Why Do People Live in Communities?

    Lesson 4: Comparing Different Kinds of Communities

    Lesson 5: My Local Community
     
    I Can Statements:
     
    I can explain what a family is.
     
    I can describe what a community is.
     
    I can compare and contrast two or more communities and describe their physical and human characteristics.
     
    I can describe why my community is special.
     
     

     

     
     
    Resources:
     

     

     
    Equipment/Manipulatives
    Overhead Projector or Document Camera and Projector
    Chart Paper and Markers
     
     
    Student Resources:
    Caseley, Judith. On the Town: A Community Adventure. Greenwillow Books, 2002
    Chesanow, Neil. Where Do I Live? Barron's Educational Series, 1995
    Costa-Pau, Rosa. The City. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995
    DK Publishing. A Life Like Mine. DK Publishing, 2005

     

     

    Geisert, Bonnie and Arthur. Desert Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001

     

     

     

    - - -. Mountain Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000

     

     

     

    - - -. Prairie Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998

     

     

     

    - - -. River Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1999
    Harris, Nancy. What's a City Council? New York: Heinemann Library, 2007
    Hartman, Gail. As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps. Aladdin Books, 1993
    Leedy, Loreen. Mapping Penny's World. Owlet Paperbacks, 2003
    Luciani, Brigitte. How Will We Get to the Beach? North-South Books, 2003
    Morris, Ann. Houses and Homes (Around the World Series). New York: Harper Collins, 1995
    Simon, Norma. All Kinds of Families. New York: Albert Whitman and Company, 1976

     

     

     

    Soentpiet, Chris K. Around Town. New York: HarperCollins, 1994
    Sweeney, Joan. Me on the Map. Dragonfly Books, 1998
    Sweeney, Joan & Cable, Annette. Me and My Family Tree. Dragonfly Books, 2000

     

     

    Takabayashi. Mari. I Live in Brooklyn. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004

    Treays, Rebecca. My Town. Tulsa, OK: Usborne Publishing, 1998
    White Pellegrino, Marjorie. My Grandma's the Mayor: A story for children about community spirit and pride. New York: Magination Press, 1999

     

     

    Teacher Resources
    Draze, Dianne. Our Town-A Guide for Studying Any Community. Dandy Lion Publications, 1988
     
    Hoberman, Mary Ann. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems. New York: Scholastic, 1991
     
    Hollenbeck, Kathleen. Exploring Our World: Neighborhoods and Communities. New York: Scholastic, 1999.
     
    Hollenbeck, Kathleen. Neighborhood and Community (20 manipulative Mini-books). New York: Scholastic, 2004.
     
    Norris, Jill. My Community: A Complete Thematic Unit. Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, 1996
     
    Tamblyn, Catherine. Neighborhood & Community Write and Read Books: 15 reproducible non-fiction books on Homes, Community Helpers, Transportation and More That Your Students Help Write. New York: Scholastic 2006.

     

    How Communities Are Different. 3 July 2008 <http://www.lessonplanspage.com/SSCommunityDifferencesVenn3.htm>.

     

    Kids and Community . 3 July 2008 <http://www.planning.org/kidsandcommunity/>.

     

     

    Norris, Jill. My Community, A Complete Thematic Unit. Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, 1996.
     

     

     

     

    Resources for Further Professional Knowledge:

     

    National Council for the Social Studies. 3 July 2008 <http://www.ncss.org/>.

     

     

    Social Studies Lesson Plans and Resources. 3 July 2008 <http://www.csun.edu/~hcedu013/>.

     

     

    Strategies for Teaching Social Studies. 3 July 2008 <http://www.udel.edu/dssep/strategies.htm>.

     

     

    Teaching Social Studies. 3 July 2008 < http://www.proteacher.org/c/185_Teaching_Social_Studies.html>.
     
     
    United Streaming Resources:
     
    City, Suburb, and Rural Communities (16 min.)
     
    How Communities are Alike and Different (15 min.)
     
    How Communities Grow and Change (15 min.)

     

     

     

     

    Lesson 1: What is a Family?
     
    Lesson 1 Supplemental Materials:
     

    Content Expectations:

    This lesson serves as a foundational lesson to connect the context of first grade social studies (Families) to the context for second grade of communities. The lesson activates prior knowledge about families meeting each others’ basic needs.

    Integrated GLCEs:

    R.NT.02.02: Identify and describe the basic elements and purpose of a variety of narrative genre including poetry, fantasy, legends, and drama. (English Language Arts)

    Key Concepts:

    basic needs, family

     

     

    Abstract: In this lesson students review what they learned about families in grade one. The lesson begins with a brainstorming session in which students work together to answer the question: “What is a Family?” Next students use the poem “What is a Family?” from Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems or a similar piece of literature to add to their brainstormed list. Finally, students review basic needs of people including food, clothing and shelter. Using a large 3-column chart the teacher guides students in listing ways families meet their basic needs in the local community.

     
    Lesson 2: What is a Community?
     
    Lesson 2 Supplemental Materials:
     

    Content Expectations:

    1 - G2.0.1: Distinguish between physical (e.g., clouds, trees, weather) and human (e.g.,buildings, playgrounds, sidewalks) characteristics of places.

    2 - G4.0.2: Describe the means people create for moving people, goods, and ideas within the local community.

    Integrated GLCEs:

    R.NT.02.03: Identify and describe characters’ actions and motivations, setting (time and place), problem/solution, and sequence of events. (English Language Arts)

    Key Concepts:

    community, human characteristics of place, location, physical characteristics of

     

    place, transportation

     

    Abstract: In this lesson students explore common characteristics of communities. After brainstorming what makes a community, the teacher reads a book such as I Live in Brooklyn and students identify the characteristics of the community described in the book. The class then compares the list from the book to the list they generated. In a categorization activity, the teacher guides students in grouping together the identified characteristics from both lists, using labels such as natural characteristics, buildings, transportation, etc. Finally, students complete a graphic organizer illustrating common characteristics of communities.

    Lesson 3: Why Do People Live in Communities?
     
    Lesson 3 Supplemental Materials:
     

    Content Expectations:

    2 - C1.0.1: Explain why people form governments.

     

    Key Concepts:

    basic needs, community, government
     
    Abstract: This lesson connects to Lesson One and the discussion of how people meet the basic needs of food, clothing, shelter, and a sense of belonging with their family and community. Students identify other needs that people have such as water, fun, love, etc. Students begin to understand that people live in communities because communities help them meet these needs. The teacher then guides students in identifying another human need: the need to feel safe. Using a simple story, the teacher guides students in identifying specific ways in which a community can keep people safe. Students are then introduced to the term “government” and understand that a major purpose of community government is to keep people safe. This serves as a brief introduction to the concept which will covered in a later unit. As a culminating activity, students create a short book illustrating in words and pictures why people live in communities.

     

    Lesson 4: Comparing Different Kinds of Communities
     
    Lesson 4 Supplemental Materials:
     
     
     
     
     
    Content Expectations:
     
    2-G2.0.1: Compare the physical and human characteristics of the local community with those of another community.

    Integrated GLCE’s

    R.NT.02.05: Respond to individual and multiple texts by finding evidence, discussing, illustrating, and/or writing to reflect, make connections, take a position, and/or show understanding. (English Language Arts)

    Key Concepts:

    community, human characteristics of place, physical characteristics of place

     

     

    Abstract: In this lesson students explore different kinds of communities. Students begin by classifying their own local community as a small town, a big city or a suburban community. Using photographs and illustrations from picture books, students identify human and physical characteristics of these three types of communities. Students are then introduced to a Venn Diagram and how it is used to make comparisons with a teacher demonstration. Then, with teacher guidance, students work with a partner to complete a Venn Diagram comparing two communities from the picture books the class has explored.

    Lesson 5: My Local Community
     
    Lesson 5 Supplemental Materials:
     

    Content Expectations:

    2 - G2.0.1: Compare the physical and human characteristics of the local community with those of another community.

    Integrated GLCE’s

    W.GN.02.03:

    Write an informational piece including a magazine feature article using an organizational pattern such as description, enumeration, sequence, or compare/contrast that may include graphs, diagrams, or charts to enhance the understanding of central and key ideas.  (English Language Arts)

     

    Key Concepts:

    community, human characteristics of place, physical characteristics of place

     

     

    Abstract: The lesson begins with an introduction to the students’ own local community by accessing students’ prior knowledge about their community. As a class, students brainstorm a list of characteristics of their community that make it special. As a homework assignment, students interview at least two family members or family friends by asking them the question, “What is special about our community?” Students share the information they gathered in a class discussion and create a class chart entitled “What Makes Our Community Special?” Independently they write and illustrate a short, descriptive informational piece about a favorite place in their community.

     

     
     
     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

Last Modified on October 2, 2018