Sunday, September 25, 2011

Our Community Study

I have spent some time on Google Reader this week and have found inspiration and a few great ideas for our community unit!  In our curriculum, we have a brief study of the school community and then study our school community.  It is not an in=depth study of communities, as that is the second grade curriculum. Our study includes learning about the history of our community and comparing then and now.  It is a bit tough because we actually span 3 communities and some families living just on the fringes of our borders and attend our school even though they live in a different town.

My ideas for this week are to use Pete the Cat: Rocking in my School Shoes  to explore our school community.  Since I have 1st graders, they already know the school pretty well, so I am linking this to a map activity.  I have a school map and we are going to walk the school with clipboards to practice using a map.

Visit Harper Collins to download the song!

I am planning to do a class brainstorm of places in our school and what we do there.  Then we will complete a class book in the pattern of Pete the Cat.  Click on the link below for your copy of the class book and the t-chart for brainstorming!


Laurie at the First Grade Lyon’s Den posted a great idea to create a quilt of school community members where students took pictures of school community members, the added their names and pictures of things they need to do their job.  This is a great idea that I can’t wait to try with my class.

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The class brainstormed all of the community places they could think of.  It was interesting that they struggled with coming up with vocabulary for the post office and the ambulance station.  It also took quite a long time to add the bank and fire station.  I think I might look and see if I have some mini-books for the kids to work on that emphasize community places.

We did a writing piece about a person who works in our school community last week.  This week I plan to use the same format: class brainstorm, model personal web, students make their own web, model writing, students write and illustrate, to write about a favorite community place.  I always get a lot of kids who like to do the local ice cream shop! Click on the picture to grab your own copy.


Another project I am planning to do is one I saw on a blog, but did not pin it or save the blog name .Sad smile If anyone knows what I am talking about, please let me know.  The teacher used paper from a roll to make a street and the students designed buildings from the school community to put on each side of the street.  It looked great in the hall.

It is also fun to check out community websites.  I know the towns and villages that make up my school have wonderful websites.  You can learn the names of the people who work in the community and one of the sites even has historical pictures of the town.

We have a lovely old school house and historical museum where we take a field trip.  There are a few retired teachers who put together a wonderful program about life in the 1800’s.  All of us teachers get a kick out of the students’ faces when they learn about all the responsibilities children had at the time. They start to realize that they have it easy!

I hope to have some more ideas for comparing communities, then and now, next week.  Have a marvelous Monday!

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