Thursday, October 20, 2011

Community Project

We just wrapped up our Social Studies unit on Communities. We focused mainly on how communities today are different from the past. It's one of my favorite social studies units. The kids love learning about how people lived in the past. We also learn about the types of communities today. Our 3 main buzzwords are rural, urban, and suburban.

After reading in our textbooks about these communities and reading some non-fiction texts the students began a project to make their own community examples. I assigned each team a type of community. First they had to brainstorm what their community would include. They were very creative. I heard all sorts of ideas from a farmer's market in a rural community to Dunkin Donuts in the suburbs, though that one may be because their teacher has a thing for iced decaf mochas ;).

After I approved their plans - I was the Community Manager (like a City Planner) I set the groups loose to make their community models. Each group got a large piece of butcher block paper and a variety of construction paper.

It took us 3 days to actually make the models. During Social Studies it looked like construction paper exploded in the classroom - it was a MESS!! I told myself to let my neat tendencies go for just a little bit and let them create! Definitely one of those moments when I remember that I was taught that "knowledge is socially constructed" in college.

Here are the finished products. They did such a great job and turned out really well!

Rural - Complete with a barn, farmer, and farm animals. Very cute!

Suburban - The large yellow part is an arena for sporting events and concerts. They also included a monster truck stadium. :)

Urban - Complete with an airport, city park with a pond, and my personal favorite - Old Navy! :)


After the projects were made I had the kids spend one day reflecting on their community. They filled out a community snapshot sheet where each group member wrote 2 sentences about their community and drew their favorite part. The following day they presented them to the class.

1 comment:

  1. I just found your blog. I love this community project idea. I'd love to know what other resources you used as our social studies textbook is awful!