Social Studies Communities - Teaching Students the Different Types of Interdependent Communities

Social Studies Communities - Teaching Students the Different Types of Interdependent Communities

What is the enduring understanding of this lesson?
The world is made up of many different types of interdependent communities.

What will the students understand as a result of this lesson?
Students will understand what a community is.
They will understand what interdependence means in terms of communities.
Students will understand that communities can vary in size. Communities can range from very small (such as a classroom) to very large (such as an entire country, or multiple countries).

What section questions will this lesson focus on?
What is a community?
What are some examples of different types of communities?
What are some characteristics of communities?
What does the term “interdependent” mean?
How are communities interdependent?
In what ways could a person help other members of his/her community?
Why is it important for members of a community to depend on each other?

What evidence will show that the students understand that the world is made up of many different types of interdependent communities?

Community Service Projects:

Students will form small groups of about 4-5 students per group. Each group will work together as a team to decide on a community service project to plan and implement in the (school or town) community. The groups will discuss objectives and strategies for achieving their goals. Each individual student will keep a journal about his/her group’s progress in attaining the goals of the community service project. The student will also use this journal to record his/her own personal reflections and insights regarding the overall topic (interdependent communities) as he/she is working on the community service project.

In addition, the journals will be used to record data collected during research about the service project:

Weekly updates are to be given in front of the entire class about community service projects from each small group.
Presentations are to be given on the progress of each group’s community service project.
Open class discussions are to take place weekly regarding community service, interdependence, or communities in general.
Vocabulary quizzes will be given on the new key terms. (i.e. Students would be asked to compose meaningful, original sentences using certain key words. This would suggest to the teacher that the students not only can correctly spell the words, but that they also know the definitions of the words and can properly use the words in a sentence.)
Essay tests will be administered using open-ended questions to stimulate students’ analytical thinking about communities.

Students need to know:

Examples of different types of communities
To what communities he/she belongs
Ways that communities are interdependent
Some characteristics of a community
Ways in which one may personally contribute to his/her community
A complete understanding of the definitions of key terms for this lesson.

Students should be able to:

List a variety of different communities in the world.
Discuss the importance of communities being interdependent.
Work together as a community of people in the classroom setting.
Learn to rely on and depend on members of their community on a day-to-day basis, or in times of need.
Understand the importance of teamwork, harmony, and other types of behavior as a way for communities to meet goals
Contribute to their (school or town) community by way of a community service project.

What teaching and learning experiences will help the students to demonstrate the enduring understanding?

The teacher will present the key terms for this lesson and allow time for ample discussion and student input.
The teacher will have the enduring understanding and essential questions posted in the room during the entire lesson.
Students’ collaborative brainstorming list (listing types/characteristics of communities) will remain posted during the entire lesson. Extra space will be available for more ideas to be added to the list.
Students will research the following key terms for this lesson, write the definitions of the key terms, as well as write journal entries about what these key terms mean to them personally:

Caterpillar Activity: Using art supplies, the teacher will demonstrate to the entire class how to make a caterpillar bookmark. Each student will be given some (but not all) materials to create his/her own caterpillar. The purpose of this activity is to model an interdependent community within the classroom. The students will learn cooperation and interdependence within their classroom from this activity.

Gingerbread Boys & Girls--Classroom Community Wall Mural: Each student will receive a piece of white construction paper, pre-cut in the shape of a person (i.e. shaped like a gingerbread man). The assignment is for each student to express his/her individual strengths/talents/skills on this piece of paper. Students are encouraged to be as creative as they can. Each student uses art to individually illustrate his/her own unique personal strengths and assets, showing how each student has different skills to offer his/her classroom community. After the students complete their gingerbread boys/girls with their names written on them, they will tape them to the wall, making it appear that all the gingerbread boys/girls are holding hands. The end result of this wall mural will show how despite being unique members of this classroom community with different talents and gifts to contribute to the community, the students are similar in that they are a unified group sharing the same classroom environment.

Community Helpers: The purpose of this experience is to help children realize that it takes many varied jobs for a community to be successful. On a rotating basis (for the entire school year), each student will be assigned a different job to assist the classroom community. Examples of some jobs are messenger, gardener, meteorologist, supply assistant, poet laureate, dining room assistants, zoologist, jester, recess captains, and job coordinator. Having community helpers in the classroom helps students begin to understand that different people in a community have various types of jobs and duties that all help the community as a whole in some way. Everyone in the community relies on each other to make it a better functioning community.

Field Trips: To expose the students to different types of communities (i.e. church communities, government offices, the city as a whole) and to help them become more aware of how members of communities rely on each other for support.

Concepts/Questions Bulletin Board: A bulletin board is divided into two sections: Concepts and Questions. At the beginning of the lesson, students are encouraged to write down a concept (a piece of information about the lesson they already know to be true) and/or a question (an issue related to the lesson that they are curious about knowing). All concepts and questions are posted on the board for the entire class to discuss and research. The goal by the end of the lesson is for the students to have discovered the answers to all of their questions. When an answer to a question is discovered, it is posted under Concepts.