Communities: A Resource & Lesson Ideas

One of the first social studies lessons that is covered at the beginning of the year is establishing communities within the context of our neighborhoods and in our very own classroom. Having students understand that communities reach far beyond what we see day-to-day helps them build a foundation of understanding of their roles both in their homes, neighborhoods, states, and country. It also relates to how they are a part of a common community at school. I have always enjoyed teaching communities because it’s the beginning of students realizing that their worlds don’t end at the tip of their noses. They begin to notice commonalities across the communities in which they live, work, and play!

In second grade in most states the beginning of the discussion about communities is understanding past vs present and how that relates to communities changing over time due to various circumstances. Although it ends there, I love extending my lessons just a touch to include conversations about what these different communities look like, how they’re similar or different from one another, and how they’re impacted over time. I mean, who can understand past vs present without first understanding the communities in which they’re learning about?

Get prepared this year to teach communities with an engaging flap-book, classroom posters, and workbook pages that can be stand alone worksheets or fit perfectly inside an interactive notebook!


** This download has been updated to reflect Canadian provinces and country portions of the flap-book! (This is why I love my readers and customers on TpT!!)

One of the resources that I use for teaching communities is this Communities Among Us packet. It is complete with a fun and engaging flap-book style workbook that breaks down each community as it gets larger and larger starting with the student and working all the way up to the country in which they live. This flap-book is a perfect addition to the popular read-aloud: Me On The Map by Joan Sweeney!

Get prepared this year to teach communities with an engaging flap-book, classroom posters, and workbook pages that can be stand alone worksheets or fit perfectly inside an interactive notebook!

I have also included three workbook pages that break down each community: rural, suburban, and urban! These can be stand alone worksheets or even be included in an interactive notebook. Another fun activity is the Guess My Community writing page! Students select a community that they have learned and come up with three clues that describe facts about their chosen community. Then when displayed the reader guesses the community then flip up the top portion to see if they’re right!

Get prepared this year to teach communities with an engaging flap-book, classroom posters, and workbook pages that can be stand alone worksheets or fit perfectly inside an interactive notebook!

This download also includes fun vocabulary cards for the classroom!

I also love finding amazing resources from around the teaching blogosphere too and these caught my eye for engaging activities that the whole class can participate in!


Image Source: Mrs. T’s First Grade Class Blog
Mrs. T’s First Grade Class - Here students create a timeline of sorts that compares vocabulary and concepts relating to PAST, PRESENT, and FUTURE. I love that this simple activity gets kids connected and relating to the objective being taught!

This blog also has a wonderful technology component as well where she uses a Pixie App where they label the seven continents, then created a simple clip art picture of themselves and used the Superimpose App to place themselves upon the continent in which they live. How cool is that?!


Image Source: The Teacher-Trap
The Teacher-Trap - Kady of The Teacher-Trap blog has a wonderful collection of read-aloud that introduce students to how communities look across the globe. Although she’s teaching to third graders, I know second graders could benefit from her lessons! I love how she breaks down her objectives to teach her students the different characteristics that describe different communities!

Image Source: Mrs. Winter’s Bliss
















Mrs. Winter’s Bliss - Lastly, Christina at Mrs. Winter’s Bliss blog has a great second grade appropriate compare and contrast flap book where students compare past vs present as it relates to living long ago and today. I also just love how she connects her ELA objective for informative writing with her social studies objective!


Teaching communities is such a blast and with these ideas you’re sure to get the year kicked off to a fun start! What are your favorite lessons to teach related to communities or past vs present?

1 comment

  1. Hi Kelly!
    Teaching community at the beginning of the year is a great idea! Thanks for sharing one of my favorite resources in my shop. Have a great me w school year! Christina

    ReplyDelete

Thank you for sharing!