Grade: Elementary

#3600. Let's Get Neighborly With Our Communities!

Social Studies, level: Elementary
Posted Wed Dec 7 02:00:05 PST 2005 by Shanna (
University of the Pacific, STockton, Ca
Materials Required: "Cities" by Peggy Pancella, Graphic Organizer, art supplies, map of own city
Activity Time: Two 30 minute periods
Concepts Taught: Communities and similarities of cities

I. Title: Let's get Neighborly with our communities!

II. Students will learn more about the people and places that can be found in different towns while relating it to their own town and neighborhood. The student's will be able to use his or her own personal experience for this lesson.

III. 2.2 Students demonstrate map skills by describing the absolute and relative locations of people, places, and environments.
Writing: 2.0 Students write compositions that describe and explain familiar objects, events, and experiences. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the drafting, research, and organizational strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
Art: 2.3 Depict the illusion of depth (space) in a work of art, using overlapping shapes, relative size, and placement within the picture.
NCSS: III People, Places, and Environments: Programs should include experiences that provide for the study of people, places and environments

IV. This lesson will take place on two separate days for 30 minutes each day.

V. The following are materials needed will be a map of Stockton, art supplies, a graphic organizer ( , and "City" by Peggy Pancella,

VI. The Goal of this lesson is for student's to be able to know the different components that make up a city.

VII. Students will be able to identify important buildings, establishments and people in their own city.
Students will be able to describe in writing different elements in their city and neighborhood.

VIII There will be many skills that will be provided such as the use of drawing and coloring for the art portion of the lesson. Students will be able to list information using a graphic organizer, as well as write making sure to focus the surroundings of their community.

IX. The teacher should make sure to find a clear map of their city so that a visual aid will be given. The teacher can also do the art project beforehand as a way to provide an example as well as make a list of buildings that he or she want the student's to address.

X. On the first day of the activity, the teacher will begin a discussion by showing a map of the town that she and her student's live in. A map can easily be accessed through the Internet. The teacher will facilitate a discussion about what a city is making sure to make connections to their own city. The teacher will then pass out the graphic organizer. The discussion will continue, and the teacher will explain that there are different buildings and people that make up a community. The teacher will ask for volunteers to give an example. Possible examples include a grocery store, hospital, school and much more. The graphic organizer will then be used. Students will name buildings or places that they can find in their neighborhood or in Stockton. After they have completed this, the teacher will ask for volunteers to name places that they wrote down. At the end of this activity, students will write a brief journal entry based on what have just learned about what makes up a city.

XI. On the next day, the teacher will briefly review what the previous lesson was. The teacher will then read from "City" by Peggy Pancella. The teacher will relate the book to the children's own city making sure to note similarities and differences. After the book is read, the students will be able to do some art. Each child will get a standard piece of white paper. They will be allowed to draw one building that they have seen in their town. Buildings may include their school, grocery stores, restaurants, banks and more. When they are drawing, the teacher will put the pictures on a wall with the title "Our City". The teacher will end with one last review of what makes up a city.

XII. The teacher will be able to assess the student based on three items. The items will be the graphic organizer, journal entry and art. The teacher will be able to see if student's are able to list different buildings that are in a city (graphic organizer), if student's can relate what makes up a city to their own city (journal entry" and student's ability to depict important city structures (art work).

XIII. There are many extensions to this lesson. To build on the makeup of a city, the teacher could then include important people of a city (i.e. policeman, teachers etc.). The teacher could try to get an important person in a city to come to the class as a guest speaker to explain their contribution to their own city. Teacher's can expand into different countries and how their "cities" differ from the cities of America.

XIV. Resources needed are the book "Cities" by Peggy Pancella, as well as a graphic organizer found at, and, which will provide maps of a particular city.