I am a second year teacher teaching second grade and looking for different ways/lessons/activities to teach the concept of communities - particularly, comparing and contasting rural, Urban and Suburban.
I use pics from magazines, past travels, etc. to show examples. I put the pictures on at 3 column T-chart labeled Rural, Suburban, and Urban. Throughout the unit we recreate the chart using the pictures, then I let the children draw pictures and place on a blank chart towards the end of the unit. When I assessed they looked at the board where the chart would be and could picture it all
Last year I did a bulls eye:
•Draw small circle. Describe the coolest and most fun city ever. Students write their name on a post-it. Students who want to live in city put their name in the middle. Point out how crowded it gets. Then, introduce suburb. Explain why they build suburbs and why some people choose to live there. If some students don’t want to live in the city and prefer somewhere quiet, introduce rural (if not wait until tomorrow’s lesson). The kids loved this lesson and it really put things in perspective for them!
•Read, “The Urban Boy, The Suburban Boy”. Add characteristics of each kind of community to a chart as you read.
•The next day read, “City Kid, Country Kid.” Record characteristics for rural community. Compare and contrast all three communities.
Hope this helps!
Bookworm: Thanks for the idea. I was looking up the books you suggested. I found "City Kid, Country Kid", but could not find "The Urban Boy, The Suburban Boy". Do you know the author of that story or where I can find it. Thanks
At the start of the unit we describe communities as places where people live, work, learn, "play" and help each other.
Then I spend several days on the kinds of communities.
I started with a book that describes (allows me to describe) the characteristics of urban, suburban, and rural communitiess. Not sure of the book's name b/c it is at school.
I tell students that we are going to "visit" several communities using the Smart Board and Google Earth. I think I started with New York City. I ask the kids to think about where people live, work, how they travel, play - parks, etc. The class decides/classifies NYC as an urban community.
I repeat the process for suburban and rural communities that kids are familiar with...we are from Connecticut so I pick examples from our state. Finally, we "visit" our town and decide if it is urban, suburban, or rural.
The next day we watch a stort video (15-20 minutes) that shows kids from urban, suburban, and rural communities. (I have the title at school)
Go to www.micitizenshipcc.org (TYPE IN THIS ADDRESS AS I AM NOT HAVING GOOD LUCK WITH LINKS!) Then click on 2nd grade communities. This is an entire years curriculum for SS. It has 6 very good units, lots of resources and the lessons are taught with trade books. Hopefully this is what you need. I am using it because we do not have a current SS curriculum. Most of the trade books can be gotten at your school or local library. Additionally there are lots of helpful links in the documents. Hope this helps.
To teach rural vs. urban, I use the book "The Little House." It is one of my favorites! It is about a little house built years ago out in the country. As the story progresses, a city is built up around the little house. She does not like how crowded/bright/noisy the city is. Eventually, the house is moved back to the country. This book really helps kids see the differences between living in the city and living in the country.