Our Neighborhood as a Community
As the students learn about communities, their neighborhood becomes a broader picture for them to think about as a place where they are a member and can make a difference. Learning that the community is diverse is important The lesson will introduce some community helpers in whom the learners can put their trust.
The learner will:
- identify places where people in their community gather together.
- describe ways that each member in the neighborhood can work together to make it a nice place to live.
- The People in your Neighborhood (song) from Sesame Street
- A piece of colored paper for each student large enough to trace their hand
Invite representatives from the community to talk about their work. This may include librarians, city workers, road construction workers, or election monitors.
- Brown, Marcia. Stone Soup. Aladdin Paperbacks, 1987. ISBN: 0689711034.
- Moss, J. The People in Your Neighborhood. Children's Television Workshop: Sony Wonder, 1970. Title of CD: Sesame Street Platinum All-time Favorites. (Although no longer produced for purchase, this CD is readily available for checkout at most public libraries.)
Anticipatory Set: Play the song "The People in your Neighborhood" from Sesame Street.
Brainstorm a list of places and services in the neighborhood that are shared by others (parks, libraries, etc.). Write them on the board. Ask students who they would trust in their community to help them with certain problems or situations, for example:
- Who would you call if you were home alone and heard a strange noise and saw a person walking around your house?
- Who would you trust to help you if your parents were not home when you got home?
- Who could you trust to call if you saw smoke in your house?
- Create a list of people around the community that can be trusted to help in those situations. (Neighbors could be included in some of the answers.)
Have community members come and talk about their work and show (pictures of) the equipment that they need when they help people in the community. Ask the speakers to share what time, talent, and treasure they use to help the community. Allow students to ask questions about their work, training, safety practices, etc. This may happen over several days.
Take a picture of each helper. After the visitors leave, ask the children to dictate a few facts that they remember about each helper. Mount the pictures and sentences on large paper and staple into a book for the class library.
Make a list of ways to improve our neighborhoods, for example, clean up a park, form a bike club, or build a playground.
Discuss who takes care of the commons areas (those that belong to everyone). Do the police officers pick up trash or do volunteer groups? Make a T-chart with the headings Volunteers/Paid Workers. Ask students to fill in the chart with their knowledge about who gets things done. This chart may be added to over time.
Contact your local adult clubs and nonprofits to find out service projects volunteers do for neighborhoods. More resources for civic groups include Lions Club, Rotary Club, Optimists Club, community foundations, or Women's clubs.
Put stars by the things young people can do together.
Teacher observation of the student responses in creating the class book.
The students will determine what they can do to contribute to their classroom or school community. They will volunteer to do one job.
Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.
Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
Benchmark E.1 Explore and research issues and present solutions using communication tools.
Benchmark E.2 Discuss an issue affecting the common good in the classroom or school and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.