Individuals and Their Communities

3, 4, 5

Students will understand the concept of "community" as it relates to membership in the classroom, school, or neighborhood.

Lesson Rating 
PrintOne Forty-Five to Sixty-Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • identify and define the concept of "community."
  • evaluate and explain why their classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community.
  • cite examples of other types of communities.
  • use the vocabulary describing community characteristics.
  • Posterboard or heavy poster paper
  • Markers and pencils
  • Writing and drawing paper
  • "Sticky Notes"
  • Unruled 5 x 9" index cards
  • School/Home Connection Interview (handout)
Home Connection 

Students will be asked to interview an adult and fill out the School/Home Connection Interview.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Taking one item at a time, ask students together to name their continent, country, state and city. Ask students if they can go any further down than the city to name the community of which they are a part. Tell them they are part of many other communities which will be discovered in today's lesson

  2. Place two large posters on the bulletin board. One has the definition of community (a group of people with common interests and likes). The other has only the word community at the top or in the center. Give each student a sticky note and ask each student to draw an icon (one-minute drawing) showing what they might see, hear, or feel in a community. Call on each student to briefly explain his/her icon and place the sticky note on the Community Poster.

  3. Put up the 5 x 9 word cards or a poster with the following words:

    • sharing dividing or distributing portions
    • caring showing interest or concern
    • trust confidence or faith in a person or thing
    • interdependence depending on one another; mutual dependence
    • common resources - resources that are not owned, but left open for free use by all
  4. Ask students to come up individually and choose a sticky note that is not their own to place under the word that it best depicts. As students place their sticky notes, they will need to explain with a sentence what it tells about the icon, where it will be placed, and why, e.g., "I will place this picture of _____________ under _______________ because it shows ______________." If some of the word cards have few or no icons placed with them, have the class brainstorm and create a few more sticky note pictures that best depict the word cards.

  5. Arrange students into cooperative groups of four to six students. Give each group a picture of one of the following: children in the classroom, spectators at a football game, a Boy Scout troop, a beach full of people, a sports team, and a family at the dinner table. (Pictures may be photographs or cut from books, popular magazines, or the newspaper.) Each group will be given five minutes to decide whether or not their picture shows an example of a community and use the words from the previous activity to defend their decisions. Each group must present its findings by choosing one person to speak for the group. The teacher needs to be a facilitator here, correcting misconceptions that may occur.


Give each student a piece of drawing paper and writing paper. On the drawing paper, the student should draw and color a picture of a community. On the writing paper, the student should write one complete paragraph to explain his or her picture. The topic sentence will be provided by the teacher: "This picture shows a community of..........." Students should complete the paragraph by adding supporting details. Details will need to include the definition of community and at least two of the terms that describe a community (as well as support for the choice of that term).

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.