United We Stand (2nd Grade)

K, 1, 2

In a world of us vs. them, how do children develop a sense of community? In this lesson, our children will gain an understanding of community as people who work, learn, play and live together. Through the activities in this lesson, children internalize the value of being a responsible community member.

Lesson Rating 
PrintForty-Five Minute Class Period

The learner will:

  • cooperate with others to build trust and work for the common good.
  • define a community through a vocabulary-building, concept-mapping exercise.
  • evaluate writing for conventions, style and content.
  • Chart paper and marker
  • Student copies of Handout One or Two: Making Words Activity
  • Scissors, one per child
  • Drawing paper and writing paper
  • Read aloud copy of Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch (See Bibliographical References)

 Draw a picture of people working together to something it would be hard to do alone (like cleaning up a park),

Spinelli, Eileen.  Somebody Loves You, Mr. Hatch.  Aladdin Paperbacks, 1996.  ISBN: 0689718721.


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    Meet in a large space such as a gymnasium or playground area. Arrange the children into groups of two or three. Each pair or triad of children is to sit back to back on the floor and link arms with the person(s) behind them.Their task is to stand in unity without unlinking their arms or touching the ground with their hands. Once each group has had the opportunity to try and stand, ask groups that were successful what strategies they used (cooperation, discussion, put ups or encouragement, compliments, effort, perseverance, etc.). Reflect on these strategies and encourage the pairs and triads to use the strategies to attempt the challenge again. Once everyone has had the opportunity to link arms and stand united, reflect on their experience using the following questions: Was any group successful with the effort of just one person? What did your groups have to do to be successful?Record their responses on chart paper.

  2. While students are seated at their desks, give one set of letters and scissors to each child (see Handouts One or Two). Tell the students to cut out the letters on the lines.

  3. Teacher Note: Play a phonics game called “Detective” to the direct the students how they cut out the letters. For example, say “cut out the letter that is at the beginning of mouse and man.”

  4. Once they have their letters cut, begin the following script to direct the children to form words with the letters on their desk tops. As they form the words, add the words to the chart paper started in the Anticipatory Set.

    • “Use two letters to make the word in.”
    • "Change one letter and make the French word un. Un means one in French.”
    • “Add one letter to make the Spanish word uno. Uno means one in Spanish. Uno is also the name of a card game.”
    • “Using two letters from uno and a new vowel, make the word one in English.”
    • “Yesterday you talked about unity. How do the words un, uno and one relate to unity? (Unity means come together as one.)
    • “Use four letters to make the word unit. Unit means one in math.”
    • “Can you add one letter to the word unit to make the word unite?”
    • “What does unite mean?” (Come together as one)
    • “Change one letter and make the new word unity.Unity means coming together for a purpose.”
    • “Use four different letters to make the word come. When we come together we unite.”
    • “Put the word come and the word unity together to make a nine letter word.You will change one letter.” (Students may need help forming this word—community.)
    • “What is a community?” (Community is a group of people who come together as one; people who work and learn together.)

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.I Definitions of Philanthropy
    1. Standard DP 02. Roles of Government, Business, and Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.3 Identify ways that trust is important in all communities.
    2. Standard DP 04. Operational Characteristics of Nonprofit Organizations
      1. Benchmark E.1 Describe how citizens organize in response to a need.
  2. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark E.3 Describe a benefit of group cooperation.
    2. Standard PCS 02. Diverse Cultures
      1. Benchmark E.5 Identify the relationship between individual rights and community responsibility.
    3. Standard PCS 05. Philanthropy and Government
      1. Benchmark E.1 Define community as the degree that people come together for the common good.
      2. Benchmark E.7 Describe why the classroom, school, or neighborhood is a community governed by fundamental democratic principles.
  3. Strand PHIL.III Philanthropy and the Individual
    1. Standard PI 01. Reasons for Individual Philanthropy
      1. Benchmark E.4 Give an example of how citizens act for the common good.