Valuing Community

9, 10, 11, 12

Learners will define community, analyze it according to the five themes of geography, and share ideas to make an impact on their community.

Print One 45 to 50 minute class period

The learners will:

  • analyze how their own community is described by the five themes of geography.
  • identify how their community impacts their lives.
  • develop a personal plan of community service and carry it out.

community: a group of people living in the same area and under the same government; a group having common interests and goals and who work together


Reflect on this quote from Barack Obama: "Change will not come if we wait for some other person or if we wait for some other time. We are the ones we've been waiting for.”


  1. Anticipatory Set:

    On a blank board, students fill it in with ideas about their community. They may use words, symbols, and drawings in a graffiti-like way to portray their community. After an allotted time, reflect together on the creation and talk about the choices they made and whether it represents the strengths and challenges of the community. Seek consensus on what the community is like.

  2. Use the PowerPoint below to teach the five themes of geography in the context of community. 

  3. Give students the handout on how their community fits into the Five Themes of Geography. Pair up, or place students in small groups, so they can discuss what best describes their community. Choose whether to collect individual worksheets, or one per team. 

  4. Have the learners share why someone might choose to volunteer to lead or contribute to a community or cause. 

  5. Have the students work in small groups to identify a local need or issue, a "community" within which to work and at least one act that they can take to improve or give back to that community.

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 01. Self, citizenship, and society
      1. Benchmark HS.1 Define the phrase <i>community/social capital</i> and discuss how it relates to all communities and the problem of factions.
      2. Benchmark HS.3 Give examples of human interdependence and explain why group formation is one strategy for survival.