For most of my students Kindergarten is the first time their community is broadened beyond their families. They come to school having experienced a very insular world, sometimes one that consists only of family and home. School is often their first exposure to people of different cultures and family dynamics. It is also where they have the opportunity to learn about a new place and claim that place as somewhere important to their lives. Through this unit I hope to give my students a variety of experiences that help them express how they feel about the places they care about. I also hope to broaden their view of what their neighborhood is and give them a sense of belonging and responsibility within that community.
This unit is meant to help early childhood students develop a sense of place. Through poetry and mapping the unit will teach the students about their community. They will learn to express how they feel about it through writing, and navigate their way through it by exploring and creating maps. They will also share what they create during the unit with other members of their community. The unit will allow them to help others in their community see how they view it, and give them a chance to have their voices heard in the neighborhood they live in.
(Developed for Literacy and Social Studies, grades K-1; recommended for Literacy and Social Studies, grades K-2)