Lesson 1- Interview
Students will be able to participate in shared research and writing projects about community helpers. Next, the students will generate engaging research questions in order to conduct and complete community interviews. In addition, students will evaluate multiple sources of information in order to answer a question and present their findings in a creative way.
The interview lesson will allow students to research and present their new information to the class and school on display. To start the unit, students and teachers will discuss the community and share readings about the community helpers in their community. The specific community helpers will vary depending on the community where the lesson is taught. After reading about community helpers and the ways that they help a community run smoothly, students can help form a list of helpers in the community that include jobs like a pharmacists, police officer, fire fighter, librarian etc. Students will then work in small groups assigned to one of the listed jobs to come up with questions to ask that specific helper. To get creative, students can have a flip notebook or a clipboard and pen to gather information about the community helper they are researching.
Once the questions are formulated, students will conduct interviews with the workers around their neighborhood and take extensive notes to use for their reports. Once the information is gathered, students will decide how to present the materials and some ways can be a powerpoint, a video, a poster, or even a diorama. This final product can be a homework assignment or a week long assignment that is edited and revised and peer reviewed in the classroom.
To close out this lesson, students can fill out a Venn diagram for two different community helpers that they learned about through this lesson. The Venn diagram will help hold students accountable for what they learned from their peers. This is also a great opportunity to assess what students may need clarification or further explanation when it comes to the community and the people that help make it what it is.
Lesson 2- Mapping it all Out
Students will increase familiarity with local street names as well as locate their own homes and street names through this lesson. Students will be able to draw and label a map of the community that we live in and include all major landmarks. Finally, students will write an expository piece to share their findings from the neighborhood tour with their classmates and the school.
The map lesson will allow students to walk their neighborhood with their teacher and show their expertise in the area that they live as well as bond with their peers and teachers outside of the classroom. Students will work together to read signage and labels around the neighborhood and then they will work together to draw and label a mural-sized map to display in the school. The walk will help build a sense of community among the students as they talk about the places and share where they like to play/hide out, the restaurants they like to frequent and even the library they share in the community. Students will share their wealth of knowledge gathered from the community helper interviews as the landmarks and buildings are observed and discussed.
The map will be colored and labeled by all the students and they will have to agree on where the different places are located prior to the official naming. There will be various ways to assess if students are able to identify the streets, landmarks and pillars of the community. Ways to assess students include however are not limited to: have students respond to a writing prompt about what makes up there outside of school community, have students fill in an empty map or have students complete a quick quiz related to the sights seen on the tour of the area.
Lesson 3- Job Applications
Students will be able to identify the necessary skills for class jobs as they did for the community helpers. Students will be able to apply for a job to serve as a community helper in our classroom community. Students will improve their speaking and listening skills while applying and interviewing for the class job of their choice. Students will practice respectfully disagreeing with one another without rude remarks or disruptive behavior. (Teachers should pay close attention to complaining or teasing and address it swiftly as this is a community building unit that promotes the differences of opinion as a learning agent to strengthen the classroom community.)
Once the students have a sense of what it takes to to be identified as a community and what landmarks and buildings make up a community, they will be able to come up with the jobs in the classroom and job descriptions for each of them. Students will then be able to apply for the jobs in the classroom. Students would have to explain what job they would do best and why they believe so. The other students in the classroom would either agree or disagree if the student would be a good fit for the position they are applying for. There could be a class vote or a "silent" selection of the class community workers. After "interviewing" and assigning the jobs, the new workers could be posted in the classroom. A closing conversation could be conducted about how the community runs best when we all live or work together in a positive manner. The discussion should also include what would happen if the community we live in did not have one or more of the workers and how we all play a role in the community that other people rely and depend on.