Schoolroom Swag

Elementary Teacher

Having fun in the classroom and "balancing" life!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Community: a Social Studies theme can be fun???

Did anyone else fall asleep on the living room floor at 8:30 tonight???!!!! How sad. 

Does anyone teach a Community theme for Social Studies? I do, and I have a hard time making it fun and exciting. I wanted to go beyond the basic "community helpers" that the kids have been learning about since preschool. Our community theme includes places to live, work, and solve problems. I really want them to learn that being a part of a community means helping others and solving problems together. Along with being a good citizen, and learning to be responsible with their resources. We just started touching on places to live and work, and are heading toward problem- solving with others around us. Here's the best thing we've done so far:

 We made a community using Legos, blocks, and anything else the kids brought in or I had. Here are some boys making a street cleaner. A for originality! We turned this into a discussion of weather differences in the South vs. the North. Living in IL for 4 years, we saw many street cleaners. Here in AZ, not so much. (Too much dust to make it cost effective.) So we talked about the reasons we wouldn't use street cleaners in the dusty weather.

 Above are my girls working on a hotel, a house, a skyscraper with apartments on the top floors (and some really cool  architectural features!) and a church, complete with rows of seats!

Our focus this week was problems in the community. The problem we discussed was how houses could get wrecked. This came up because one little girls' house was wrecked after it got stepped on because it was in the wrong place. So that led to a whole discussion on zoning, and why we don't have McDonald's right next to our houses. It was a great discussion. So then we wrote different ideas about how buildings can get wrecked on the "windows" of the sky scraper. Then we discussed how townspeople work together to rebuild, and we all rebuilt together. It was really fun.

 My kids LOVE working on their community and have always been completely engaged in all the discussions we've had. Yes, even the zoning! In a couple weeks we're heading to a fire station and the city hall, and I'm actually super excited about it!

Next week we'll be discussing government workers to get ready for our field trip. We're having an election of a community mayor, and getting into "town councils" for problem solving meetings. I have a community unit for sale for $1 with these activities in it, if you want to take a look.

 Thanks for reading! Have a great weekend!!

  Glitter Words
[ - *Glitter Words*]


  1. I like this idea - I bet it was so fun they didn't realize they were learning :)

  2. Ann!!!!
    I JUST found your blog! I LOVE it and so excited to follow it to see all of the great things going on in the classroom....and see pix of the adorable girl in the flower dress:)
    talk soon


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