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Community Unit – What Makes a Good Community?


Language Arts, Social Studies  


2, 3, 4, 5  

By – Marie Allen

Community Unit Table of Contents:

What makes a good community?

Marie Allen
Clarendon School
Osborn District
DCI 598 Kander
February 25, 2002

I am looking forward to teaching this unit next year as a way to build essential foundations and classroom culture right away. I feel that the only way to build a strong classroom community is to learn about what that means and why community is important, in and out of the classroom. I am hoping to be teaching in a dual-language program next year, and the dual-language teachers this year have found that it was especially important to create a strong bond between the two classes.
          I think that my students will really enjoy this unit because it is all about them. It includes a lot of activities and ways to get to know each other better, but also ways to better know themselves. We will be talking specifically about the value of different learning styles and intelligences. To go along with that, many of our activities will focus on utilizing the different learning modalities.

Unit Title: Community In the Classroom and Out

Curriculum Framing Questions
Essential Question: What makes a good community?

Guiding Questions:
What is a community?
What do communities need?
How can you contribute to your community?

Unit Summary

The purpose of this unit is to create a strong foundation upon which to build classroom culture and community. Students will learn how to work together as an effective team, how to take responsibility for their own actions and help others, and how to apply these skills inside and outside of the classroom. The culmination of the unit will be applying their knowledge to design and carry out a service project for a community of their choice (i.e. the local neighborhood, school, etc.)

Subject Areas Being Taught: Social Studies, Writing, Language Arts, Reading, Math

Applicable Grade Levels: 3-6, (2-8 with minor modifications)

Student Objectives/Learning Outcomes:

UQ: What is community?
-TSW: Explain what the word “community” means to him or her.
-TSW: Demonstrate an understanding of the value of diversity.
-TSW: Spell and define essential community-related vocabulary.
-TSW: Reflect on community-building activities through daily journal entries.
-TSW: Analyze the elements of community in literature.

UQ: What do communities need?
-TSW: Demonstrate an understanding of how to cooperate with others to accomplish a goal.
-TSW: Show understanding of how to write and follow directions.
-TSW: Discover and reflect upon his or her own varied intelligences to determine the most effective ways for him or her to learn.
-TSW: Create and analyze tables and bar graphs showing multiple intelligences.
-TSW: Set goals for the year, academically and personally.

UQ: How can you contribute to your community?
-TSW: Involve parents or guardians in the classroom community through family homework assignments.
-TSW: Design and implement a service project to be done as a class in a familiar community (neighborhood or school).
-TSW: Brainstorm ideas to help their communities
-TSW: Create and organize a service project.
-TSW: Carry out their service project as a class.
-TSW: Reflect on the effect of their project.

Targeted State Frameworks/Content Standards/Performance Objectives:
2M-E1. Construct, read, analyze, and interpret tables, charts, graphs and data plots
PO 1. Construct bar graphs, line graphs, frequency tables, and Venn diagrams
PO 2. Interpret and analyze data from graphical representations and draw simple conclusion from bar graphs
R-E1. Use structural analysis skills such as identifying root words, prefixes, suffixes, and word origins to decode words unfamiliar in print.
PO 3. Confirm meaning of words using context clues
R-E2. Use reading strategies such as making inferences and predictions, summarizing, paraphrasing, differentiating fact from opinion, drawing conclusions, and determining the author’s purpose and perspective to comprehend written selections
PO 1. Identify main ideas; critical and supporting details; and the author’s purpose, feelings, and point of view of the text
PO 3. Summarize the text in own words
PO 4. Compare and contrast the text
R-E3. Analyze selections of fiction, non-fiction, and poetry by identifying the plot line; distinguishing the main character from minor ones; describing the relationships between and motivations of characters; and making inferences about the events, setting, style, tone, mood, and meaning of the selection.
PO 4. Draw defensible conclusions based on events and settings
R-E5. Evaluate an instructional manual such as assembly directions or user’s guide for clarity and completeness.
PO 4. Identify the sequence of activities needed to carry out a procedure.
PO 5. Identify information that is either extraneous or missing

Approximate Time Needed: 4 weeks, 1 hour, 3-4 days a week to complete entire unit, including carrying out service project.

Prerequisite Skills: none

Materials and Resources Required for Unit:
General resources:
daily journals (spiral notebooks)
peanut butter, jelly, white bread, plastic knife
2 packs chewing gum, 70 paperclips, ball of string, and 30-35 circular stickers
post-it notes
hula hoop
koosh ball

E-Mail Marie Allen!

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