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This lesson is on Building A Classroom Community


Social Studies  


1, 2  

Title – Building a community
By – Scott Dan
Subject – Social Studies
Grade Level – 1st – 2nd
Time Allotted: 20-30 minute lessons, May take up to 2-3 weeks to complete, during the first week allow time for daily lessons, every week after that allow for 2-3 times a week.
A. The students will become comfortable working with each other in an academic and social atmosphere.
B. The students will explore the concept of making maps by becoming familiar with their classroom and the rest of their school and engaging in the actual building of a school map.
C. The students will discuss the concept of community and how it applies to their classroom.
Grouping of Children: Most of the lesson is in a whole group format, however, the end of the lesson calls for groups of two children working together at a time.
A. 8 ½ by 11″ sheets of plain white paper (enough for each child to have one)
B. Crayons, markers, colored pencils
C. Pre-cut large geometric shapes; squares, rectangles, and skinny (2″) white strips of paper
D. An empty bulletin board
E. Various magazines that may be cut up
A. The instructor should discuss this plan with the other teachers and faculty to arrange for appropriate times when visiting their classroom.
General Overview:
A. The majority part of this lesson focuses on how children are part of a larger community. To emphasize that concept, the children will build a map of the school on a bulletin board. The teacher will guide the students through structured tours of their school, beginning with their hallway and other 1st grade teachers. As days progress, their exploration and map making will expand one hallway (or part of a hallway) at a time. Children will be encouraged to debate the location of rooms, bathrooms, and other locations with the other students and will find peaceful ways to settle their disagreements. The map will simply be a tool used in the classroom to promote community and problem solving strategies. At the same time, the children will learn the function of a map, how to use a (basic) map and how to be explorers.
Specific Outline:
Day One: 30 – 45 minutes
A. Teacher will read
B. Students will discuss how the main character used a map to explore the land and to become familiar with it.
C. The students will be taken on a tour of their room led by their teacher. The teacher will use a map that she made to guide the students from one location to the next.
D. The class may gather for a whole group discussion to discuss any questions or curiosities that the children may have.
E. The children will be asked to make a map of their room that shows where either some of their favorite things are or they may be as specific as they want.
F. If there is time after everyone is done drawing, meet for a group discussion and let each of the children explain their picture. This may have to be split up into two separate times of the day due to the attention span of the children.
Day Two: 25-45 minutes
A. Discuss the maps that the children made yesterday. Read another book entitled ” .” Ask them if they know where certain locations are in the school. Ask them if they know particular teachers. Ask them is there anything that they can do that would help them become more familiar with the places and people. List these suggestions on a large piece of paper. Ask enough questions until one of the children suggests making a map of the school. Make the children excited about this possibility through discussion.
B. Take a quick tour around the school with the class so that the children may become familiar with the school.
C. As a class, make a list of all the things they would like to include in their map.
D. Ask for suggestions on how to make the map. Let the children know that they have the whole bulletin board to do this but only have certain items they may use to show the different locations. The teacher will show them several precut squares and large rectangles they may use, along with several magazines they may use to cut up. The teacher may ask if they would like to use any other materials. It is the teacher’s responsibility to encourage enough discussion and time for discussion so that the children’s thinking will include certain items. A few of those items are rooms, names and room numbers of teachers, bathrooms, and the school’s main office. Also discuss what shapes will be for what locations.
Day three: 30 minutes
A. Using the lists the children made from yesterday, form a plan of how the children wish to begin. Let them know that they cannot finish the whole map in one day and that it is going to take a while for them to complete the map. Also mention that they are (as a class) allowed to go out into the hallways to help them remember where stuff is located. Discuss doing a hallway at a time (or parts of a hallway if it is a large hallway) vs. the whole school. Discuss how breaking up a job into smaller parts can make a job easier.
B. If there is time left, take the children out into the hallway and begin the tour.
C. Have children carry clipboards with a pencil and paper so that they may make drawings as they go or write names down.
D. Begin with only a few rooms in the hallway so that there is time to discuss what they saw and what they wish to put on the bulletin board.
E. The teacher will put up only one shape throughout this project. That shape will be the shape for their room. This will be done since the teacher is aware of the schools layout and wishes to lessen the complexity of the project. This will make sure that there is enough room for the other rooms in the school without going off the bulletin board.
Day four – seven: 30 minutes a day
A. The students will tour the school, each day meeting back in their room for whole group discussion and the making of their map.
B. Students can be assigned various roles that may be fulfilled while working in groups (the group sizes will depend on how many jobs are created for that day). A great math activity would be to list the jobs on the board and then to write the names of students under each lesson. Let the students predict how many names would be under each job if there are blank number of children in the class. This may lead to early explorations of multiplication.
C. Each group may work together to make the pieces that they will place on the map. They are allowed to use alternate ideas when they wish to make something to put on the map, however; since this is a group project, everyone must be involved in this decision.

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