How would you describe where you live to someone who has never been there? You could describe your family, your friends, your street, and/or the land and water nearby. In doing so, you are revealing your community.
One of the social studies units third graders in IPSD 204 take part in is communities and geography. This unit is the expansive unit “Understanding Communities” in our social studies curriculum. There are three types of communities within the United States and around the world. They fluctuate from rural and small town to suburban and urban communities. Each community has exquisite landforms and bodies of water that provide us with food, jobs and entertainment. People work together to protect their environment so that they can continue to enjoy where they live. In their own way, all communities are unique and special.
Whether it is in Naperville, downtown Chicago or out west in a small farm town each community has certain characteristics in common; however, they remain diverse in terms of environment, people, culture and population. On the whole, each community is distinctive because of it’s diversity. It is my expectation that students will comprehend how diversity produces a community. In order to demonstrate this, students will be participating in various authentic assessments to experience the diversity of communities. Students will be creating brochures, posters, visiting Naperville, constructing dioramas and writing persuasive and expository pieces about their community. It is my belief that involving the students in this unit will strengthen their appreciation of their community and what it takes to be a responsible citizen of a community.