City, Suburb, and Rural Communities
People live, work, and have fun together in many different kinds of communities. With the help of three children, students learn about the similarities and differences of neighborhoods in the city, suburbs, and rural communities. We join each child as they show us what it is like to live in his/her neighborhood. Schools, stores, and play-time activities are presented in each type of neighborhood.
Find out how our three types of communities-cities, suburbs and rural areas-are different for the people that work, live and play in them.
- Students will know that a community is a place where people live, work, and play.
- Students will be able to identify the three types of communities discussed in the video. A city is a busy community made up of many different neighborhoods. A suburb is a community that surrounds a city. Suburbs tend to be more spacious and have a lower concentration of people. Rural communities surround the suburbs, and they are made up of farmland and spacious country. A rural community (or "the country") is not home to large numbers of people.
- Students will be able to explain the contrasting characteristics of each of the three types of communities.
- Population concentration: Cities have a high concentration of people. In fact, thousands-even millions-of people live, work and play within the limits of a city. In the suburbs people are spread out, which increases the amount of space that can be used for homes, parks, and places of business. In rural communities people are really spread out, the nearest neighbor may be miles away. This low population concentration allows for a lot of land to be used to grow crops or raise animals.
- Jobs: Cities have many different businesses that offer many different jobs. Not a lot of business is done in the suburbs, so there are not many jobs. Often, people live in the suburbs and work in the city. In rural areas people usually work on farms or ranches.
- Housing: City land is scarce and expensive, therefore, homes are small and they are built close together. Often, many homes are contained in one building called an apartment building. Apartments are home to individuals, couples, and even entire families. Land in the suburbs is more abundant than in the city, so homes are larger, and they even have yards. There is not a need for many apartment buildings in the suburbs. In rural communities houses are few and far between. Property owners have more than just a yard on which their houses rest; they live on farms and ranches that can contain many acres of land.
- Shopping: Cities have many different places to shop. Each neighborhood has its own stores, where neighbors can buy the things they need and want. In fact, some apartment buildings contain their own grocery stores. The suburbs do not have as many places to shop, but they do have malls and shopping centers that are within a few minutes' drive. Usually, rural areas do not have places to shop; people have to drive to a town to find stores where they can buy food, clothing, and other items.
- Transportation: Cities have a lot of roads to handle the many cars that are moving about. Still, city roads are often very busy with automobile traffic. However, cities do have buses, trains, and/or subways, which help to decrease the number of cars. Suburbs tend to have less traffic because of their lower population. Suburban traffic can become congested as people are driving to and from work or school. In rural communities traffic is not busy. They do not have as many roads as in cities and suburbs because they don't need them.
- Attractions: Many people like the city because there are a lot of fun things to do and see. Cities have movie theaters, lots of different restaurants, libraries, museums, operas, plays, and concerts. Some cities even have basketball, baseball, and/or football teams. In addition, cities tend to have a lot of culture, because they are home to many different people. Suburbs may not have the same kinds of attractions as a city, but they do have more land for parks and natural areas where people can fish, ride their bikes, play sports, and walk on nature trails. Rural areas have a lot of land, which allows people to do things like ride horses and raise animals. In fact, many rural children belong to 4-H clubs; the children raise horses, cows, and other animals, and have them compete for prizes at fairs.
- Schools: Most communities have schools. However, cities usually have schools that are within walking distance of where students live. Suburban schools may be spread farther apart, students may have to ride their bikes or carpool with their neighbors. Schools in rural communities can be far away from where people live, so the students may have to take the bus to get to school.
- Where do you live? Before viewing the video, ask the students where they think they live (do they live in a city, suburb, or rural community?). Have them supply reasons why they think the way they do. If the students have trouble, it's O.K. After viewing the video, ask the question again; they should have no problem labeling the type of community in which they live.
- Where do you want to live? After viewing the video, draw three concentric circles on the board. Label the innermost circle "City," label the middle circle "Suburb," and label the outermost circle "Rural Area." Then, have the students come up to the board and write their names in the circle that represents the community in which they want to live. Read the names in each circle, and ask the students to tell the class why they prefer the community they chose; they should use examples from the video as their support.
- Community report: Have the class draw pictures, make dioramas, or put together collages that represent the communities they call home. When the projects are complete, each student should tell the class about his/her community. The student should answer many questions including: What type of community does she live in? Is her community busy or quiet? Does she live in a house or an apartment? Are there any stores nearby? What activities does she do for fun in her community?