How Communities are Alike and Different
Discover that all communities—big or small and in different areas—have things in common. Learn that people in a big city might work in a factory, while a person who lives in a small mountain town might make a living by logging. Learn that many children in a farming community belong to 4-H and show animals at fairs for fun, while children in the city might go to museums or amusement parks.
A community is a place where people live, work and play. There are many ways that communities are different from each other because of where they are located and how many people live there.
- Students will understand that a community is a place where people live, work, and play.
- Students will realize that there are many reasons for living in a community.
- Many people want to live in an area where other people can provide them with company.
- A person may live in a community because it is close to where he or she works.
- Living in a community makes one's life easier, because there are other people present who can meet his or her needs. For example, one is able to shop at grocery store, which supplies people with food, instead of having to hunt for food.
- Living in a community provides a person with safety. For example there are people present, who can help in an emergency, like firefighters, police officers, and doctors.
- Students will recognize that communities have characteristics that are alike.
- Most communities have a grocery store where the citizens can buy food and supplies.
- Many communities have a post office for sending and receiving mail.
- Most communities have a school and a library for learning.
- Entertainment is an important aspect of life; so most communities have things to do.
- Communities have houses or apartments where people live.
- Communities have businesses where people can work.
- Students will understand that communities have major differences.
- Size is a difference that people can see when they observe different communities. Villages are very small communities; sometimes citizens of a village may have to travel to a larger community, like a town, to buy food or go to school. Towns are also small communities, but they are larger than villages. Because of their small size, towns and villages are usually located in rural areas, which do not contain large populations. Cities are the largest communities and contain many homes, schools, stores and other businesses. Cities are busy, because many people are present in the business center to work and shop. Because of a lack of space, cities contain large apartment buildings and homes that are built close together. Suburbs are communities are attractive to many people because they are smaller and not as busy as cities. Suburbs also surround cities, so they are very close to the business center, where most people work. More land is available for building in suburbs than in cities, so suburbs contain homes that are not built close together.
- Another difference between communities is location. When communities were first settled long ago, the settlers had to establish themselves near resources that could provide for their needs: some communities were built on hills, which would provide defense from intruders; others were built near fertile soil for farming; some communities were founded near water that provided fish for the citizens. All communities had to be settled near sources of drinking water like a lake or a well. Today, communities can be found everywhere, not just near resources.
- Students will realize that different communities support different kinds of work. For example, rural communities have many farmers or loggers; however, big cities may have a lot of factory workers.
- Before viewing the video
- See if the class can define the word community (a place where people live, work, and play). Name the community in which we live. Is it a small, medium, or large community? What are some of the things to do here?
- After viewing the video
- Grades K-3 — Discuss the questions asked in section 1 in relation to the video just watched. Again define the word community. Talk about the four sizes of communities: village, town, suburb, and city. Which one of these describes the community in which the school is located? Talk about the things shown in the video such as a library, fire station, grocery store, etc. and decide how many of these things are in the school's community.
- Grades 2-3 — Give each student four 3" by 5" cards. Have them print, one per card, the words: village, town, suburb, and city. Discuss the size of each of these: a village is very small, a town is larger, a suburb is larger and near a city, and a city is the largest with the most things in it. The teacher prints the following words on cards: houses, yards, fields, apartments, trailer parks, a library, schools, grocery stores, a fire station, a police station, doctors' offices, banks, a mall, and a business center. When the teacher holds up a card, the students must decide which of their four cards contains the facility shown on the teacher's card and hold it up facing the teacher. Answers may very since more than one type of community can contain certain facilities. Discuss differences.
- Communities can be the same because they have many of the same things (houses, grocery stores, and schools) and they can be different because some of them do not have all of these things (banks, business centers, or malls). One student holds up "village" and another holds up "city." As the teacher flashes her cards one at a time, the students must decide if both of these places contain the facility.
- How are Communities Alike?
- Communities are Different Sizes
- Communities Can Be in Different Places