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Building a Community Model
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In the same unit on community, students also participated in an activity where they constructed a model of their community.  Students brainstormed a list of different things in their community, then built the different things on their list using whatever materials they desired (mostly boxes, paint, and paper).  This particular lesson allowed much room for differentiated instruction for students of all academic levels.  It was also an excellent way for students to explore their strengths and make their own decisions about how they wanted to present their knowledge. 

Following are copies of the lesson plans for both of the above activities, as well as pictures of students engaged in the activities.

Title: Building a Community Model

Grade Level: K

Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies

Time Needed: 8 class periods

Overview: Students build a 3D model of their community.

Materials or Equipment:

Ÿ        Boxes (cereal, cracker, soap, Kleenex, etc.)

Ÿ        Toy action figures

Ÿ        Paper (white and colored)

Ÿ        Glue and glue sticks

Ÿ        Markers and crayons

Ÿ        Paper towel rolls

Ÿ        Felt

Ÿ        Sandpaper

Ÿ        Anything else the students/parents/teachers can think of

Illinois State Standards:

State Goal 11: Understand the processes of scientific inquiry and technological design to investigate questions, conduct experiments and solve problems.

Ÿ        B. Know and apply the concepts, principles and processes of technological design.

-         11.B.1c: Build the device using the materials and tools provided.


State Goal 17: Understand world geography and the effects of geography on society, with an emphasis on the United States.

Ÿ        Locate, describe and explain places, regions and features on the Earth.

-         17.1.1a: Identify physical characteristics of places, both local and global (e.g., locations, roads, regions, bodies of water).


State Goal 19: Acquire movement skills and understand concepts needed to engage in health-enhancing physical activity.

Ÿ        B. Analyze various movement concepts and applications.

-         19.B.1: Understand spatial awareness and relationships to objects and people.

Goals: Students will create a 3D model of their community.

Behavioral Objectives:

Ÿ        Students will be able to identify different components of their neighborhood and community (including buildings, people, layout/location, etc.)

Ÿ        Use provided materials to build these different components of their community.

Teacher preparation:

Ÿ        Set up building materials for community model construction.


Ÿ        Students brainstorm and create a list of various parts of our community.  (See week 4 lesson plans for brainstorming)


Ÿ        Separate students into groups of 3-5.

Ÿ        Work with one group of students each day (6 days).

Ÿ        With each small group, provide students with options (from the whole-class brainstorming list) of community components they can begin to build.

Ÿ        Let students vote on what they want to work on – students can work individually, or together – whatever they prefer.

Ÿ        Students will be shown the various materials they can work with (boxes, paper, paint, markers, crayons, glue, magazines, etc.)

Ÿ        Students are responsible for creating their own model.  Teacher will provide assistance and guidance as needed.  Students can choose to create it any way they choose.


Ÿ        On days 7 and 8, students will start to assemble the model.  They will determine approximate locations of the components (based on my blueprint/map of the community). 

Ÿ        Finishing touches, such as signs, labels, or touch-ups, will be done during this time.

Extra Challenge or Adaptations:

Ÿ        Student will participate in building of the community model with assistance from cooperating teacher, aide, or me.  Just as the other kids will have the opportunity to choose what they want to work on, he can do the same, and can choose to create it however he wants, with whatever materials he chooses.

Evaluation or Assessment:

Ÿ        Students will be evaluated based on their participation and whether or not they build specified parts of the community.

Ÿ        Students will be evaluated on their ability to follow directions (i.e. if they build something completely unrelated to the community, they will not have followed directions.)