Lively Lessons: Community

Community building is an important part of any back to school lesson plan. Communities can be large or small, consisting of any group of people who have something in common. They may include the residents of a town, the members of an ethnic or religious group, or the students who attend classes together, among other groups. Learning to be a good community member and to respect the cultures and challenges of other communities is an important part of citizenship in the globalized modern world.
One way to learn about building community in your classroom & school is through exploring different types of communities that exist. Check out the Content Collection in Discovery Education Streaming Plus for Communities. The Content Collections have gotten a face lift and now include lesson starters and suggested strategies (SOS) to help you use the resources in your classroom.


Below are a few ideas on ways to study communities with your students. We’d love to hear your ideas in the comments, below!

K- 5: Community Snowball Fight: Tell students that they will watch a video segment about types of communities. Explain that as they watch, they should write one fact about communities that they learn from the video. Project the video segment “What’s In Your Community?” Make sure that each student has recorded one fact. Then tell students to crumple their papers and throw them into the air like snowballs on the count of three. Have each student pick up a snowball and read its fact silently. When students have read their facts, tell them to add one detail or new fact to the snowball they have. Repeat the crumpling and tossing process at least three times. Then have students take turns reading the complete contents of their snowballs to the group.

6-8: Community Education Poster: Tell students that they will work in small groups to create a digital poster educating viewers about different kinds of communities. Explain that they will use Board Builder to create a poster collage showing examples of social groups, ethnic groups, recreation groups, and work groups. Introduce students to these different kinds of groups by playing the “Social Organizations,” “Ethnic Groups,” and Recreational and Work Groups” video segments. Then have students conduct research using Discovery Education Streaming resources to find images and video clips for their posters. Have student groups present their completed work to the rest of the class.

9-12: Community Problem Solving: Tell students that they will review video segments in order to identify one important problem facing a community and then they will propose a solution to that problem in a digital presentation. Organize students into small groups. Direct groups to view and discuss the video segments “Socioeconomic Twin Study,” “The Effect of Socioeconomic Status on the Brain,” and “The Geography of Wealth.” Each video segment is part of the full video “Through the Wormhole with Morgan Freeman: Is Poverty Genetic?” on Discovery Education Streaming. As groups determine which overall problem discussed in the video they will address in their presentations, circulate to add support or resolve disputes as needed. Have groups use Board Builder to create brief presentations or interactive posters that identify the problem and provide
at least one possible solution. Encourage them to enhance their presentations with video grabs and images from the Discovery Education Streaming resources


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