Comparing Communities

Language Arts Activity

As children study their own community, they also develop the framework for learning about other communities. In this activity, children interview a classroom visitor to learn about another community and discover what it has in common with their own.

WHAT YOU NEED

WHAT TO DO

  1. Create a take-home letter asking family members if they know of anyone who has recently moved to the area from another community who would be willing to share information about that community with the class.

  2. Once you have contacted this person, suggest that he or she bring to class memorabilia of his or her former community: maps, picture post cards, photographs, newspapers, and so forth.

  3. In preparation for the visit, have children think about questions they might ask their visitor about his or her original community. Explain that the questions should help them learn in what ways their community and the other community are alike and how they differ. As children volunteer ideas, write them on newsprint taped to the chalkboard.

    Sample questions:

TEACHING OPTIONS
For an oral summation, ask children to explain if they would like to visit the community described by their visitor, and to tell why.

Ask students to show what they have learned by comparing their community with the one their visitor described. Create a comparison chart of the two communities. On newsprint, make two columns, one for SAME and one for DIFFERENT and have children dictate what information should be in each column.

Have children write thank-you notes to their visitor, in which they tell what they especially enjoyed about his or her visit.

If you find you have more than one choice for visitors, you may wish to repeat the activity with another guest, especially if that person's former community is quite different from the first visitor's.


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