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Name: Haley Williams

Grade: 2nd grade


Lesson Title: Compare Differences/Similarities in Communities: Geography

Day of Week,


Instructional Context
What do I know about my students that will inform this lesson?

I know that most of the students in my classroom come from the neighborhood/community that
surrounds the school. This is a neighborhood/community that is mostly suburban. For this reason I
know that the students would benefit from learning what other types of communities lay beyond
the one that they currently reside in. These includes urban, suburban, and rural communities. The
students will benefit from seeing the differences in these communities and what it can mean for the
residents who live in them. I also know that my students enjoy visuals and being able to see what I
am explaining or referring to instead of just having the information stated. For this reason, visual
aids in this lesson plan will be an asset to the students learning. I also know that it is important for
my students to have physical items to refer back to in their learning processes. For this reason, I
will make all materials used in this lesson accessible to the students in an effort to make their
learning more concrete.
How does this lesson connect with and build on the previous lesson(s)?
I know that in first grade the students were introduced to what a community and neighborhood is.
Prior to that knowledge they learned about their school and classroom community, as well as how,
as a person, they are a part of that classroom and school community. This year we have also been
looking at the different important people in our community, how we can benefit our own
community/ neighborhood, and school community, etc. To extend their understanding of a
community, we will be looking beyond just our classroom, school, and neighborhood communities,
and extending our knowledge to what the characteristics of other communities in our surrounding
geographical area are.

How do I expect to build on this lesson in subsequent lessons?

After learning more in-depth about other communities, we could forward this lesson by making a
map of our own community. This lesson would then begin the process of understanding maps, their
symbols, and how we use them to gather information about other places. Subsequent lessons would
include looking at our state map, country map, and global maps, working to understand and gather
information from them.

Standards Addressed
Wisconsin Model Academic Standards for Social Studies
o (Standard been adapted and revised from the Social Studies Performance Standard A
Geography Grade 4)
A.4.7- Students will be able to identify connections between the local communities
and other communities in Wisconsin.
o From Madison Metropolitan School District; grade 2, Geography
4. Compare and contrast life and characteristics of cities, towns, farms, and
National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)

o Theme: People, Places, Environments

h. examine the interaction of human beings and their physical environment, the use of
land, building of cities, and ecosystem changes in selected locales and regions
Common Core State Standards (CCSS)
o SL.2.2- Recount or describe key ideas or details from a text read aloud or information
presented orally or through other media.
Standards for Historical Thinking
o Standard 2: Historical Comprehension
G. Draw upon the visual data presented in photographs, paintings, cartoons, and
architectural drawings.

Learning Objectives/Academic Language/Assessments/Materials:

Learning Objectives:
1. Students will identify the characteristics that make up
urban, rural, and suburban communities.
2. Students will compare the characteristics urban, suburban,
and rural communities.
3. Students will construct an urban, rural, or suburban

Academic Language/Language Function Objectives:

Academic Language:

Language Function:
Venn Diagram


Smartboard presentation with visual aids that highlights the

characteristics of each type of community.
Book: The Little House
Venn diagram worksheets

Matching Assessments:
Students will take notes on
characteristics observed throughout
power point. (formative)
Students will produce a Venn diagram
that compares urban, suburban, and rural
communities. (formative)
Students will draw/paint a picture of an
urban, suburban, or rural community OR
students will create a collage that
encompasses the characteristics of an
urban, suburban, or rural community.


Formative: Students will produce a Venn diagram that

compares urban, suburban, and rural communities.

Formative: Students will take notes on characteristics

observed throughout power point.

CFUs: REALLY GOOD Questions and you understand

the importance of CFUs.
a. Based on these definitions, what kind of community
do you believe you live in/what type of community
is our school in?
b. What do you think makes up a suburban
community? What are the characteristics? Does this
remind you of your community?
c. What do you think makes up a rural community?
What evidence do the pictures show you?
GREAT question! Middle level thinking!
d. What do you think makes up an urban community?
How does this relate to our community?
e. What is a map?
f. During read aloud: Do you think that it is possible
for one place to have been a rural community, a
suburban community, and a city?

Summative: Students will create a drawing/painting/sketch

or collage comparing two communities and their
characteristics. (summative-but not high stakes)

Instructional Strategies and Learning Tasks (Procedures & Timelines)

Instructional Strategies/ Learning Tasks - Include introduction (and
hook), demonstration, participation , practice & closure


Approx. 30 min

1 minute


This introduction will serve as a

reminder of the knowledge that
the students already have about
communities. It is working to
activate prior knowledge. The
purpose of this introduction in
relation to the standards is to
make students aware of the
objectives and standards of the
lesson. This means letting the
students know that they will be
comparing different communities
and making connections between
those communities as well.


(Hook)- Remind students of knowledge that they have about

communities already. A community is a group of people who
are living/a part of the same area. Talk about how in first
grade we learned all about what it means to be a part of a
community. Also, how we all belong to many communities
(school, classroom, neighborhood). Tell the students that
there are even MORE communities we can learn about and
that is what we will be doing today! Direct students attention
to the Smart Board where the visual and technological part of
the lesson will be held. The first slide introduces the topic of
3 different communities and what the objectives of our lesson
today will be. Tell the students we will be learning about
urban, suburban, and rural communities. Also make them
aware that we will be looking at the characteristics (a quality
or trait, a particular thing) of each community and how they
are similar and different from one another.


The purpose of this

demonstration is directly

Go to slide 2 of the presentation. Keep gray screen pulled up

to cover up the definitions of the community types. Ask
students if they have any idea as to what these types of
communities are like based on just the name. Have they heard
of them before? Ask about urban first, then suburban, and
then rural. This way you can pull down the gray screen and
reveal the appropriate information at the right time. Make
sure to read over each definition after a student(s) has given
you their prediction as to what that community is. Make
students aware that these are all kinds of communities that we
can find in Wisconsin.
Ask: Based on these definitions, what kind of community do
you believe you live in/what type of community is our school
Throughout this demonstration students should have a piece
of blank lined paper in which they are recording their
observations/noticings on the various characteristics of the
communities being shown. Their paper has three titles that are
spread out by a couple of lines each. Titles include urban,
suburban, and rural. Show students how this should look
before you begin going through the slides.
Reveal slide 3, which shows that South Milwaukee is in fact a
suburban community. Slide 3 has many pictures of this
particular suburban community. Remind students that a
suburban community is one that is located just outside of a
big city. Also, remind students that today we are looking for
the different characteristics or particular things that make
that specific community urban, rural, or suburban. Before
describing a suburban community and its qualities to
students, let them observe the pictures and write down some
things that they notice. Give the students a brief moment to
talk over their notes with the other students at their table. Call
the students together as a group and gather a couple of ideas
from each table. What do you think makes up a suburban
community? What are the characteristics? Does this remind
you of your community? Write those things in the spot on the
slide that says, What do you know already/notice?
Depending on what information the students give you, make
sure to tell them/point out: suburban communities are made
up of a lot of houses (residential-area for people to live,
groups of homes), people do not have large pieces of land,
but many do have backyardssuburban places have parks,
and schools for the people who live there. (Rawson
Elementary and Grant Park in South Milwaukee) Also, point
out that suburban areas have stores for their residents and
places to eat. People drive cars or take busses, and many
people must drive into the city to work. Introduce the term
population to students as the number of people that live in an
area. Explain how suburban communities have a smaller
population that cities, but a larger population that rural

connected to the standards of the

lesson. SS Performance Standard
A.4.7 notes that students will be
able to identify connections
between the local communities
and other communities in
Wisconsin. This demonstration
has students engaging in the
knowledge target of being able to
distinctly learn the different types
of communities in Wisconsin and
their characteristics. It also has
students using the skill target of
identifying as they draw upon the
visual data presented in this
demonstration, which also
connects to Standard 2: Historical
Comprehension. The product
target of this segment of learning
has students writing notes which
help them to identify the
characteristics of the various
communities presented on both
the slides and in a video. This
once again relates back to the
CCSS of this lesson, which is to
describe details of media
presented. The demonstration
also has students considering
how human beings interact with
their environments to create such
communities which is a direction
connection to the NCSS standard
for this lesson.

Reveal slide 4, which shows the rural community of Rio

Creek, WI. Once again, let the students observe the pictures
on the slide. . Before describing a rural community and its
qualities to students, let them observe the pictures and write
down some things that they notice. Give the students a brief
moment to talk over their notes with the other students at
their table. Call the students together as a group and gather a
couple of ideas from each table. What do you think makes up
a rural community? What evidence do the pictures show you?
You should be writing their responses on the slide. Remind
them that rural communities are far from big cities and towns.
Make sure to mention: rural communities have a lot of open
land, people live in houses and sometimes on farms with
animals, tractors are another form of transportation as well as
cars, farming is often a job for many people in rural
communities, schools are available, the population is smaller
than suburban and urban communities. (Try and encourage
students to observe these things by asking what they see or
prompting them to think about specific characteristics before
giving away any information)
Reveal slide 5, which shows the urban community of
Downtown Milwaukee. One again, let the students observe
the pictures on the slide, take some notes on things that they
observe in the pictures, talk to their group members, and then
ask each group what they noticed. What do you think makes
up an urban community? How does this relate to our
community? Write down their responses in the available
space on the slide. Make sure that these things are mentioned:
urban cities have large numbers of people, neighborhoods are
often made up of apartments to live in instead of houses,
urban communities still have parks and schools, they are
more crowded with buildings leaving no open land, a lot of
traffic-bus, car, train, etc.
Move onto slide 6. Tell them that this photo is a picture of a
map. Tell the students we are going to STOP and THINK.
What is a map? Get some student insight. Tell them that a
map is a picture that shows the landforms, streets, cities, and
sometimes more things for a particular place. Introduce
students to this Wisconsin map, which shows various cities in
the state. Point to the black dots on the slide where the urban,
suburban, and rural communities are labeled. Remind
students that suburban communities are right outside of cities,
where as rural communities are usually far from cities. The
map highlights those things.
Move onto slide 7. Copy and paste the link on this slide into
your browser. This is a short video that once again reviews
the characteristics of the various communities as well as
shows some footage from these communities. Ask the
students to take some quick notes during the video and add

them to the notes that they already have about urban, rural,
and suburban communities.
5-7 minutes

Great slides and your descriptive writing is really good.

Move onto slide 8. This slide contains a chart so you can
focus directly on some important characteristics of urban,
suburban, and rural communities. The information in this
chart should be collected together as a whole class. This chart
will serve as a reference point for the students to look at as
they fill in their Venn diagrams. Go through each
characteristic for each type of community and talk over what
we learned from the beginning slides/pictures as well as from
the video.
Students will participate by helping to fill in the graphic
organizer based on the notes that they took during the slide
presentation as well as the video. As you go through the
graphic organizer, ask students to share out loud what they
think should go in the allotted places.
For example: the first characteristic is Places to Live. In
this category you will be talking about the various buildings
and structures that the people/families in these communities
live it. For urban, students may say apartments/condos. For
suburban, students may say houses, duplexes, apartments, etc.
For rural, students may just say houses. You will go on to talk
about each characteristic and fill in what the students respond
and what you feel should be included in each category. This is
a great way for students to begin to see the similarities and
differences among the three types of communities.
When finished with the chart move onto slide 9. This slide is
what the students worksheet looks like. Explain that this is a
Venn diagram and what it will do. This Venn diagram is used
to organize information and it will let us see the similarities
and differences in urban, suburban, and rural communities. It
is similar to our chart, but will let us organize the information
in a different way. Explain to the students that the areas with
one name is to show the characteristics that belong just to that
community. Next, tell the students that the areas with two
community names is where similarities between those two
communities goes. Give an example if you feel it is
necessary. Finally, explain that the middle section is if there
are any similarities among all three communities. Give an
example of how the Venn diagram works by filling in one or
two items with the students.
Move back to the class created graphic organizer and inform
students that they may work and discuss with their table
partners/groups in order to begin filling out the Venn Diagram
and they also may use their notes. Remind students that

The purpose of this participation

segment of the lesson once again
relates to the CCSS SL.2.2 for
this lesson. As the students are
asked to help fill in the graphic
organizer on the smart board they
are being asked to recount or
describe the key ideas that they
learned from both the video and
the slide presentation.
This chart also helps students to
be able to directly see how
suburban, urban, and rural
communities are different. One of
the objectives of this lesson is to
be able to compare the
characteristics of those three
communities, which is what this
graphic organizer is achieving.
This is also the same for the Venn
diagram that the students are
producing (product target). It
allows them to see how those
three communities are related or
different. This connects to the
standard and the students skill of
being able to identify
connections between the local
communities and other
communities in Wisconsin.

todays objective was to find the similarities and differences

in urban, suburban, and rural communities, and that our Venn
diagram will help us to do that.
**Give students about 5-7 minutes to get started on the Venn
This closure
is technically
a read
aloud so it
does not
contribute to
the time of
the overall
lesson. This
part of the
lesson could
also be a
activity if
time runs out
on DAY

Gather students attention after the work time and assure them
they will have time to work on Venn diagram later. To
integrate this social studies lesson with the subject of reading,
for the closure, do a read aloud that relates to todays lesson
of learning the characteristics of urban, suburban, and rural
communities. Read the book, The Little House. This book
will showcase the three different communities.
Set an essential question before reading:
Do you think that it is possible for one place to have been a
rural community, a suburban community, and a city?

This closure is a great way to

integrate some fictional reading
into this lesson. It also connects
to the CCSS SL.2.2 standard for
this lesson which states that
students will be able to
recountkey ideas or details
from a text read aloud
Eventually students will be
taking what they learn in this text
as well as what they learned in
the previous learning segments
and recalling that information for
an assessment.

Throughout the reading take moments for the students to

comment on what community they believe the little house is a
part of during different segments of the story. You can have
students give evidence for their reasoning by picking out
certain details in the pictures provided. Model for the students
the appropriate types of responses you are looking for. When
finished reading the book, all students to continue work on
their Venn diagrams. The lesson has now ended.
**If the lesson was not completed on DAY ONE, read the
book on DAY TWO, and then finish up any loose ends on the
Venn diagram and come back together to have a discussion
about it.**


Closure/Final Assessment
Students are going to have a final art integrated assessment
for this lesson in which they need to visually create two of the
three community types: a suburban, rural, or urban
community. This product will be in the form of a drawing,
painting, or colored pencil sketch or in the form of a collage
with pictures from state newspapers as well as magazines.
This assessment will showcase student knowledge on a
specific type of community in comparison to another
community. Therefore, half of the drawing/collage must be
one type of community and the other half of the
drawing/collage is another. Students then write a small
paragraph at the bottom of the drawing explaining the
comparisons in whichever two communities they chose to

The purpose of this assessment is

to show student attainment of the
lesson objectives. To show that
the objectives are met this
product target will portray if
students can identify
characteristics of the three
communities, compare them, as
well as represent them in a
drawing. All of these things also
connect to the overall standards
of this lesson. For example, A.4.7
notes that students will be able to
identify the connections between
local communities in Wisconsin
as well as other communities.
The students have already made

those connections and are now

representing what they have
learned about the communities
through a visual representation as
well as a small writing segment.

*Sample Layout*

*Students will receive a reminder of how to write

comparative sentences. Ex: An urban community is
similar/different to a suburban community because.*
-To differentiate this assessment for lower level writers you
could also do a personal communication type of assessment
where the student describes their drawing to you.

Accommodation Strategies
Pre-teach Vocabulary and Concepts/Activate prior knowledge
Pre-teaching the vocabulary (urban, suburban, rural, similarities, differences)
as well as the concepts, prior to using it in the lesson or as it is used in the
lesson allows the students to know what you are talking about and what they
will be learning. Also, referencing the vocabulary many times throughout the
lesson and giving the students opportunities to use it will allow them to
learn/solidify the material more successfully. This strategy also helps ELL
students to better understand the content, especially if they have come from a
culture where these types of communities are not present or if their language
does not support those words. Activating prior knowledge builds learning of
new concepts on previously learned concepts.
Encourage questioning/group discussions

Encouraging students to ask questions or saying does anyone have any
questions will help students who may have trouble learning by listening.
Allowing students to ask questions will give them the opportunity to express
what they feel they missed. Providing the chance for students to have group
discussions brings the learning down to a smaller level and gives students the
chance to speak to table members, even if they felt that they could not speak
in front of the whole class. It provides all students the opportunity to share
their ideas.
Provide Worksheets
Providing worksheets like the Venn diagram or note taking strategies, for this
lesson will provide students with a reference for the information that they just
learned. It also allows them to organize the information they just learned and
put it down on paper in an effort to understand it more clearly.
Provide visuals/videos, other modes of understanding (book)
In this lesson I worked to provide a variety of instructional strategies that
would meet the needs of all different types of learners. I have visuals, which
provides images for students who may not be able to visualize what an urban,
suburban, or rural community looks like just by talking about them. I also
used a video in an effort to engage learners once again who are more
visual/audio. This video once again provides more examples of the various
types of communities we learned about. It is a way to extend information
based on what we talked about in the beginning slides. I also include a read
aloud as a segment of this lesson because it is yet another way to view the
information we learned about. This book also differentiates the learning, so
students who could not interpret the video or slides can now see in a
childrens book. Childrens literature is a way to expand beyond the textbook.
Give examples/explanations
Giving examples as well as explanations throughout the lesson allows
students to know what you are expecting and once again provides them with
a reference point when it is their turn to use the information on their own. We
should not leave the students guessing at what they should be doing and clear
examples and explanations helps with that issue. Giving examples is also a
way to model your thinking for the students and how you as the teacher
might go about answering a question, etc.

This is an exemplary lesson plan thorough in terms of writing engaging for the students plus begins
to set the stage for students to take ownership of their own learning. Thinking along this line and your
final poster/integrating art/social studies and ELA you could start the process of giving students
opportunities for their own learning but adding:
Exchange of poster for peer feedback

Add one thought/item above and beyond the basic requirements of their choice.
Of course give opportunities to re-do if they miss something.
Great work. Sherrie