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Conceptual Basis for Lesson
Elementary students will discover how the sum of all parts is greater than a whole through the models of community.
Students will work as individuals to accomplish group goals through role-playing activities. They will use act and play in order to convey information to other students in class. Students are a part of a community and the lesson focuses on how each unique individual has something to contribute to the whole.
Relation to the Series
Part of the series: My Community. This lesson introduces students to the idea of community and addresses the importance of members and characteristics. Students must also work in groups as well as individuals further contributing to the idea of community.
- Index cards which are color coordinated.
- Various props to be supplied by teacher. Includes items like: badge, vests, stethoscope, cardboard stop sign, medical gauze, band-aids, garden hose, chalk, eye-glass frames, envelopes, a bag, hats.
- Community: A group of people who live, work, and/or play together.
- Occupation: A person’s business or job, what someone does to make money.
- Acting: Pretending or playing to be someone or something other than yourself.
- Individual: Yourself, single, separate from everyone else.
- Respect: Having consideration for other people, places, and belongings.
- Participation: To join or take part in.
Students will choose an index card which has a color on it and not know what significance the color has until they participate in the lesson activity.
The teacher questions students about their familiarity on acting and actors and informs students that they will be participating in an acting activity. "While one group is acting, the rest of the class will try to guess what is going on and who the main characters are. "
The teacher then explains the relevance of the cards, “I would like for the colors *** to group..." and designates separate areas of the room for each color group. Each group then receives a bag of props which will pertain to their act.
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Student Learning Activity
Each bag of props has objects which pertain to a particular area of society. (TBD by the teacher) After some prep time, the teacher calls groups by colors to do their skit. After a group concludes with their skit, the teacher allows students to guess at what was happening. When students identify a key character: policeman, fireman, bus driver, crossing guard, doctor, teacher, veterinarian, mailman, babysitter, librarian, the teacher writes it on the blackboard.
The teacher points to the list on the board and asks “Please raise your hand if you have any idea what these names have in common." The teacher gets several responses and gives some direction to students. Finally, the teacher asks (if students are not heading this way) “Does anyone know what a community is?" The teacher hears responses and asks questions and gives comments pertaining to what children say. The teacher asks questions about what part each member plays in a community and what would happen in their absence and what members of a community can do together.
The teacher sums up the lesson by checking for understanding. “Okay, we’re going to play a quiz game. I want you to hold one of your hands by your heart like this." The teacher demonstrates. “Now, I will ask you a few questions and if you agree, thumbs up. If you disagree, thumbs down." The teacher then asks a series of questions: (examples)
- A community is full of individuals who can survive on their own and do not need help from one another.
- Each member of a community is important.
- When members of a community work together they can get a lot of work done.
- You are a community member.
- A garbage collector is not an important part of a community.
While very simple, this lesson is a nice introduction to the idea of community and art lessons to follow.
A Role Playing Lesson on Community Helpers
The idea that the whole is greater than the sum of its parts is an important concept in history and the world. Through numerous lessons students will produce artwork expressing their individuality as well as specific information about their community and where they fit in.