Project Based Learning Unit

Project Based Learning

Grade: 4-Kindergarten Subject: Social Studies

Project Title: Special people and places in our neighborhood

Project Idea: During this unit the students will learn about different places and people who work in the neighborhood. Each day the students will be allowed to explore the different work areas of people who may be in the community such as the doctor’s office, post office, fire station, chef’s kitchen, and the farmers garden.

Driving Question: Who are the special people in our neighborhood and where do they work?

~Wisconsin standard
  • Social Studies: Behavioral Science
E.4.5 Identify and describe institutions such as school, church, police, and family and describe their contributions to the well being of the community
>Social Studies: Political Science
C.4.1 Identify and explain the individual's responsibilities to the community

~Wisconsin Early Learning Standards
>Curiosity, Engagement, and Persistence
A.EL.1 Displays curiosity, risk-taking and willingness to engage in new experiences
>Creativity and Imagination
B.EL.1Engages in imaginative play and inventive thinking through interaction with people, materials and the environment

~Wisconsin Technology
A.4.8 Use tools to observe, measure, make things, and transfer information

Student Objectives:
The Students will be able to: identify different community helpers (fire fighter, doctor, farmer, mail carrier, police officer, chef) and match them with the building or area they would work in.

Before: Discuss with the students as a whole group
  • What is a super hero? What do they do?
  • What is a helper?
  • What is a community or neighborhood?
  • Do we have helpers in our neighborhood? Who are they?
Show a variety of different people you might find in a neighborhood and have students name them.
(see attached for pictures)

During: Observe and talk one to one with students during work time.

After: Students will take turns adding to the neighborhood map on the smart board. Each student will get a chance add a building to the map or add the helper or vehicle that matches the building.

  • Pictures of community helpers
  • Computers
~ http://pbskids.org/rogers/buildANeighborhood.html
~ http://teacher.scholastic.com/commclub/
  • This sight could be used if more activities are needed. Students would choose a community helper and can listen to the short story about that helper be read to them.
~ http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=5fSrq4k6UXk
  • This is a good video that can be used. Explains the job of the community helpers.
~ http://itunes.apple.com/us/app/my-profession/id480924167?mt=8
  • This app is a really great resource to use with children. They will have fun playing the different games involving the different people in our community.
  • Play center supplies
~ Dr. Office
~ Firefighter
~Post Office (writing center)
~ Farmer (touch table)
~Construction worker/carpenter (block corner)
~ Chef (housekeeping)
  • Duck tape to make roads on classroom floor
  • Markers, construction paper, glue, tape, scissors
  • Boxes and other small containers to make buildings for the ‘town’
  • Toy cars and trucks (Fire engine, police car, ambulance ect.)
  • Toy street signs
  • Fisher price community people
  • Book “When I Grow Up” By: Al Yankovic
  • Community helpers paper doll match ups
  • Smart Board

Weekly Sequence:

Students will be introduced to the unit of Community Helpers.
Start by having a short class discussion.
What is a community or neighborhood?
What does it mean to help?
What do you think a community helper is?
Do we know any helpers in our neighborhood?
Show the different pictures of the community helpers (found in attachments). Ask students if they can identify the person and if so how do they know who they are.
After the discussion, allow time for students to explore the neighborhood game found on Mr. Rodgers Neighborhood PBS web page (http://pbskids.org/rogers/buildANeighborhood.html). Encourage students to use the information gathered in the discussion when creating their neighborhood.
Students will learn about jobs people in our neighborhood do and what they use to do their job.
Dr. Office
Fire Station
Post Office (writing Center)
Chef’s Kitchen (housekeeping)
Construction Site (block corner)
Farm (Touch Table)
Before sending the students off to explore, as a class, discuss the items found in the center and talk about what they would be used for. At the “fire station” discuss what Stop Drop and Roll means and what you would use it for. As a class practice. Go over classroom rules when playing in the centers (with new center items to play with rules can easily be forgotten)
After each students has had a fair amount of exploration time in each center, gather back a group and discuss what they discovered in each center. What was their favorite center and why? Did you learn anything about people who might do that work in our community?
Students will learn how a neighborhood is set up and how it has to work together.
In preparation, place duck tape in patterns of roads covering the classroom floor. Using a marker add center lines on the tape.
Discuss with students who some of the helpers in our community are. Make a class list of some of the people.
Draw attention to the road on the floor. (what is missing in our town? All we have are roads right now.)
Using the list have student construct their own buildings using old shoe boxes or other small boxes or containers.
When students create their buildings encourage them to add detail. (how are we going to know what type building you are making? What can you add to it so that I know who works there?)
Give students toy cars and trucks to use (fire engine, police car, ambulance, ect.), street signs, Fisher Price Community Helpers figures. After construction is complete, allow plenty of time for play and exploration.
To close the lesson, discuss with student what they had in their classroom neighborhood. How did the people and places in their neighborhood help?
Students will learn how community helpers have specific uniforms that allow us to identify who they are.
Introduce the book “When I Grow Up” by: Al Yankovic
Read the book to students periodically stopping in the book to talk about what the boy in the story is doing and the different community helpers they see.
After discussion group students in pairs and have them play an identification game with each other. One partner will dress the paper doll with the uniform for a community helper while the other closes their eyes. When the doll is dresses the other partner identifies the doll’s job.
Students will be reviewing what they have been exploring all week. Students will take turns doing various activities that I created for the smart board. ( Please refer to the power point attached, the one that I would create would be very similar). The teacher will assess students in their ability to complete the activities with accuracy.

When I Grow Up by Lori Reed.notebook

This notebook was found on Smart exchange. When teaching this lesson in my classroom, I would create a notebook similar to this one for the students to use and work with that I could assess them in the knowledge of community helpers. To better assess the needs of the students that would use this notebook, I would use less word s when creating the different activities so that students could use them more independently with less prompting from the teacher.