Discuss with students the physical and human characteristics of the community in which they live. Show students how communities are alike and different by having them sort pictures of different communities. Have them brainstorm (view literacy strategy descriptions) reasons why people choose to live in different places (e.g., location, climate, physical environment, work).
Have students identify and collect data on both the physical and human characteristics of their local community. Have students use books, magazines, newspapers, and other resources to find pictures and information about landforms, bodies of water, vegetation, and the climate of the local community. Some other characteristics may include the number of people working within or outside of the community, the origin of families, languages, religious beliefs, and land use. Students should organize all information found on a poster, chart, or graphic organizer entitled Our Local Community.
Ask students to write an expository paragraph about their community. Instruct them to describe both human and physical characteristics. Also have students include changes that have been made in their community over time, and explain why those changes were made. Then have them sketch a map of the community.