Year 9 Geography Communities Assignment

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Unit 1: What is a Community?

Overarching Question:

What is a community and why do families live in communities?

Previous Unit:

This Unit:

What is a Community?

Next Unit:

Where is My

Community and What

is it Like There?

Questions to Focus Assessment and Instruction:

1. What is a community?

2. Why do families live in comunities?

3. How are communities alike and different?

Types of Thinking:


Unit Abstract: In this foundational unit students explore characteristics of communities, the reasons people live in communities, and different kinds of communities. The unit begins with a review of the concept of family and explores the question, "Why do families live in communities?" Students then investigate common characteristics of a community including location, physical characteristics, history, government, people, and businesses. Students explore two reasons people live in a community and are introduced to the concept of government. Using a variety of resources, including photographs and illustrations from picture books, students then examine different kinds of communities and explore how communities differ in size and geography. Using a Venn Diagram, students identify similarities and differences between two communities. Finally, students begin to create a profile of their local community by gathering information from family members and friends about what makes their community special.


Focus Questions:

1. What is a community?

2. Why do families live in communities?

3. How are communities alike and different?

Content Expectations:

1 - G2.0.1: Distinguish between physical (e.g., clouds, trees, weather) and human (e.g., buildings, playgrounds, sidewalks) characteristics of places.

2 - G2.0.1: Compare the physical and human characteristics of the local community with those of another community.

2 - G4.0.2: Describe the means people create for moving people, goods, and ideas within the local community.

2 - C1.0.1: Explain why people form governments.

2 - E1.0.3: Describe how businesses in the local community meet economic wants of consumers.

Key Concepts:

basic needs





human characteristics of place


physical characteristics of place



Lesson Sequence:

Lesson 1: What is a Family?

Lesson 2: What is a Community?

Lesson 3: Why Do People Live in Communities?

Lesson 4: Comparing Different Kinds of Communities

Lesson 5: My Local Community


I Can Statements:


I can explain what a family is.


I can describe what a community is.


I can compare and contrast two or more communities and describe their physical and human characteristics.


I can describe why my community is special.





Overhead Projector or Document Camera and Projector

Chart Paper and Markers


Student Resources:

Caseley, Judith. On the Town: A Community Adventure. Greenwillow Books, 2002

Chesanow, Neil. Where Do I Live? Barron's Educational Series, 1995

Costa-Pau, Rosa. The City. Broomall, PA: Chelsea House Publishers, 1995

DK Publishing. A Life Like Mine. DK Publishing, 2005

Geisert, Bonnie and Arthur. Desert Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2001

- - -. Mountain Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2000

- - -. Prairie Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1998

- - -. River Town. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 1999

Harris, Nancy. What's a City Council? New York: Heinemann Library, 2007

Hartman, Gail. As the Crow Flies: A First Book of Maps. Aladdin Books, 1993

Leedy, Loreen. Mapping Penny's World. Owlet Paperbacks, 2003

Luciani, Brigitte. How Will We Get to the Beach? North-South Books, 2003

Morris, Ann. Houses and Homes (Around the World Series). New York: Harper Collins, 1995

Simon, Norma. All Kinds of Families. New York: Albert Whitman and Company, 1976

Soentpiet, Chris K. Around Town. New York: HarperCollins, 1994

Sweeney, Joan. Me on the Map. Dragonfly Books, 1998

Sweeney, Joan & Cable, Annette. Me and My Family Tree. Dragonfly Books, 2000

Takabayashi. Mari. I Live in Brooklyn. New York: Houghton Mifflin, 2004

Treays, Rebecca. My Town. Tulsa, OK: Usborne Publishing, 1998

White Pellegrino, Marjorie. My Grandma's the Mayor: A story for children about community spirit and pride. New York: Magination Press, 1999

Teacher Resources

Draze, Dianne. Our Town-A Guide for Studying Any Community. Dandy Lion Publications, 1988

Hoberman, Mary Ann. Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems. New York: Scholastic, 1991

Hollenbeck, Kathleen. Exploring Our World: Neighborhoods and Communities. New York: Scholastic, 1999.

Hollenbeck, Kathleen. Neighborhood and Community (20 manipulative Mini-books). New York: Scholastic, 2004.

Norris, Jill. My Community: A Complete Thematic Unit. Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, 1996

Tamblyn, Catherine. Neighborhood & Community Write and Read Books: 15 reproducible non-fiction books on Homes, Community Helpers, Transportation and More That Your Students Help Write. New York: Scholastic 2006.


How Communities Are Different. 3 July 2008 <>.

Kids and Community . 3 July 2008 <>.

Norris, Jill. My Community, A Complete Thematic Unit. Monterey, CA: Evan-Moor Educational Publishers, 1996.


Resources for Further Professional Knowledge:

National Council for the Social Studies. 3 July 2008 < >.


Social Studies Lesson Plans and Resources. 3 July 2008 <>.


Strategies for Teaching Social Studies. 3 July 2008 <>.


Teaching Social Studies. 3 July 2008 <>.


United Streaming Resources:

City, Suburb, and Rural Communities (16 min.)

How Communities are Alike and Different (15 min.)

How Communities Grow and Change (15 min.)


Lesson 1: What is a Family?


Lesson 1 Supplemental Materials:

Content Expectations:

This lesson serves as a foundational lesson to connect the context of first grade social studies (Families) to the context for second grade of communities. The lesson activates prior knowledge about families meeting each others’ basic needs.

Integrated GLCEs:

R.NT.02.02: Identify and describe the basic elements and purpose of a variety of narrative genre including poetry, fantasy, legends, and drama. (English Language Arts)

Key Concepts:

basic needs, family



Abstract: In this lesson students review what they learned about families in grade one. The lesson begins with a brainstorming session in which students work together to answer the question: “What is a Family?” Next students use the poem “What is a Family?” from Fathers, Mothers, Sisters, Brothers: A Collection of Family Poems or a similar piece of literature to add to their brainstormed list. Finally, students review basic needs of people including food, clothing and shelter. Using a large 3-column chart the teacher guides students in listing ways families meet their basic needs in the local community.


Lesson 2: What is a Community?


Lesson 2 Supplemental Materials:


Click here

Content Expectations:

1 - G2.0.1: Distinguish between physical (e.g., clouds, trees, weather) and human (e.g.,buildings, playgrounds, sidewalks) characteristics of places.

2 - G4.0.2:

The study of this unit has allowed you to learn how to analyse Australia's population trends and changing settlement patterns in suburban areas. As a demographer, you are required to analyse current population data  to decide where in the community certain services are most required.

TASK: As a demographer, the Queensland Government has asked you to analyse current population data in order to decide where services are needed in the local community. You must decide which of the following services will best meet the needs of the 4034 postcode over the next 10-15 years. EITHER:
a) A child care centre or
b) A migrant services facility or
c) An indigenous community centre or
d) An aged health care facility

Create a 450-550 word written justification for the establishment of your recommended service. You must also include a hand-drawn population profile. The statistics and blank population profile template will be provided. (A self-assessment checklist will be also provided to review your work in this section.)You should refer to the patterns and trends in your population profile to help justify your decision.

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