My Community

By Dawn Wright, December 16, 2009

Grade Level

  • PreK-1


  • City of Neighborhoods

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Social Studies

Lesson Time

45 minutes for classroom activities and 15 minutes for homework


Through this lesson, the students will become aware of their community and school, by interviewing a person that has lived in the community and attended their school in the past.  The students can find a family member to interview, or they may interview someone in the school.  The students will then design individual maps of how the school looked when the person they interviewed attended the school.  Teacher will address the topics of asking interview questions and map skills.  The students will also articulate their models to their peers in a museum walk.  Each student will be engaged in the design process when s/he critically thinks about the map s/he must create based on the interview s/he conducted.  Further, each student must share their map with their peers, and be able to articulate why he or she created his or her map in this specific way.

National Standards

Language Arts

Standard 1. Level I. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process

6. Uses writing and other methods (e.g., using letters or phonetically spelled words, telling, dictating, making lists) to describe familiar persons, places, objects, or experiences

Standard 7. Level I. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts

3. Summarizes information found in texts (e.g., retells in own words)


Standard 1. Level Pre-K. Understands the characteristics and uses of maps, globes, and other geographic tools and technologies

1. Understands that maps can represent his or her surroundings

Standard 4. Level I. Understands the physical and human characteristics of place

1. Knows the physical and human characteristics of the local community (e.g., neighborhoods, schools, parks, creeks, shopping areas, airports, museums, sports stadiums, hospitals)

Grades K-4 History

Standard 1. Level I. Understands family life now and in the past, and family life in various places long ago

2. Understands family life today and how it compares with family life in the recent past and family life long ago (e.g., roles, jobs, schooling experiences)

Visual Art

Standard 1. Level II. Understands and applies media, techniques, and processes related to the visual arts

1. Knows the differences between art materials (e.g., paint, clay, wood, videotape), techniques (e.g., overlapping, shading, varying size or color), and processes (e.g., addition and subtraction in sculpture, casting and constructing in making jewelry)

2. Knows how different materials, techniques, and processes cause different responses from the viewer

3. Knows how different media (e.g., oil, watercolor, stone, metal), techniques, and processes are used to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories

4. Uses art materials and tools in a safe and responsible manner



Students will be able to:

  • ask questions to find out someone’s school experiences and find out if the school has changed
  • create a map of the school based on their interview of a student at the school





  • teacher-created interview questions
  • construction paper
  • glue
  • scissors
  • form shapes
  • markers
  • crayons
  • pencils
  • paper


  • interview: a formal consultation usually to evaluate qualifications
  • map: a representation usually on a flat surface of the whole or a part of an area; a representation of the celestial sphere or a part of
  • question: an act or instance of asking


Day 1:

1. Teacher will introduce what is an interview, and teacher will model it.

2. Teacher will share a brief history of students’ town and share pictures of the school’s  students from the past.

3. Teacher will ask Before, During and After questions to maintain students’ attention and comprehension.

4. Teacher will ask students if they know someone at home who graduated from their school.

5.  Teacher will xxplain to students they will interview someone that graduated from their school.

6. Teacher will do shared reading with the questions, so students can be prepared.  The interview questions will be sent ho me with the students to complete.

(Note: If a student does not have a family member to interview, they may interview someone in school the following day.  These students will be paired with a sixth grade student to help them write and ask questions.)


1. Students will share some their interviews.

2. Teacher will explain what is a map, and why we have them.

3. Teacher will show the students some maps, and the teacher will model how to create a map.

4. Students will then think about how to create their map, based on the answers from the interview they conducted.

5. Each student will create a draft map, which the teacher will proofread.

6. Then the teacher will give the students materials to create their maps.

7. To conclude there will be a museum walk of the maps and the students will view each others maps and tell the rest of the class about his/her map.


I would determine the students’ understanding based on their presentation of their map, and how well they are able to explain how their map corresponds to the answers of the person they interviewed. I would differentiate instruction by assisting students who are non-writers.  I will pair them with a sixth grader and the sixth grader will read the questions for them and write for them.  Students that are having difficulty will be guided with probing questions, to get their thinking headed down the right path.

Enrichment Extension Activities

The lesson will be expanded to home, if the student choices to interview someone in their family that attended the school.  This lesson triggers higher order thinking skills, when the students must apply the questions and answers, and analyze the interview to create the map of the school-based on the interview.

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