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These are Things in My Community

Main Core Tie

Social Studies - 1st Grade
Standard 1 Objective 1

Time Frame

4 class periods of 30 minutes each

Group Size



Calbert Beck
Kristen Cottrell
Stephanie Seely


Students will observe, identify, and record similarities and differences within their school and neighborhood communities.




  • pencil
  • clipboards (something to write on while carried)
  • butcher paper
  • markers
  • handouts (You will find both PDF and Microsoft Word versions of each handout below.)

Background for Teachers

Teachers will want to recognize the differences and similarities between their classroom and the other classrooms they will be touring. Teachers will also want to make arrangements for the class to quickly tour other classrooms of differing grade levels.

Intended Learning Outcomes

Students will be able to observe and record the similarities and differences between two or more settings.

Instructional Procedures

Day 1
As a class, discuss things you see in your classroom (i.e. desks, calendar, word wall, bulletin boards, tables, gathering carpet, reading center, computers). Let the students wander around the room for a minute then re-gather to make a list of their observations on a chart paper. Show the students the pictures of different classrooms from around the world. Discuss the similarities and differences between the classrooms.

Day 2
Take the class on a school tour through 3 classrooms of different grade levels. While on the tour, the students will be recording their observations on the paper handout called "Things I See Around My School." After returning to your classroom, discuss your students' findings as a class. Collect the students' recording sheets to look at again tomorrow.

Day 3
Pass out the students' recording sheets from yesterday and revisit them. Introduce a Venn Diagram to the class and explain how to fill it out using the information from the students' recording sheets. The students then work with partners to complete their Venn Diagram. They will need a piece of butcher paper and markers to do this activity.

Re-gather the class and have each partnership share their diagram with the class before hanging them up.

Homework To Be Given On Day 3
Explain to the class that tonight they will be filling out a recording sheet, "Things I See Around My Neighborhood," on things they see outside their own home and outside a neighbor's house. This is just like the sheet they filled out on the tour in the school. The students will need to bring their recording sheet to school tomorrow in order to complete the graphing portion.

Day 4
Review bar graphs with the class. The students will need their homework recording sheet from last night in order to fill out the bar graph sheet called "Things I See Graph." This activity should be independent, each student using his/her own homework sheet to graph the data. Students who did not bring back the homework sheet may share someone else's sheet, but must make their own graph. When completed, the students will pair/share their graph with a partner to discuss similarities and differences.

Day 5
Give the assessment.

Strategies for Diverse Learners

Adaptive interventions for struggling students:

  • Decrease list of items to be observed
  • Assign student to a group who can encourage performance
  • Instead of documenting items, have student draw his/her observation.
Adaptive extension for students:
  • Have students write sentences comparing two items, using the key words more and less than.
  • Have students discover the sum or difference of two items.
  • Have the students document items using tally marks.
  • Have the students discuss or share their observations of the surrounding neighborhood.


Encourage students to recall and discuss items they observed, but did not record. Have students compare and contrast these items with each other.

Assessment Plan

Have students fold the Similarities and Differences Assessment page (listed in the materials and below) so that they have 4 squares. Students will draw and/or write to show what they have learned about similarities and differences in their school and their neighborhood/community over the last few days.

Created: 06/16/2010
Updated: 02/05/2018