Lesson 3

Research of Our Community


  • NCSS Standard: Culture and Cultural Diversity - enable learners to assess the importance of cultural unity and diversity within and across groups. The students will begin to understand the diversity that exists in the community by researching the places they don't know much about or are unfamiliar with.
  • NCSS Standard: Individual Development and Identity - assist learners as they work independently and cooperatively within groups and institutions to accomplish goals.
  • NCSS Standard: Individuals, Groups, and Institutions - guide learner analysis of the extent to which groups and institutions meet individual needs and promote the common good in contemporary and historical settings.
  • MMSD Standard (4): Behavioral Science - Demonstrate an ability to interact within a group while performing various group roles including organizing, planning, and goal setting.


  • Photos from the previous lesson
  • Computer
  • Projector
  •  iEarn website: http://iearn.org/
  • Model information guides
  • Computer Lab
  • Resources for students to build info guides


  • Students will conduct research on places in their community.
  • Students will build information guides for places in their community.

Lesson Context:

The students will be connecting with another classroom soon. The community is located in another type of environment in which the students are exposed to everyday (i.e. rural or urban). This lesson will take a few days to complete because the students will be doing research on places in their community and creating information guides for these places. The process may take up to a week depending on the rate of the students, as well as the students in our partner school that we will be connecting with.

Lesson Procedures:

  • The students will be instructed to reflect back to the walk we did around our community. Explain that each student will be choosing a place to focus on in the community and we will be conducting research on that place.
  • Show the students the website iEarn.com. Explain that we will begin connecting with another school in a community different than ours. We will be going to their community where they will show us where they live and what is around them. They will also be visiting us. We need to research our community and become experts so we can present our places to the students so they leave us understanding how we live. Each student will have a place to become an expert on and research.
  • We will refer back to the list of places in our community that we took pictures of from our walk. The students will begin thinking about the places they want to research and present to the other school group we will meet with.
  • I will pull sticks from the jar that have the students’ names on them to decide who can choose which place in what order. Each student will have a location or characteristic of our community to research to present to the other group. If there are extra locations that we, as a class, feel are important to our community, then I will leave them on the list for the students to pick up later if they would like to do additional research and have completed their original location.
  • I will pass out the model information guides for the students to look at before they begin their research on the places in our community. We will have a brief discussion about what they think should be included in the guide and what I would like for them to include.o   Name, Location, Description, Use, Who Uses It, etc.
  • The students will be brought to the computer lab where they can begin their research. Some students can stay in the classroom if they want to begin building their information guide. Websites are often available for locations within communities. Several students should be able to find information for these places.
    • If information cannot be found, alternative options can be made:
      • The students can choose a different location from our list.
      • The students can go to these places with parental consent to interview and talk with the people that are there.
      • I will facilitate their information guide. I will make phone calls to gather information for the students who are having trouble with their research. I will also travel to the places to gather more information and the students will have the option of coming with me with parental consent.
      • The students can also use each other as information resources if students use the facility or are at the location often. Further, they can use other people in the school as resources if familiar with the location.
  • The students will be given appropriate timing to finish their research and information guides. It will take approximately 3-5 days to complete this portion of the unit.


The students will be assessed based on the outcome of their information guide. I will assure throughout the process that students are collecting the appropriate information that is valid and correct. The effort they put into the process of researching and building information guides will also be assessed.

Special Considerations:

For students who are reserved and are afraid to present a place themselves, I will allow them to work with a partner. Yet, they will still have to complete two information guides for two different locations in the community. The students can present together, but will present two different locations instead of presenting one alone.

Next Steps:

Make sure to be discussing with the teacher of the partner school so our students are finishing their research and information guides at approximately the same time.