Community is a core Quaker value and is a part of every school’s life.  What do 1st and 2nd graders think about community?

This fall, we are exploring community in our social studies “Community Workers” unit.

Exploring the neighborhood discussing what makes a community.
Exploring the neighborhood and discovering what makes a community.

Our guiding questions:

  • What makes a community?
  • What communities do I belong to?
  • Are there rituals and traditions in my community?
  • How can I help my community?
  • How do members of a community treat each other and help one another?

Each week, we invite family members to come talk about about the work they do in their community.

community worker presentation
A second grader's dad shares about his work as a family doctor.

“A doktor is important … and has to study for meny years. Eat hellthy food, take vitemins, do exersise.” – second grade writing reflection

community worker presentation
A first grader's mom shares about her volunteer work.

“She hellps peopel that nede homes and food.” “She doesn’t get payed because volunteers don’t get payed.” second grade writing reflections

community work presentation
Children feel pride in their parents when they come to talk about their community work.

“She supervisis 22 people that bild trucks. Thea yoos robots so thea can bild 1000 trucks a day…It was intrastn. It was fun.” first grade writing reflection

These presentations explore and build community as:

  • The children feel pride in their parents, introducing them to their classmates.
  • We all enjoy getting to know one each other.
  • We hear about all the different professions and volunteer work that parents in our community do.
  • We learn so much about the nature of work
  • We see how we all fit together – many small parts building a whole.

We hope students get a well-rounded idea of the value and interconnectedness of work for pay, volunteerism and community service.

community worker presentation
Community worker presentations give first and second graders practice at being a good audience and asking quality questions.
writing about community workers
Writing reflections about community workers.

Each time a parent/family friend comes to school we get to practice listening, report writing (all steps in the writing process), asking quality questions, and being an audience.

After the presentations, children write about what they learned and what part of the presentation was most interesting to them.

As this unit culminates, our two classes of 1st and 2nd graders will work together to design and build a community from small boxes, corks, bottle caps, and any other interesting items. Stay tuned to see how this tabletop model will incorporate their ideas about what makes a community.