Unit Plan: The Community and Me

Social Studies / Grade 2

Big Ideas

Local actions have global consequences, and global actions have local consequences.


  • Global
  • Local
  • Consequences
  • Actions
Essential Questions

Students will keep considering…

  • Why take action?
Evaluative Criteria

Student is participating in classroom discussion.

Student is able to identify various communities he or she belongs to.

Student is able to justify/support why certain changes should be undertaken.
Student is able to monitor his or her own actions to create a change.
Optional Extension
Students will share this plan with the school’s administration or other classes within the school in order to continue growing the effects of the change.

Optional extension
Students will create and implement their own plan for action themselves. They will document their actions and demonstrate the effects of their actions to their classmates.

Monitoring Progress

Students will fill out a journal with their personal actions within the communal project.


How will teachers and their students reflect on and evaluate the completed project?

Constant feedback from students and dialogue after each activity outlined in the Learning Events will help to direct and adapt what is explored in the next activity. Self, peer and teacher evaluation of the Performance Task and its alignment with the essential questions.

Next time I teach this unit I would…

Allow students to select the short stories that link to Identity.

My students needed:


Potential Student Misunderstanding:

Stage 3 – Learning Plan




  • These learning events/activities are suggested activities only. 
  • In some cases the plans are not fully completed lesson plans. 
  • The teacher may choose some lessons/activities to span over several lessons. 
  • Teachers may add, revise and adapt these lessons based on the needs of their students, their personal preferences for resources, and the use of a variety of instructional techniques.

Learning events are enriched for students when teachers consider the “WHERE TO” acronym and guiding organizer by Wiggins and McTighe.

> Click here for more information on WHERETO

Where To

Where: Where are we going in this lesson Why? What is expected of my students during and after this lesson? • Present the performance task to students early in the unit • Post essential questions; students can generate their own questions as well • Check for  misconceptions
How: How will I hook and hold student interest during this lesson? • Use a provocation as an entry point • Present students with a mystery or challenge
Equip: How will I equip students for expected performances? How will I make sure to teach the foundational skills so that they can understand and complete tasks? • Access understandings and experience with solid instructional practices • Consider strategies that work for divers e learners • Incorporate literacy 44 strategies
Rethink and Revise: How will I help students reflect, rethink and revise their ideas, writing, and tasks? • Have students rethink the big idea • Have students reflect on  their learning  to build understanding
Evaluate: How will students self-evaluate and reflect on their learning after each lesson/task?

Some ideas for self-evaluation include:

• Ticket out the door • Rubrics and checklists • Formative assessments and feedback

Tailor: How will I tailor learning to varied needs, interests and styles? (refer to the NVSD Adaptations Checklist). • Differentiate to your students with the product, the process and the content
Organize:   How will I organize and sequence the learning in each lesson and transition to a new lesson? • Start with the end in mind
Please note that the order in which teachers present this to their students is not mandated to the order of the acronym.


The Learning Events should always be prefaced by focusing on the essential questions:

  • Why take action?


Note: Before starting the learning plan, explain to students the final project – they will be putting together a plan for action to help create a change within the school community.


Prior Knowledge
Grade 1 Big Ideas  

  • We shape the local environment, and the local environment shapes who we are and how we live, our rights, roles, and responsibilities are important for building strong communities. 
  • Healthy communities recognize and respect the diversity of individuals and care for the local environment.

Stage 1 - The Community

The Learning Events should always be prefaced by focusing on the essential questions:

  • Why take action?

Lesson 1 (Define Community)

As a class discussion, identify the various aspects of a community. (A)

Activity Ideas
Create a bulletin board that depicts the local community (T). Each student can draw/construct the buildings and natural resources that belong in their community (T).


Lesson 2 (The Ideal Community)

Discussion: What makes a good community? What would your ideal community look like? (A)

Activity Ideas
Students may draw and write 3 sentences about their ideal community. (M)


Lesson 3 (Types of Communities)

Comparing and contrasting various types of communities (home, school, local, global, etc.) (M)

Activity Idea
Have students identify each of the communities they belong to: Me, my street, my city, my province, my country, my continent, my world (A). Have students create a flipbook (T). Which aspects are the same for each student? (M)


Lesson 4 (Changes in My Community)

Comparing my current community’s environment to what it used to be (M).

Activity Idea
Visit the North Vancouver Museum and archives for photos. Identify changes from images that depict well-known areas in the community (A). What created these changes? Visit the areas to notice changes. (M)


Lesson 5 (Variations in Communities)

Recognizing that communities have various elements in common, but also differences based on geography. (A)

Activity Ideas
Students bring in a photo that represents their own community as well as a photo of a community they’ve visited. Students explain/draw/write how the communities are similar (M/T). Extension: locate both communities on a map of Canada.

*AbEd: Share photographs of a local Aboriginal community and fill in a Venn Diagram demonstrating the similarities and differences between the two communities (T).

Stage 2 - The Environment

The Learning Events should always be prefaced by focusing on the essential questions:

  • Why take action?

Lesson 1 (The Basics)

Identifying/classify the various components of the community’s environment (natural and built) that exists. (A)

Activity Idea
Natural resources scavenger hunt in the school and on the playground. (T)

Book Ideas

WATER: Clean Water for Elirose by Ariah Fine, A Cool Drink of Water by Barbara Kerley

CLEAN AIR: Planting the Trees of Kenya by Claire A. Nivola

ELECTRICITY: Energy Island by Allan Drummond

POLLUTION: The Wump World by Bill Peet, Just a Dream by Chris Van Allsburg, Not your Typical Book about the Environment by Elin Kelsey, All the World by Liz Garton Scalon, Michael Recycle by Ellie Bethel, One Plastic Bag by Isatou Ceesay


Lesson 2 (What Can We Do?)

Have a discussion and identify areas that could be improved in regards to our environment within the community and identify solutions for these issues. (A) Examples: litter on the playground, idling cars at pick up and drop off, turning the lights off, etc.

Activity Idea
Have students draw or write a sentence about what they think would be the most important thing to do to help the environment. (M)


Lesson 3 (Mother Nature & Human Well-Being)

Recognize the importance of our local environment and its link to human well-being (M)

Activity Idea
Students identify natural resources in the community and their effects on the people who live there. (A)

*AbEd: How is this the same or different for Aboriginal communities? Book: From the Mountains to the Seas: We are all community (M)

Stage 3 - Our Actions

The Learning Events should always be prefaced by focusing on the essential questions:

  • Why take action?


Lesson 1 (Small Actions for Big Change)

Demonstrate the impact of small actions: analogy of one drop of water into a bucket and how one drop can create a larger spill (A)

Activity Idea
Read How Full Is Your Bucket? by Tom Rath and Mary Reckmeyer to demonstrate the importance of doing good things. Make the link with mother nature.


Lesson 2 (Brainstorm Actions)

As a class, discuss the various ways in which you could change your behaviour in order to improve the school’s environment.(A) Since this was done in the environment lesson #2, students can use their ideas to help brainstorm. Choose one challenge to be carried out for one week. A note home informing parents should be sent. Students should create a journal to document the undertaken action. (T)

Activity Idea
Read On Meadowview Street by Henry Cole, The Busy Beaver by Nicholas Oldland, Mama Miti: Maathai and the Trees of Kenya by Donna Jo Napoli. Have a discussion about the changes that these people made in their communities. (A/M)


Lesson 3 (Action!)

Throughout a week, students should carry out the chosen action. Daily check ins with their action journals should be done as well as daily conversations about observations based on their actions. (T)

Activity Ideas
Students should self-assess their own actions: did they fully participate? Did they do their best?

As a class, choose a way to document our actions: photos, charts, observations. Take before and after photos to demonstrate the progress. How effective is our project? What adaptations could be made in order to make this project more effective?

The following resources are made available through the British Columbia Ministry of Education. For more information, please visit BC’s New Curriculum.


Big Ideas

The Big Ideas consist of generalizations and principles and the key concepts important in an area of learning. The Big Ideas represent what students will understand at the completion of the curriculum for their grade. They are intended to endure beyond a single grade and contribute to future understanding.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Core Competencies

orangecommunicationCommunications Competency

The set of abilities that students use to impart and exchange information, experiences and ideas, to explore the world around them, and to understand and effectively engage in the use of digital media

bluethinkingThinking Competency

The knowledge, skills and processes we associate with intellectual development

greensocialSocial Competency

The set of abilities that relate to students’ identity in the world, both as individuals and as members of their community and society

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information

Curricular Competencies & Content

Curricular Competencies are the skills, strategies, and processes that students develop over time. They reflect the “Do” in the Know-Do-Understand model of curriculum. The Curricular Competencies are built on the thinking, communicating, and personal and social competencies relevant to disciplines that make up an area of learning.

Visit the Ministry of Education for more information


 Additional Resources


First People's Principles of Learning

To read more about First People’s Principles of Learning, please click here.

For classroom resources, please visit the First Nations Education Steering Committee.