In our Communities lesson plan, students learn about how communities are formed and defined, some characteristics of various communities, and the three main types: urban, suburban, and rural. Students also learn related vocabulary as a part of this lesson, like the words “citizen” and “rules” and how they related to communities.

This lesson includes a section called “Options for Lesson,” which details some optional additions you can make. One of the suggestions for this lesson is to have students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast the different types of communities.

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What our Communities lesson plan includes

Lesson Objectives and Overview: Communities introduces students to the concept of communities, including what they are and the different types that exist. At the end of the lesson, students will be able to define the types of communities — urban, suburban, and rural — and identify several characteristics of each. They will also learn that it is very important to be a responsible and caring member of their community and that they need to follow all of the rules and laws in their community. The students will also be able to compare and contrast them. This lesson is for students in 1st grade, 2nd grade, and 3rd grade.

Classroom Procedure

Every lesson plan provides you with a classroom procedure page that outlines a step-by-step guide to follow. You do not have to follow the guide exactly. The guide helps you organize the lesson and details when to hand out worksheets. It also lists information in the orange box that you might find useful. You will find the lesson objectives, state standards, and number of class sessions the lesson should take to complete in this area. In addition, it describes the supplies you will need as well as what and how you need to prepare beforehand. The supplies you will need for this lesson are scissors, glue or paste, and the handouts. To prepare for this lesson ahead of time, you can find images or videos of different types of communities, gather the needed supplies, and copy the handouts.

Options for Lesson

Included with this lesson is an “Options for Lesson” section that lists a number of suggestions for activities to add to the lesson or substitutions for the ones already in the lesson. One addition that you can add to this lesson is to have students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast different types of communities. You can also have students draw a picture of each type of community. Additionally, you could have students make 3D models of each community. This section also includes some adjustments that you can make to the activity worksheet.

Teacher Notes

The teacher notes page includes a paragraph with additional guidelines and things to think about as you begin to plan your lesson. It notes that it’s important for students to be aware that there are different ways of life in different types of communities. Students who live in one type of community may have never seen another type and might be unfamiliar with what living in a different community is like. With this lesson, students will be reminded that it’s important to respect and understand that people have diverse backgrounds. This page also includes lines that you can use to add your own notes as you’re preparing for this lesson.



This lesson includes three pages of content. First, students will learn all about what a community actually is. While they are likely familiar with the word, they may not know the specific features or definition of what they actually are. Students will learn that anyone who has neighbors — whether nearby or far away — is a part of a community. Citizens are what people call those who live in communities, states, countries, or anywhere else. Citizens follow the same rules as the other people in their communities. These rules help keep things in order and help people continue to get along. Students will learn that we call community rules laws. One good example of a law is that you must stop at a red light and go when it turns green. Like many laws, this is to keep everyone safe!

In order to be a good and responsible citizens, you must follow the rules and laws of where you live. It is also important to help the other people in your community when you get the chance to. If you are a responsible, helpful member of your community, other people will be kind and helpful to you, too!

Students will then learn that there are three main types of communities in most parts of the world. Each of these are different, but they have some similarities as well! They all have citizens, neighbors, laws, rules, and responsibilities.

Urban, Suburban, and Rural

Next, students will learn more about each type of community — urban, suburban, and rural — and their characteristics. They will learn that urban environments include cities and the places around them. They are characterized by a large number of people and buildings; people living close to together and most buildings without backyards; high-rise apartment buildings and townhouses; office buildings, taxis, and busses; and large parks, swimming pools, and rec centers.

Suburban communities, on the other hand, are medium-sized communities near large cities. They are characterized by different-sized homes and people driving or taking the bus to work; homes with lawns, yards, and garages; less people than in a large city, with some apartment buildings; and many smaller parks, fields, and shopping malls.

Finally, rural places often have open land, farms and forests, and fewer homes. They are characterized by houses that are far apart, sometimes even miles apart; farms; some community parks, fields, and state fairs; and people sometimes needing to drive long distances to get to places.

People living in any of these types of places will have their own customs, traditions, and celebrations. All of these types have schools and spaces for children to learn and play. It is important to respect the differences in each type of community, as every type is full of people who want to work, have fun, play, laugh, and enjoy their lives.

Key Terms

Here is a list of the vocabulary words students will learn in this lesson plan:

  • Community: a place where different groups of people live
  • Citizens: the members of a small or large community
  • Rules: guide people to help them get along, to do or not do things
  • Laws: the name for most community rules
  • Urban: the city and places around it
  • Suburban: a medium-sized community near a large city
  • Rural: a type of community often characterized by open land, farms and forests, fewer homes


The Communities lesson plan includes three worksheets: an activity worksheet, a practice worksheet, and a homework assignment. You can refer to the guide on the classroom procedure page to determine when to hand out each worksheet.


For the activity worksheet, students are given a paper with various images on it. They will cut out each of the images and match them with the type of community where they can usually be find, using the provided page labelled with rural, suburban, and urban.

Students may also work in pairs if you’d like them to. You can also expand this activity by having students divide construction paper into three sections, one for each type of community, and have them place the images onto that paper. They can then find additional images of each type in magazines or via other sources.


The practice worksheet has students match descriptions with the correct community (urban, suburban, or rural). Examples of these descriptions include “Farming community” and “Large park, swimming pool, or recreation center.”


For the homework assignment, students will first match words that are related to communities with their definitions. Some of these words include “citizens,” “laws,” and “rules.” Next, they will read about three different people and decide which type of community they live in based on that description. This exercise requires students to use what they’ve learned from the lesson material to make educated guesses based on the information provided.

Worksheet Answer Keys

This lesson plan includes answer keys for the practice worksheet and the homework assignment. The correct answers are in red to make it easy to compare them to students’ responses. If you choose to administer the lesson pages to your students via PDF, you will need to save a new file that omits these pages. Otherwise, you can simply print out the applicable pages and keep these as reference for yourself when grading assignments.

Additional information


1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade


Social Studies, Video

State Educational Standards

LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.6, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.7, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, LB.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7

Lessons are aligned to meet the education objectives and goals of most states. For more information on your state objectives, contact your local Board of Education or Department of Education in your state.

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