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Lesson 2
Identities Within Groups and Communities

Identities Within Groups and Communities

Lesson Focus: Groups and Communities
All Humans Make Connections as Part of Human Nature

Lesson Objectives: Students will understand how the various groups and communities to which we belong shape our identity.

Curriculum Areas: Social studies, life skills

Time Required: 40 minutes

Materials Needed: Copies of Lesson 2 Reproducible (PDF); board and markers

Key Concept: Individuals belong to different groups that may be defined by such characteristics as shared race/ethnicity, customs, beliefs, religion, traditions, memories, obligations, and interests.

To be a part of a group means that you have something in common with others in the group.

To be a part of a community means being part of something bigger than yourself (see excerpt on Lesson 2 Reproducible).

Lesson Background: There are two parts to this lesson. Part I covers the topic of groups; Part II covers the topic of communities. First, students will discuss definitions of the key words group and community to be followed by a series of questions that students will answer about the groups to which they belong. Students will then read a quote from Suzanne Goldsmith’s A City Year, which defines community, and answer questions based on what they’ve read.

What You Will Do, Lesson, Part I:

  • Write the words “group,” “benefits,” and “responsibilities” on the chalkboard and ask students to define the terms. (See definitions below.)
  • Ask students if they can provide definitions of different kinds of groups, e.g., after-school clubs; formal, organized groups like the Boy Scouts or Girl Scouts; or less structured groups like friends who get together to skateboard.
  • Discuss how there are many kinds of groups that people can belong to and how there are both benefits and responsibilities to being part of a group. For example, being part of a basketball club might offer the benefit of being able to travel to other schools, but requires the responsibility of practicing.
  • Hand out Lesson 2 Reproducible, “I Am a Member of a Group. I Am a Member of a Community.” Have students complete Part 1 of the reproducible.

Lesson, Part II:

  • Discuss with students the quotation in Part II of the reproducible.
  • Have your students answer the questions on Part II. Then discuss their examples of people joining together to share in something “bigger than themselves.” Explain that there are different kinds of communities and that people can be part of more than one. For example, within a school community, students might participate in a bake sale or put on a school play. On a larger scale, there are neighborhood, county, or state communities, all of which are grouped geographically. In addition, explain that there might be occupational communities or conceptual communities, such as a community of poets or writers, joined to a cause larger than any one individual.
  • Communities can also emerge during times of crisis, when people band together to help make a difference. Communities can work together on a local level, such as dealing with a fire or flood, or on a larger, national level, such as the events surrounding 9/11, when people from all walks of life came together and helped others in a time of great need.

Summary/Wrap-up:
Based on the lesson or their own experiences, have students provide examples of reasons why people join different groups.

Student Journey Book Connection: Who Are We? (PDF)
Answers: Click here for answers to the Student Reproducibles and Student Journey Book (PDF).

Key Definitions
benefits (noun, plural) advantages or positive results from an action

community (noun) a group of people with a common interest, background, or purpose

cooperation (noun) the act of working together to accomplish a goal

group (noun) people who gather together for a common purpose—learning, playing, enjoying, working, etc.

responsibilities (noun, plural) duties that have to be carried out as part of a job or position

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