In this introductory lesson, students will explore the question: how is a community established? Using the creative and critical analysis processes, students are challenged and inspired to imagine and generate their community. Students will establish two separate and cohesive communities and know their differences and similarities.
How do communities work together to solve problems?
What obstacles might they face?
What defines a community?
How does our town or city differ from other places in Ontario?
How might a community face a conflict and solve problems?
B1.1 Engage actively in drama exploration and role play, with a focus on examining issues and themes in fiction and non-fiction sources from diverse communities, times and places
B1.3 plan and shape the direction of the drama or role play by collaborating with others to develop ideas, both in and out of role
B2.1 express personal responses and make connections to characters, themes, and issues presented in their own and others' drama work
Social Studies: summarize the structures, functions, and interactions of Canada’s federal, provincial/territorial, and municipal governments, and identify and describe significant Canadian symbols, ceremonies, buildings, and political figures.
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to
Students should have an understanding of democracy and elected officials. They should recognize the three levels of Canadian government and be familiar with the Charter of Rights and Freedoms.
Venn Diagram / Diagramme de Venn
Community / Communauté
Anchor Chart / Tableau de concepts
Municipal government / Gouvernement municipal
Mayor / Maire
Councillors / Conseillers
Electoral process / Processus électoral
Democracy / Démocratie
Group Sculpture / Sculpture de groupe
Thought tracking / Suivi de pensées
Teacher in Role / Professeur en rôle
Two-colour counters or tiles
List of Ontario Municipal flag images
Response journal or notebook
|Approximately 40 minutes
Pause and Ponder
Whole Class > Community Building Games
Play a variety of community building games with the class to establish trust, cooperation and mutual respect. See BLM#1 Community Building Games Recommended Resources for sources.
Whole Class > Venn Diagram
Prompt: How does our town/city differ from one that is elsewhere in Ontario (e.g. Oakville or North Bay)? Has anyone lived in a community other than this one? How is it similar? different?
Questions incitatives: Comment est-ce que notre ville se distingue d'une autre ville ailleurs en Ontario (Oakville ou North Bay, par exemple) Est-ce que quelqu'un a déjà vécu ailleurs? Comment était-t-il semblable? Différent?
Create a venn diagram to examine the similarities and differences between two different communities. Repeat the process with a neighbouring town/city/community. Prompt: How do we, as a community, distinguish ourselves and the place we live from others? Question incitative: Comment nous distinguons-nous des autres communautés?
Extension: Students can extend their learning of their own/neighbouring communities through library/Internet research.
Assessment for Learning (AfL)
Assess student knowledge of communities that differ from their own during the venn diagram activity.
Observe students during the electoral process. Which students are engaged? Which need your assistance to become involved? Look for students in role, focused on the task, and able to use the elements of tableau.
Assessment as Learning (AaL)
Collect response journals and provide formative feedback on the quality of students' reflections.
Create heterogeneous community groups ahead of time to ensure strong leaders in each group. Use a buddy system to enable ELL students to participate fully. Expectations should be modified to ensure assessment is appropriate. Display anchor charts for effective tableau work. Give students newspaper headlines instead of creating their own.
To prepare students for thought tracking, ave a discussion with the class about what types of questions a reporter might ask if he/she was coming to take a photo of this municipal holiday for the newspaper. Write the possible questions on chart paper.
Have students answer the guiding questions about their character by creating a web or mind map, either using the computer or by hand. This would include both images and words.
As communities are established, ensure equity is in place and that communities are differentiated in unique ways that are not biased. For example, do not allow defining features that are about the way community members look.
Link and Layer
Link to prior learning in Social Studies.
Hyperlinks in the Lesson
List of Ontario Municipal flag images: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_Ca nadian_flags#Ontario
|Approximately 150 minutes
Whole Class > Dividing the Citizens
Display the map of the two new communities on the board using BLM#2 Communities Map (or create your own). Invite students to observe and describe the map. For example, they may notice that the two towns border on one another or that they are separated by an open field which is divided equally with a fence.
Separate the class into groups to represent two municipal towns. Students will pull a coloured tile out of a bag to determine if they live in Community A or Community B.The two towns are separated by a fence but also by a different feature. Provide students with this defining feature or have students decide on one as a class.
Prompt with example: Community A gets out on the right side of bed and Community B gets out on the left side of bed. Citizens take this part of their community very seriously. Ask students: What part of your community is special? What do you hold dear? Decide on a name for each community.
Question incitative avec exemple: Communauté A se lève du côté droit du lit et Communauté B se lève du côté gauche du lit. Les citoyens prennent très au sérieux cette partie de leur communauté: Demandez aux étudiants: Quelle partie de votre communauté est spéciale. Qu'est-ce qui vous est cher? Choisissez un nom pour chaque communauté.
Explain that the citizens are now to perform their first tasks as a community. Remind students that community means working together to achieve a common goal. Review BLM#3 Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms before breaking off into groups.
Small Groups > Jigsaw > First Tasks as a Community
Have each new town group define more information about their community in small groups. Then, divide each community into groups of four.Give each group a piece of chart paper, markers and pencils. Explain that they will be forming committees. Each small group divides up the following tasks to complete, as town members:
Rights and Freedoms Committee
Flag and Holiday Committee
Towns may wish to have a general discussion about the above areas before branching into task pairs/groups in order to reach a level of consensus about the community identity and values. Once each committee has completed their tasks, invite them to share in a town meeting as a class; or, have the two committees switch papers and add/revise ideas. Post the chart papers as anchor charts for learning for future tasks.
Individual > Building a Character
Explain to students that in order to be successful in role play, they must have a strong belief in their own personal role/character. Use BLM#4 List of Guiding Questions to Build Character to prepare students to face a problem or event that must be handled in role. Have students create characters using the guiding questions. Individually, provide students with time to explore their new roles in the community.
Small Group > Electing a Government
Students will now choose a government to lead their community. Review the democratic process of electing a municipal government and voting. As a community, students should vote into power a mayor, councillors and a clerk/ secretary Students should consider the individual roles that their community members have taken on. This portion of the lesson can take a longer amount of time if you choose to have the candidates prepare platforms and speeches in role and to be nominated. Students interested in a position can prepare a short speech detailing how they will represent their constituents. Consider modelling a speech for students. After speeches have been given, students should vote anonymously; the teacher will tally the numbers and announce elected officials.
Small Group > Group Sculpture Newspaper Photo
Instruct students as a whole group and then provide adequate time for them to create based on the prompt.
Prompt: A local newspaper has come to take a photograph of each community during a time of celebration for their municipal holiday. Create a group sculpture that illustrates an important or unexpected moment during the festivities. Everyone must have a role in the tableau. Upon completion, students should also create a short caption that would be read underneath the photo and write it on a piece of chart paper, or share it orally.
Question incitative: Un journal local est venu prendre une photo de chaque communauté pendant la période de réjouissance municipale. Créez une sculpture de groupe qui illustre un moment important ou imprévu lors des festivités. Chaque membre du groupe doit figurer dans ce tableau.
Whole Class > Thought Tracking
Refer students back to their role/character and let them know that when they are thought tracked, they must speak in role. Have one group freeze in their group sculpture while the other group observes. Tapping one student on the shoulder at a time, ask them questions that they are to answer in role (see BLM#5 List of Suggested Thought Tracking questions.)
Switch groups and repeat the process. Thought-tracking is an effective tool for assessment. Observe to what extent students are able to maintain role and think as a character, rather than as themselves (see BLM#6 Role Play Checklist in Lesson 2).
|Approximately 30 minutes
Whole Class > Sharing of Communities and Reflection
Invite citizens from each community to present their list of Rights and Freedoms, flag and created holiday. Students from the other community may question and/or challenge others in role. Consider assuming the teacher in role as a supportive mediator between communities.
Have students record thoughts and feelings in role on today's lesson in their response journals.
Key Questions for Journal Prompts:
What is special about your new community?
Why are you proud to be a member in this community?
How will you contribute to this new town?
What makes your role/character important?
Who might you connect or work with in the future?
Questions clés pour incitatives d’écriture:
Qu'est ce qui est spécial dans votre nouvelle communauté?
Pourquoi êtes-vous fier de faire partie de cette communauté?
Comment allez-vous contribuer a cette nouvelle ville?
Qu'est-ce qui fait que votre rôle/personnage est important?
Avec qui vous associerez-vous ou travaillerez vous à l'avenir?