Creating Community ~ Lesson Plans

These lessons (arranged from lowest to highest grade levels) provide tools for developing empathy and understanding others, as students learn to value how diversity creates a strong and colourful classroom and community.

(Click on these links for Lesson Plans on Bullying Awareness,Teaching Tolerance, and  Making a Difference.)

Helping Neighbours
Grades: K through 2
Subjects: Art, Language Arts, Philanthropy and Social Studies
Duration: One 30-minute session
Materials: 4” x 4” colourful construction paper, or cardstock paper squares, hole-punch or needle and thread, yarn or strong glue, poster board or cardboard backing

  • Children work cooperatively to make a paper quilt displaying the strengths of the group as they make the neighbourhood a better place. They brainstorm their personal strengths and needs of the community and make a plan to take action for the common good.
  • Helping Neighbours lesson plan

Happy Faces
Grades: K through 2
Subjects: Health, Social Studies
Duration: One intro and one follow-up session and ongoing throughout the week
Materials: Alexander and the Horrible No Good Very Bad Day by Judith Viorst  3 happy faces per student

  • This activity helps students be sensitive to others, giving them a way to cross boundaries and bring cheer.
  • Happy Faces lesson plan

We Are One
Grades: K through 3
Subjects: Language Arts, Art, Social Studies
Duration: One 40-minute session
Materials: We Are One by Jennifer Black.

  • Read the story aloud in class or show students the 4 minute video of the author reading the story here
  • Have students make a mural that illustrates their understanding of the story, then discuss what they have drawn.

Getting to Know Each Other mixer
Grades: Grades K through 3
Subject: Social Studies
Duration: One session
Materials: Getting to Know Ruben Plotnick by Roz Rosenbluth

Everyone’s a Helper
Grades: K through 5
Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies, Art
Duration: One session
Materials: Handout: Sometimes I HELP, Sometimes I NEED Help at lesson plan links below, chart paper, construction paper, coloured pencils, oil pastels or crayons.

Building Community, Day by Day
Grades: K through 5
Subject: Health
Duration: Ongoing
Materials: None

  • Daily Morning Meetings help students and teachers connect and start the day on a positive note.Building Community, 
  • Day by Day lesson plan

It’s Okay to Feel Different
Grades: K through 5
Subjects:Art, Social Studies
Duration: One session
Materials:  It’s Okay to Be Different by Todd Parr or  books with a similar theme of diversity, like Hair/Pelitos, by Sandra Cisneros and Why Am I Different, by Norma Simon, construction paper, oil pastels or crayons. For Grades 3-5 add: downloadable jigsaw puzzle template at lesson plan link below & poster board cut into jigsaw pieces, one per student.

Developing Empathy
Grades: K – 12
Subjects: Health, Social Studies
Duration: One session
Materials: Grade appropriate handouts at lesson plan links below

Place as Mirror of Self and Community
Grades: 3 through 5
Subjects: Social Studies, Language Arts, ESL
Duration: One session
Materials: One Special Places handout for each student (at lesson plan link below), a world map for the extension activity

Put Ups
Grades: 3 through 5
Subject: Health
Duration: One class session then ongoing
Materials: A pile of Put-Up slips available in the classroom (PDF at lesson plan link below)

  • This activity helps students see the positive things their schoolmates are doing and gives them skills to affirm each other across social boundaries.
  • Put Ups lesson plan

One World: Connecting Communities, Cultures, and Classrooms
Grades: 4-6
Subjects: Social Studies, Civics, Life Skills and Language Arts
Duration: A ten lesson unit with extensions, although lessons can be taught individually
Materials: See lesson plans

  • These ten lessons (and extensions) help teach students fundamentals in diversity, respect for others, and building communities. Although the lessons can be taught independently, each builds on the next, developing skills to promote empathy, dialogue, and respect for diverse opinions. 
  • One World: Connecting Communities, Cultures, and Classrooms lesson plans

Put Your Hands in Mine
Grades: 6 through 8
Subjects: Social Studies, Language Arts, Library/Technology and Philanthropy
Duration: One 50-minute session plus extension activities
Materials: A copy of Mighty Times: The Children’s March video (available free here), copies of attachment & handout at lesson plan link below

  • NOTE: Prior to this lesson, use the Blue Sky Activity in which students envision a better world. If you already have a Blue Sky display, revisit it before beginning this lesson. 
  • The result of this lesson is that students connect the concepts/practices of fairness, justice, tolerance, togetherness and equality necessary to the advancement of human and civil rights. Students share ideas about how philanthropic acts can promote the common good and lead to positive social changes. 
  • Put Your Hands in Mine lesson plan

What do we have in Common?
Grades: 6 through 8
Subjects: Social Studies
Duration: 20 minutes
Materials: Pencils and paper

Sticking Together: Sharing Our Stories, Our Differences, and Our Similarities
Grades: 6 through 12
Subjects: Language Arts, Social Studies
Duration: One 45-minute session
Materials: Teacher instructions & printable Handout #1: Storytelling Instructions for Students at lesson plan link below

  • This lesson uses storytelling as a way for students to learn about one another’s similarities and differences to create a sense of community in the classroom.
  • Sticking Together lesson plan

Valuing Community
Grades: 9 through 12
Subjects: Social Studies, Language Arts, Library/Technology and Philanthropy
Duration: One 50-minute session
Materials: A display board, markers, copied attachment and handouts at lesson plan link below

  • Learners will define community, identify how community is/has impacted their personal lives, and share ideas and develop a plan whereby they might also make an impact on their community. 
  • Valuing Community lesson plan

4 thoughts on “Creating Community ~ Lesson Plans

  1. Pingback: Lesson Plans on teaching tolerance, creating communities, and making a difference – Culturally Responsive Teaching (CRT)

  2. Pingback: Modeling Respect and Fostering Community | Peyton Browning


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