Have you ever wondered why some communities look the way they do? Why there are buildings in some places and not others? And why some communities have more services than others?
These are big questions that are important to answer when teaching children about communities and community planning.
I loved creating a 3D community with my students. It took time to plan from beginning to end, many discussions and decisions, and space in the room for the completed project, but the final result was worth it. You can read more about it here.
Types of communities
Before doing any kind of planning it is important to know what kind of community you want to create. Kids need to look at different types of communities and see how they are the same and different.
There are 3 main types of communities to explore - urban, suburban, and rural. They have unique characteristics that need to be considered when doing community planning.
Here are some to get started with.
- Urban communities are usually bustling with activity.
- They are densely populated, with a mix of commercial and residential buildings.
- High rises and busy streets are also often seen in urban communities.
- There are a wide range of industries and services available from retail to healthcare to manufacturing.
- Services and industries are often located close together, making it convenient for people to work and shop.
- There are many restaurants and shops in urban areas to meet the demands of the population.
- Suburban communities are not as densely populated
- They have less industry and fewer services than urban areas
- They tend to have more parks and recreation facilities
- There are many single dwelling homes with some small apartment buildings, townhouses, or other types of multiple dwelling homes.
- There are some local schools
- There may be some small shops and restaurants
- Rural communities are the least populated
- They are primarily agricultural lands
- They may also be used for industrial purposes
- Houses are spaced further apart
- There is much more space and privacy for people living there
- Transportation access is important because of the distances away from many services such as schools and hospitals
- Access to natural resources such as water supply is necessary
When planning a community, it's important to consider the needs of the population. What types of services and industries are required? Where should different types of buildings be located? What is needed to make the community work for its residents? These are all important questions that need to be considered in order to create a successful community.
It's important to help kids understand the various types of services and businesses that are found in each type of community. Things like schools, hospitals, and public transportation are essential for any community to function properly. Locations of these services are different depending on the type of community, but they need to be accessible.
By understanding these things, kids can develop a better appreciation for the importance of planning in any community.
Ultimately, a community needs to meet the needs of its population in order to be successful. This means that there must be a balance between residential, commercial, and industrial development. There also needs to be enough green space and amenities to support the community's residents. By taking all of these factors into consideration, planners can create communities that thrive.
Kids love the hands on activities of planning and creating a community. Here are some samples of one community that was done by one of my grade 1/2 classes.
If you would like to see a copy of the plan that we used and some of the materials included, check it out here.
My class had a great experience creating this community. I wish you success should you venture to create one in your classroom.
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About Me Charlene Sequeira
I am a wife, mother of 4, grandmother of 9, and a retired primary and music teacher. I love working with kids and continue to volunteer at school and teach ukulele.