Open Court Theme:

Grade 1
Our Neighborhood at Work


General Unit Opener Information:

Unit Opener General Resources Page

Unit Opener Powerpoints:

Powerpoint: People in Your Neighborhood from Harding Elementary

Unit Opener Ideas:

Trace A Neighborhood/Work Together!
Submitted by:
Michelle Staine
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I trace a neighborhood onto three or four large pieces of white butcher paper and have students paint the neighborhood. I use 3 to 4 so that the students have enough areas to paint. Prior to this, we've done an introduction of the theme by browsing the big book and listening to the read aloud. I've also taught them what a neighborhood is and we've labeled smaller scale models of a neighborhood.

Once the pieces are dry I tape the pieces together and have students add pictures of workers where they go, i.e. a firefighter near the fire station/fire engine. I also have them make construction paper homes/apt. buildings and label them with their address so that they may glue them onto the neighborhood. The opener takes two days and I use ELD time to combine this unit with the Just Around the Corner Unit from Into English. They work so well together.

Pictures of Students at Work

Meet Your Neighborhood Workers
Submitted by:
Marjorie Cooley
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For this unit, each of my grade level colleagues take a different career, using the jobs shown in the unit (carpenter, baker, hair dresser, postal worker, etc), dress up and act out that profession or trade. We introduce the students to the tools, uniform or clothing, and work of that job. The students rotate through the different classrooms, each classroom representing the different professions. In this way, they are exposed to 4-6 different careers.

For our closing, we invite different community workers to visit the school and share their work with our students. We've had doctors, the school nurse, the fire department, and sheriff's department among others visit us. The students research questions and interview the different people who come. Then they write a short piece on what they learned as part of the writing component.

Unit Closer Ideas:
A Play Called "I Want to Be"
Submitted by:
Michelle Staine
Submit your Unit Opener or Closer Idea Here

At the end of the unit, students are well aware of the various workers that help in our community. They are able to share their knowledge while demonstrating how to read with prosody through Reader's Theater. I have them practice reading the part of a worker (in groups of two or three). They wear paper costumes and carry different tools a worker might wear. I invite the parents and members of our school community to view their show. They love it.

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