PYP How, Where, Who, Share! Teacher Guide

4. How We Organize Ourselves

Comparing Communities

We are all part of different groups and communities.

  • PERSPECTIVE: How communities change depending on when and where we live.
  • CHANGE: How communities change over time.
  • RESPONSIBILIY: How our role in a community impacts others.
  • RESEARCH: researching other cultures and making comparisons.
  • SOCIAL: developing relationships with others.
  • SELF-MANAGEMENT: interviewing others and reflecting on our own communities.


You could introduce this chapter by showing a slideshow of different communities. Ask children what they all have in common (people, groups, sense of belonging). You could then mind map with the class all the words they can think of about communities. You can do this by hand to stick up on display or by using an online mind mapping tool like Padlet. This would also be a good time to write down some synonyms for community.

Ask the children – what is the point of communities? Then take one sheet of paper and rip it in two. This should be easy. Next, hold lots of sheets of paper together and try ripping them in two (or you could ask a child to try). This is hard to rip! This shows how people working together can be a lot stronger than one person by themselves.

Questions 1, 2 & 3 (p. 50): Belonging

Discuss with the children what communities they belong to. This could be religious, sports groups, online gaming, etc. Highlight to children that they all belong to communities, such as their families and school. (This is especially important for children who may not be involved in many groups outside of school.)

Children could write down all the communities that they are a part of before completing the hand task.

Allow children time to compare their communities with another child, celebrating their differences as well as their similarities.

Questions 4 & 5 (p. 51): An ideal community

Remind children of the word community and what it means. Explain that communities can have buildings or structures that help make up that community (for example, school buildings).

Tell the children that today they are going to create their own community. What buildings would be in their community? Why? Allow children time to discuss this as a class or in partners before they make their own notes.

Set the children a task of designing and creating a model of their own communities. They need to think carefully about the buildings they are going to make and how it forms a part of their community.

Question 6 & 7 (p. 52): Community models

Following on from the last activity, allow children time to reflect on their community model.

Pose them the question in the book. Children should compare their model with their partners, thinking about how they are similar and different.

Question 8 (p. 54): Researching past ways of life

Discuss with children how the world has changed over the last century. Children are often fascinated with how items have changed over the years (size of mobile phones, cassettes, computers, etc.). Therefore, if you have any items like this, now is a great time to bring them in and show them to the children.

Children can write notes during their task and then report back to the class on what they found out, before using these notes to complete the Venn diagram activity on page 55.

EXTEND activity: Being a writer

Communities and countries (p. 55)

At the bottom of page 55 is a diagram that shows all the communities that someone could belong to. You could make these with the children by cutting out each of the layers and then fixing them together with a brass paper fastener at the top.

Question 10 (p. 56): Changing communities

Discuss with children how it isn’t just time that changes communities – where you live can also make a difference. Ask children why they think geography would make a difference. (Climate, available facilities, religion, culture, etc.).

When you set the children their task, you could allow them to choose their own country or have a set list of countries for them to choose from.

Explain that they will need to do some research on the country first to be able to compare their communities. To help guide the research, it may be worth adding research points to the board for the children to focus on. Alternatively, you could get in touch with a school from another country and ask the children to come up with questions to ask.

Allow children to choose how they present their findings to the class.

Reflection (p. 57)

Allow children time to complete the reflection at the end of the chapter. This is a great opportunity to discuss with the children what they have learnt now and what their favourite part of the chapter was. Remind them to look back at the questions they asked at the start. Can they answer them now?

Give children lesson time to answer any questions they haven’t covered in the chapter. If all of their questions have been answered, children could delve deeper into a particular part of the chapter they found interesting