We encourage the students to understand how they can make their school community better and to understand how the things they do can affect many others. We call the unit "What We Do Affects Us All".
We begin by talking about people the children meet in our school community - guard, doormen, teachers, cleaners, the librarian, chef, principal, etc. - and about how we benefit from the things those people do.
The children then choose one of those people and, with the help of a teacher , they interview the person about what they do....(I explain interviewing procedures...build rapport, ask them to show you what they do)
Next, we talk about some of the relationships between the different people in the school community, and show how they depend on each other, and how if one person wasn't there, many others would be affected. To do that, we have each child represent the person they interviewed, and we use a wool thread to show the connections.
Afterward, the children write about what their chosen person does and how this person helps the community, and what might happen if they weren't there.
We then move on to talk about things the children could do, that would help the community. After we have brainstormed a number of ideas, we look at common threads and vote on the best ideas (viable and feasible) often recycling comes up and is a favorite. We develop a class recycling plan and we implement it for the remainder of the year.