Lesson plan

Different Communities

What's the difference? In this lesson, your students will learn to describe what living in an urban, rural, and a suburban area is like.
Grade Subject View aligned standards

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Which set of standards are you looking for?

  • Students will be able to describe and compare rural, urban, and suburban communities.
(5 minutes)
  • Read aloud Town and Country by Craig Shuttlewood. Tell students that in a city you'll find tall buildings and buses and people who are rushing. Around the cities people live and play and they travel by train to work every day. At night on a farm, you can see many stars. And across the hills, the lights of passing cars.
  • Ask students to look at the illustrations and describe some details in towns and some in the country.
  • Tell students that today they're going to learn about different communities.
(5 minutes)
  • Explain to your students that urban means a city community, often with tall buildings and homes close together.
  • Remind your students that rural means a community with open land and sometimes farms.
  • Define suburban as a community located near a city, often more family-oriented.
  • Display a photograph of an urban, rural, and suburban community, and ask your students to identify which is which.
  • Discuss the similarities and differences of each community. Potential discussion questions include:
    • "How do the people in this community get around?"
    • "Do they drive, walk, or take public transportation?"
(5 minutes)
  • Show the "Communities Introduction" video.
  • Draw a three-column chart on chart tablet paper labeled "Urban," "Rural," and "Suburban."
  • Have students help complete the chart by describing the details and ideas they noticed in the video about each type of community.
  • Challenge students to compare the details and ideas from the book with the information they learned from the video.
  • Record each student's response on the chart.
  • Then, have students place the photographs or illustrations that were used earlier into the appropriate column.
(10 minutes)
  • Give each student a copy of the Compare and Contrast: Rural and Urban worksheet.
  • Read the directions.
  • Have students look at the pictures of urban and rural life. Direct them to write sentences to describe how they're similar and how they're different.


  • Instruct your students to write a short paragraph about what they could do in each community.


  • Have your students draw pictures that reflect an urban, a rural, and a suburban area.
  • Allow them to describe key ideas and details from each community in partners before writing them down.
  • Give students the option to use the worksheet Three Types of Communities as an alternative worksheet to the Compare and Contrast: Rural and Urban worksheet.
  • Provide sentence stems and key words to help them with their assessment.
(5 minutes)
  • Give each student an index card.
  • Have students write about what type of community their home is in and explain how they know. Ask them to describe some details and features in their community.
(10 minutes)
  • Divide your students into three groups: people who live in an urban community, a rural community, and a suburban community.
  • Have each group take turns telling about the place they live using key details from the chart paper as support.

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