Second grade students spend time learning about communities and the essential services that work together to make a community happy and healthy.
This systems thinking approach builds on the students’ work in first grade, which focused on architecture and community design. In second grade, students learn more about the essential services that exist in the wider community while laying the foundations for studies of their city, state, country, and world in subsequent grades. Recognizing the importance of developing systems thinkers at the early childhood level, teachers integrate systems concepts and vocabulary as an important focus.
Students meet with local experts to learn about the essential services needed in a community, and visit many of those places to gain a first-hand perspective. As a culminating project, students construct miniature versions of communities using recycled materials and role-play various scenarios, such as power outages or business closures, to collaborate as a team and solve those issues.
Some essential services that are discussed include public safety, education, food sources, communication services, businesses, and recreational sites.