One of the books I like to use to help my students focus on the idea of community is The Giant Jam Sandwich by John Vernon Lord. This story cleverly illustrates the fact that it takes the talents and resources of everyone working together to solve the villagers’ problem.
Now we may not need Bap the Baker’s bread recipe, Farmer Seed’s field, fifty cookers, or flying tractors in our classrooms 🙂 , but our learning communities are certainly enhanced when our students are willing to share their talents and resources and work together toward common goals.
Other stories that illustrate the value of friendship and community (no matter how uncommon they may be):
A Mama for Owen, by Marion Dane Bauer and Owen & Mzee: The True Story of a Remarkable Friendship, by Isabella and Craig Hatkoff
Little Polar Bear Finds a Friend, by Hans de Beer
Stellaluna, by Janell Cannon
To help further illustrate this concept of commUNITY in the classroom, I have also used this “perfect fit” puzzle activity:
I originally got the idea from an old edition of the Mailbox publication. Unfortunately, all I have is the clipping scanned above, but you can find out more about this and other First Day of School Activities from Scholastic here.
What are you doing to build community in your classroom?