How do factors such as geography, culture, language, heritage, economics and resources influence people, places, things and activities in a community?
In this challenge, students consider how various factors influence a specific community. You may want to focus on students' own community or explore an Inuit, Acadian or prairie community. This lesson presumes that students are already familiar with six factors that shape community: geography, culture, language, heritage, economics and resources. List these factors down one side of the board and invite students to suggest how various featurespeople, places, things (i.e., natural and cultural artifacts) and activitiesin their own community might be influenced by each factor. Prompt the class with questions such as "What are some activities that children undertake? How are these activities influenced by the geography?" In the space next to geography, record that activities such as hockey and ice fishing are influenced by the cold climate.
Once students understand the relationship between the factors and their effect on a community, present students with pictures or videos from the communities they are studying or arrange for students to visit locations in their own community. (A search of GoogleTM Image Search for “Acadia geography” or “Prairie people” etc will produce hundreds of colour prints.) Ask students to identify examples of people, places, things and activities that might be influenced by particular factors and to explain which factor(s) seems to shape each community aspect (e.g., because of the local heritage, many places in the area have Aboriginal, Francophone or Ukrainian names). See Investigating Pictures (Modelling the Tools) for detailed suggestions on how to teach and assess the tools for interpreting the main actions in a picture.