My Community Counts

Student Projects
This project was designed to integrate an English Language Arts/Social Studies activity (a shared reading) with a math activity, while incorporating a technology component. The choice of story ties into the Social Studies curriculum for Grade 2 (My Community and Other United States Communities) Unit 2, Urban, Rural Suburban.  It is recommended that this project be completed at end of Unit 2 in the social studies unit, so that the children have a good sense of each community’s characteristics, so that will have the background information to create an appropriate word problem, using vocabulary and information about the type of community chosen.

Essential Question (for ELA component) What are the characteristics of a urban, rural and suburban community?

Essential Question for Math component):  What strategies can we use to solve two-step word problems? 


In this project students will participate in a shared reading activity of The Little House by Virginia Lee Burton and then apply the reading to a math problem solving activity.

The book, The Little House is about a house that “moves” from the countryside to the big city.  It experiences many changes over the years. 

The class will read the book, each student pick a community and then complete the Communities Graphic Organizer. After the students pick the community they want and complete the organizer they will create a word problem about that community.

Finally, students will write and illustrate their own word problems based on the community they have chosen. The children may use a paint program (KidPix or another digital drawing program) to create their illustrations.

The students' word problems will be posted on the website for other classes to solve and enjoy.


The students will:

  • identify the characteristics of a rural, urban, or suburban community using the Community Graphic Organizer provided.
  • formulate two-step math word problems about a community using two digit addition or subtraction.
  • complete the UPSC Graphic Organizer to help create a two step word problem.
  • illustrate the word problem using Kid Pix or another digital drawing program.
  • use technology to produce and share their word problem and drawing with District friends.


1. Teacher will read the story, The Little House as a shared reading or watch the video.

2. After reading the story, the students will select a community and complete a Community Graphic Organizer (included).

3. Next the children will use the UPSC Graphic Organizer (included) to create their two-step math word problems using two-digit addition or subtraction.

4. Teacher will model for the class an example (included) of a word problem based on one the different communities.  

5. Students will develop their own math word problem based on their choice of community. Have students use the UPSC template (included) for their draft copy.

6. Students will create their final copy of the word problem which may be posted on the website using KidPix to create the final version.

7.  Using the word problems posted on the District website the students select a problem to solve using UPSC Graphic Organizer.

Below is an example of a student's completed project: