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Whether we live in a big city or a small town, we are all part of a community.  When you do these activities, think about your community, your neighbors, family members, and community friends. What do you love about your neighborhood? How are you a part of it? 

  • Take a tour of the neighborhood with your family. Draw pictures of places in your neighborhood, or if you have a camera, take pictures. Create a scrapbook with your drawings or pictures.  Be sure to include murals, gardens or parks that are in your neighborhood. When you’re done, share your book with your family and friends in the neighborhood.  Materials may include: construction paper, glue, scissors, markers, crayons and other art supplies.  Have fun and use your imagination!

  • Create a map of the neighborhood with your family. Include places like the public library, the post office, the bakery, and the grocery store or market. Don’t forget playgrounds or your favorite areas.

  • Pretend you are taking a visitor on a tour of your neighborhood.  Where would you go? How would you describe these spots to your friend?  Use the map you made as a guide for the tour.?

  • Ask your family members to describe the neighborhoods where they grew up.  Look through family albums and photographs that show the neighborhoods. How do those neighborhoods compare to where you live now?  Compare and contrast their neighborhoods with yours.  If your family has stayed in the same neighborhood, talk about how things have changed over the years.  Chronicle some of these stories by writing them down, making drawings, or even tape recording your family members talking.

  • Design a mural that you’d like to have in your neighborhood or in your house.  Seek out murals in your neighborhood for inspiration.  If there are no murals in your neighborhood, go to the library and look at books about murals, including Murals: Walls that Sing by George Ancona and Barrio: Jose’s Neighborhood by the same author.  The first sketch can be done on notebook paper or construction paper. Once you’ve done a draft, do a larger, final version on butcher paper. When it’s done, you can hang it in your bedroom or another part of the house. 

  • Write a poem about your neighborhood using your senses. Describe the sights, sounds, feels, tastes and smells that your neighborhood has.  For inspiration, try reading Neighborhood Odes by Gary Soto.  Have a poetry reading with the whole family. You can read the poem you wrote and ones that you’ve found in books.

  • Imagine that you are a reporter writing about the neighborhood. Interview your neighbors to get the “scoop” on your community. Ask questions about their lives here. How long have they lived in the neighborhood? What do they like most about living in the neighborhood?  What is their special role in the community?  If they could change anything about the neighborhood, what would it be? Try answering these questions yourself, too!
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