Urban and rural communities
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In this lesson, students will compare distinguishing features of urban and rural communities using data from Community Profiles, which is composed of Canadian census statistics. Students will read and interpret data from tables and summarize their findings.
Contributors: Dawn Sheldrick, Queen's University, and Jennifer Hall, Statistics Canada
- Identify and compare distinguishing features of urban and rural communities
- Use a variety of resources and tools to gather, process and communicate geographic information about urban and rural communities
- Use primary and secondary sources to locate key information
- Use appropriate vocabulary
- Describe the data in tables using comparative language
- Interpret and draw conclusions from data presented in tables
Suggested grade levels and subject areas
Geography, Canadian Studies, Mathematics
Three to four 40-minute periods
Reading and interpreting tables
- Introduce the concept of urban and rural communities to the class by reading a related story, such as the folk tale 'The Town Mouse and the Country Mouse'.
- As a class, brainstorm about the similarities and differences between urban and rural communities that students know from their own experiences. During the discussion, have students fill in the Venn diagram in Worksheet 1: Comparing urban and rural communities, while you complete it on the board. Start the discussion with the following example: in urban areas, people live in highrise apartments whereas in rural areas, they live on farms. In both types of areas, people live in houses. So, write ‘highrise apartments' in the ‘urban' portion of the diagram and ‘farms' in the ‘rural' portion; then write ‘houses' in the overlapping portion of the diagram.
- Discuss with students the definitions and key characteristics of urban and rural communities and other pertinent vocabulary.
- As a class, locate Clearwater County, Alberta and Shawinigan-Sud, Quebec on a map of Canada. Maps of these communities are available here.
- Have students complete the worksheets in the following order:
These worksheets can be completed as a class with discussion, in pairs, or individually, depending on the level of the students. It is important to review pertinent vocabulary before students attempt each worksheet.
- Have students complete Worksheet 5: Where do you want to live? individually.
- If students complete their worksheets early, have them complete the word search activity or colour the rural and urban landscapes pictures.
Have students choose two other communities, one rural and one urban, and compare them using data from Community Profiles. The students could fill in charts similar to the ones provided in this lesson.
Students can be assessed on their work habits, participation in discussions and analytical skills using Rubric 1 and Rubric 2. Students can be formally assessed on their understanding based on their responses to the worksheets.