Community Helpers Unit Shared Research & Writing Project

Our first grade classes just finished up our community helpers unit and we had a blast!

We decided to take this social studies unit and make it our shared research project to start off first grade. The kiddos did great!

In this three week unit, we…

  • read informational books about community helpers
  • used our research skills to find important details
  • brainstormed helpers using our ABCs
  • created an ABC book using our pictures and words
Shared research project for community helpers

During reading time in their centers throughout the weeks, the first grade teachers rotated books in our classrooms, so we got a new set of ten books each day to assist with our Community Helpers unit. Students read to a buddy or by themselves and marked important pages with a Post-it note. The Post-it notes notated where they either read about how they help our community or saw a picture of a character helping our community.

Shared research project for community helpers

After about a week of reading and fun activities of community helpers, we made an ABC list of community helpers. The students came up with 24/26 of these.  (Q and Y were really hard for us to think of on our own, thanks, Google!)

Then we began our shared writing!  This took several days. I buddied the students up for one page, so we did about 7-8 pages a day. Each member of the team had a job (writer, thinker, illustrator, etc.)

Here are a few examples we did for the Community Helpers unit…

(And yes, I did the A, B, and C page for modeling.)

Then, I created the title page.

Shared research project for community helpers unit

Here, I hole-punched the book together… and put them on binder rings for easy flipping.

Shared research project for community helpers unit

It is now a daily part of our reading library. Students can read through it during the reading center. It is located in the informational book bin. The students feel so proud that a book they wrote is in my library!

Finished book

Click Below for Templates of this Book

Book template
Book template

Additional Teaching Resources

Also, this Labor Day/Community Helpers unit pack really helped in the introduction part of our project.

Labor Day & Community Helpers Unit
Community Helpers craftivity flip book

(Link: Labor Day & Community Helpers)

(Link: Community Helpers Flip Book)

For more writing inspiration, check out this post on Teaching Opinion Writing Tips and Activities.


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