Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas


The lesson introduces students to the three community types and their differences.  Many students may have heard the three terms before but may not understand the differences. They should also become aware of what is the same between the different communities, and that many people generally have the same goals in life, regardless of where they live.  The students must be encouraged to learn about the communities where they do not live themselves.  The lesson may be used in conjunction with other lessons related to communities, rules, citizenship, etc.

Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas Lesson Plan Includes:

  • Full Teacher Guidelines with Creative Teaching Ideas
  • Instructional Content Pages about Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas
  • Hands-on homework activities
  • Answer Keys
  • Common Core State Standards
  • Many Additional Links and Resources
  • Built for Grades 1-3 but can be adapted for other grade levels.

*Note: These lessons are PDF downloads. You will be directed to the download once you checkout. Clarendon Learning resources are FREE, we rely 100% on donations to operate our site. Thank you for your support!


The lesson introduces students to the three types of communities and their differences. Each type of community is defined and characteristics are listed for each. For example, vocabulary words like high-rise, subway, and metropolitan are defined in the section about urban areas. Photographs and illustrations are provided for students who may not be familiar with the various areas. The lesson may be used in conjunction with lessons related to communities, and citizenship.

Classroom Procedure:

  1. Display an image of each community type and ask students: What is the same or different about each of the images?
  2. Allow for responses and discussion. Ask students what community the school is located and ask them to give reasons for their response.
  3. Allow for responses and discussion. Introduce Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas to the class.
  4. Distribute Urban, Suburban, and Rural Areas content pages. Read and review the information with the students.  Save the final question for the lesson closing.  Use the additional resources to enhance understanding.
  5. Distribute Activity page. Read and review the instructions.  Distribute supplies.  Students will design their home in a rural, urban, or suburban setting, plus include the surrounding area and some landmarks.  Allow sufficient time for students to complete a rough draft (which you may approve before the final copy) and to complete their rural, suburban, or urban home.  Remind students they may include text in their pictures.
  6. Once completed, the students may meet with each other to give “tours” of their designs. Allow students to switch partners for sharing, or you may have the students share their designs with the entire class.
  7. Distribute Practice page. Check and review the students’ responses.
  8. Distribute the Homework page. The next day, check and review the students’ responses.
  9. In closing, ask students:  What is your type of community?  If you had to move to a different type of community, which one would you choose and why?
  10. Encourage students to be specific as they share their reasons for their choice. Many students in the classroom may live in the same community type but allow students to share experiences if they are from, or have lived in, other community types.

Common Core State Standards: 

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.6, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.1.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.4

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.2.7, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.4, CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.3.7

Class Sessions (45 minutes): at least 2 class sessions

Additional Resources:

Many more teaching resources in Download!

Want more social studies resources? Check out our other Social Studies Lesson Plans!

Additional information

Grade Level

1st Grade, 2nd Grade, 3rd Grade


Social Studies