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cardboard cutout of diverse individuals from the American West in the 19th century

What is Community? Communities Then and Now

Resource Type
Grade Level:
K–2, 3–5
Social Studies

Class Lesson

Students will learn what community is by looking at different features of communities both past and present. With teacher guidance, students will analyze artifacts from various communities of the American West in 1890 that represent features of each community and make posters for each community feature. Students will connect to their own community by finding artifacts that represent features of their community. The class will post their community artifacts on the community feature poster and compare their communities to those of the American West in 1890.


CA-HSS:; 1.5.1


Lesson and Resources

Lesson: What is Community; Spanish

Teacher Key: What is Community Teacher KeySpanish

Associated Education Resources

Teaching Tips for Different Learning Environments

Whole Class Distance Learning: Teachers can put images on a slide deck and have students move them into appropriate categories and discuss why. (Teachers can request Word Document at education@theautry.org). Students can then complete their individual assignment of finding artifacts for their own community.

Self-Paced Learning: Students can cut out the images and sort them into categories. Then, they can paste the category images onto a piece of binder paper. Students can then complete their individual assignment of finding artifacts for their own community.

Educational Programs at the Autry are sponsored by:

Dean and Laura Beresford · Molly and Neal Brockmeyer · Vince and Colleen Caballero · Capital Group · David F. Eisenberg · The Georgina-Fredrick Children's Foundation · Christy McAvoy · Marleen and Bruce Rognlien · Robert E. Ronus · Brenda and Gary Ruttenberg · The Steinmetz Foundation · Virginia F. Stevenson · Thelma Pearl Howard Foundation

Land Acknowledgment

The Autry Museum of American West acknowledges the Gabrielino/Tongva peoples as the traditional land caretakers of Tovaangar (the Los Angeles basin and So. Channel Islands). We recognize that the Autry Museum and its campuses are located on the traditional lands of Gabrielino/Tongva peoples and we pay our respects to the Honuukvetam (Ancestors), ‘Ahiihirom (Elders) and ‘Eyoohiinkem (our relatives/relations) past, present and emerging.

The Autry Museum in Griffith Park

4700 Western Heritage Way

Los Angeles, CA 90027-1462
Located northeast of downtown, across from the Los Angeles Zoo.
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