Neighborhoods and Communities

Annotated Bibliography


Dr. Ava L. McCall

Children's Books

Ajmera, A. & Ivanko, J. (2004). Be my neighbor. Watertown, MA: Charlesbridge.


The authors take the reader through varying parts of the world and descriptively show their neighborhoods. Although many of the neighborhoods differ in some aspects such as customs, beliefs, culture, ages and ethnicities, the concepts of connectedness and home remain universal. The book contains descriptions of what a neighborhood is as well as the people, structures, and jobs which are found there. The illustrations are actual photographs and are comprised of many ages, ethnicities, cultures and abilities.


Ancona, G. (1998). Barrio: Jose’s neighborhood. San Diego: Harcourt Brace.


The author describes Jose, his family and friends living in a barrio (neighborhood) in the mission district of San Francisco. Jose attends a Spanish-English bilingual class and plays with his friends on the school playground. Jose and his family participate in different fiestas and the community gardens, buy foods imported from Latin America on the main street, play soccer, and celebrate Jose’s birthday with a special meal and breaking a pinata. Readers learn about various cultural celebrations and other community activities, housing, and historical murals painted within the barrio.

Ancona, G. (2004). Mi barrio, my neighborhood. New York: Children’s Press.


The author translates the book in both English and Spanish and explains life in a barrio. The narrative is through the perspective of a child, Marc Anthony, whose parents moved to Brooklyn from Puerto Rico. Emphasis is placed on cultural activities, food, and family life in a Spanish-speaking neighborhood. The illustrations in the book are actual photographs taken within the barrio and provide helpful visuals to the story.

Brown, T. & Junior League of San Francisco. (1993). The city by the bay: A magical journey around San Francisco. San Francisco: Chronicle Books.


The picture book portrays the urban community of San Francisco. It includes a timeline of when different groups of people lived in San Francisco as well as important events in the city’s history. Each page describes a notable place in San Francisco, including the large Chinese community of Chinatown, the Japanese Tea Garden, cable cars, the famous crooked Lombard Street, the Golden Gate Bridge, the city’s oldest building Mission Dolores, the North Beach neighborhood, Coit Tower, the Palace of Fine Arts, and Union Square, a famous shopping area. The text also includes fun facts about San Francisco.

Bullard, L. (2003). My neighborhood: Places and faces. Minneapolis: Picture Window Books.


The main character, Libby, welcomes the new boy next door to the neighborhood. She takes him to the “alone zone” places or those places in the neighborhood where she can walk alone. Libby introduces Michael to the mail carrier, different neighbors, and the nearby park. Libby’s mother walks with them to other places in the neighborhood which are outside of the “alone zone,” such as the corner store, the toy store, and the pet store. They also meet Officer Higgins near the corner store who talks to children at school about staying safe. The end of the book suggests activities for children to become acquainted with their neighborhood.

Burton, V. L. (1942). The little house. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.


The picture book shows how the human environment of one house changed over time. At first the house stands alone on a hill in the countryside during the time when people used horses for transportation and farming. As horseless carriages developed, a major road was created close to the little house, which brought increasing numbers of trucks and cars, gas stations, roadside stands, and other houses. Eventually additional roads, houses, apartment buildings, tenement houses, schools, and garages were built close to the little house. The environment around the little house was much brighter and noisier. As time went on, trolley cars, elevated trains, and subways carried people by the little house and created dust and smoke. Skyscrapers of 25 and 35 stories were built close by. After the little house fell into disrepair, someone noticed it and had it moved to the country where it was repaired and lived in again. The book provides an opportunity to discuss how communities and transportation change over time and the benefits and drawbacks of these changes.

Casely, J. (2002). On the town: A community adventure. New York: Greenwillow.


The author tells a story about a young boy named Charlie who is learning about his community. Charlie is given a notebook from his teacher and told to explore his community and write about the people and places he encounters. Charlie learns a great deal about the people who make up his community and values all of their hard work. Charlie also learns some valuable lessons such as recycling and returning lost property while on his exploration. The illustrations help tell the story and bring Charlie’s adventure to life.

Chocolate, D. (2009). El barrio. New York: Henry Holt and Company.


The text portrays a Latino/a neighborhood or barrio through the eyes of a young boy who seems very proud of his neighborhood and the many connections he has with family. He describes murals, holidays, quinceanera parties, dancing, soft guitar music, first communions, bodegas (grocery stores), and vegetable gardens replacing lawns in the city. The author includes a glossary of English explanations for Spanish terms used in the text.

Cooper, M. (1995). I got community. New York: Henry Holt.


The author describes numerous aspects of a child’s community and emphasizes the collective helping network. Areas of the community which are described include family, friends, school, law enforcement, spirituality, and other helping individuals. The illustrations are very colorful and represent a variety of ethnicities that live and work together in their community.


Cummins, J. (2002). Country kid, city kid. New York: Henry Holt.


The text contrasts the differences between an urban community and a rural community through the eyes of two children living in each type of community. Ben lives on a farm with his family who raise cattle while Jody lives in an apartment building where she can see tall buildings and busy streets. Readers learn differences in how the two children ride a bus to school, play ball at recess, shop for groceries, get their mail, play in snow, get the books they need, and complete after school activities. When Ben and Jody attend the same summer camp, they become friends.

Cumpiano, I. (2005). Quinto’s neighborhood. San Francisco: Children’s Book Press.


The author presents the story of a young boy named Quinto who describes his family and their jobs in the neighborhood both in English and Spanish. However, throughout the English portion of the book, the titles of Quinto’s relatives remain in Spanish such as mama, papa, abuela, abuelo, tia and prima to promote the learning of these words. Emphasis is placed on the connectedness of his family to each other as well as the neighborhood. The illustrations are vibrant and add energy to the story.

Floca, B. (2013). Locomotive. New York: Atheneum Books for Young Readers.


The text is written in verse and carefully illustrated to depict how a family might travel west on the transcontinental railroad in 1869. The family travels from Omaha, Nebraska to Sacramento, California. The text shows the different jobs required to make the railroad run from brakemen, firemen, engineers, to conductors, the different accommodations for passengers on the train, how the parts of the train work to make it move and stop, and the various towns and landscapes the first railroad traveled through. The text can be used to show how people moved from one community to another by way of the first railroad in the 19th century.

Gillis, J. B. (2003). Picture the past: Life on the Lower East Side. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


The text is part of the “Picture the Past” series of information books describing various communities in the U.S. during earlier periods of time. This text focuses on life on the Lower East Side of New York City from 1870 until 1913 when millions of people from Italy and eastern Europe came to the city to live and set up businesses. They often settled near people like themselves, lived in tenements or apartment buildings with small, crowded, and poorly ventilated apartments, and no electricity or hot water. Streets were crowded and dirty with pushcarts displaying food and clothing for sale, workers carrying clothes, and children working and playing. The crowded, dirty, and unsafe living conditions led to the spread of disease among immigrants. Workers often produced clothing in sweatshops in dark, crowded rooms inside tenements with children helping their parents complete piecework. If immigrants had a little money, they might start a business selling clothes, furniture, and food from a pushcart or open a small candy store. Workers traveled by streetcar, elevated and subway passenger trains, and ferries to get to work. Young children usually worked instead of attending school to help their families financially, but they also played in the streets. When the New York City law mandated education for children, immigrant children were often ridiculed by other students for their traditional clothing and poor English.

Harshman, M. (2007). Only one neighborhood. New York: Dutton Children’s Books.


The simple text highlights several businesses and community services that are located in one neighborhood. The author emphasizes the variety of breads in only one bakery, many different animals in one pet store, and the wide array of toys in one toy store. Other neighborhood businesses include a pizzeria, market, shoe store, hardware store, delicatessen, music store, flower shop, and an ice cream truck while the services focus on a firehouse and school. At the close of the text, the author introduces the idea that there are many neighborhoods within one city, many cities within one country, and many countries within one world–all wishing for peace.

High, L. O. (2001). Under New York. New York: Holiday House.


The author and illustrator depict the human-made features which have been constructed below the streets and buildings of New York City in simple text. The text illustrates the subway and activities associated with the subway, such as performing musicians. Restaurants and jazz clubs, as well as water tunnels, sewers, pipes and wires for light and heat can be found beneath the city. The text can be used to discuss how large cities have an infrastructure to provide people’s basic needs, such as water, electricity, and utilities below ground.

Isaacs, S. S. (2000). Picture the past: Life in America’s first cities. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


This information book describes daily life in U.S. cities from 1800 until 1860 as people moved from farms or other countries to cities for jobs. By 1850 there were many U.S. cities, mostly located east of the Mississippi River and originated near lakes, rivers or the Atlantic Ocean. Cities differed from rural areas because there were many stores, libraries, restaurants, theaters, museums, and jobs available in cities. However, sometimes city populations grew faster than the housing and streets people needed for living and moving from place to place. During this period, streets were often dirty from garbage and animals, and people traveled by walking or riding on an omnibus, stagecoach, or boat. Poor families usually lived in small apartments while more wealthy families had in their own home. Poor adults and children often worked in factories for little pay or children worked on the streets or as servants for wealthy people. Adults may also work in stores, offices, schools, and churches and children whose family could afford it attended school. Families obtained their food each day from street carts because of limited refrigeration provided by ice boxes or they used food that did not need refrigeration. They obtained their news from neighbors, newspapers, letters, or telegrams.

Isaacs, S. S. (2000). Picture the past: Life on a southern plantation. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


This information book concentrates on the daily life on a cotton plantation in Mississippi during the 1850s and 1860s. The text clarifies that most people in the South owned small farms and had no slaves; however, there were large plantations with wealthy, powerful owners and many slaves. These large plantations were similar to towns. The plantation consisted of many fields usually growing only one crop, such as cotton. It also had many buildings, including the “big house” where the plantation owner lived, slave cabins, where slaves lived, and perhaps a church, school, blacksmith, shoemaker, and carpenter’s shops. The author emphasizes the reason for the plantation owner’s wealth was the direct result of the unpaid work of the slaves who produced the crop and took care of the plantation owner’s family. Differences in education, work, clothing, and food between the planters and their children and slaves and their children are described.

Isaacs, S. S. (2001). Picture the past: Life in a colonial town. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


This information book focuses on daily life in the English colonies from 1650 until 1750 and is based on the historic Williamsburg, Virginia colonial town. It clarifies the meaning of colonies, the process of creating a colonial town, including the different stores and businesses in a typical town, and how news was communicated through the town crier, letters, and a few newspapers. Early houses are also described and the daily life of colonists in growing and preparing their own food and creating most of their own furniture, dishes, butter, soap and other products. Children of this time period often had to learn basic gender-defined life skills, such as building, hunting, cooking, and sewing, although they also had a little time to play games. Some children became apprentices and some attended school in a one-room school or at home, although boys often had more schooling than girls. The process of preparing colonists’ clothing and food are also described emphasizing that the colonists produced most everything they needed.

Isaacs, S. S. (2001). Picture the past: Life in a New England mill town. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


The information book describes the daily life in early U.S. mill towns from 1800 until 1900. It is based on the early mill town of Lowell, Massachusetts, which employed more textile mill workers and produced more cotton cloth than any other city or town in the U.S. The text clarifies how the production of clothing changed from home-based to factory-based from the late 1700s to the early 1800s. The textile mills used water power to run their machines and employed mostly young women. These young women lived together in boardinghouses, worked long hours (5 a.m. until 6:45 p.m.), and faced noisy, stuffy working conditions. They had to be careful not to allow their clothing or hair get caught in the machines. The mill girls worked six days a week and enjoyed one day for attending music concerts, classes, shopping, or reading. The mill girls were able to buy clothing and send money home for their families; eat together at their boardinghouse; walk to work, but ride trains to Boston or other cities; and receive news from newspapers and telegraphs.

Isaacs, S. S. (2003). Picture the past: Life in San Francisco’s Chinatown. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


The text is part of the “Picture the Past” series of information books describing various communities in the U.S. during earlier periods of time. This text focuses on daily life in San Francisco’s Chinatown from 1848 until 1910 when Chinese immigrants came to the U.S. to make money and settle in a small area of San Francisco with other people who spoke their language. Chinese immigrant men came to the U.S. in the late 1840s through the 1860s to mine for gold and help build the transcontinental railroad. Later Chinese immigrants opened stores in Chinatown or worked in laundries, restaurants, people’s homes, factories, or farms. By 1880, Chinatown consumed 12 blocks in San Francisco and 12,000 mostly Chinese men lived there. These men worked hard, but also took time to play games and watch plays in Chinese theatres. They formed family groups with others of the same last name since they did not have parents, wives, or children with them. The Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882 allowed Chinese teachers, scholars, and merchants to settle in the U.S. with their wives and children, which changed Chinatown. Children were taught to work hard and help in their parents’ store or restaurant, attend public schools to learn English, but also attend Chinese schools to learn to read and write in Chinese. Chinese families lived in small apartments or in the backs of factories and restaurants, often wore traditional Chinese clothing until after 1910, and ate traditional Chinese foods of rice, noodles, and soups. Chinatown still exists today with homes, stores, schools, a hospital, restaurants, churches, and temples.

Kalman, B. (2000). What is a community? From A to Z. New York: Crabtree.


In this picture book, the author defines community and describes characteristics and components of communities in different parts of the world using an alphabetical order format. For example, all communities contain buildings, culture and people from one or many cultures, families and food, government services, jobs, and places for learning. The author explains that important characteristics of communities include development or how communities change and grow; a history, although some communities are explicitly created to portray life in the past; ways to share information such as by computer or telephone, a quality of life or standard of living, and rules for maintaining order, keeping people safe, and treating people fairly. The text could be used to stimulate discussions about aspects of communities.

Knudsen, M. (2005). Carl the complainer. New York: Kane.


The focus of the book is a simple, clear explanation of how children can make changes in their communities through petitions. It illustrates how a group of children used a petition to keep the town park open later. The book also clarifies some of the challenges for children to get people to sign petitions, then make a convincing case for their change to the town council. Overall, the book encourages children to use petitions to make changes rather than complain about problems in their communities.

McLerran, A. (1991). Roxaboxen. New York: HarperCollins.


The picture book depicts children’s creation of an imaginary community in a part of Yuma, Arizona. The children created their own streets, houses, a town hall and mayor, a money system, shops, cars for transportation, and a police officer who enforced speeding limits and a jail for speeders. The text can be used to stimulate discussion among children regarding the important components of a community they may want to create.

Nelson, R. (2003). Communication then and now. Minneapolis: Lerner.


The brief text describes how communication has changed over time, a component of life in communities. For example, long ago people drew pictures on the walls of caves to tell stories whereas today they write stories on chalkboards. The author briefly clarifies that telephones replaced telegraphs, e-mails replaced letter writing, televisions rather than radios provide news, the Internet distributes news around the world rather than the pony express, and books are printed by printing presses rather than by hand. The end of the text includes a timeline of communication inventions and facts.

Nelson, R. (2003). Transportation then and now. Minneapolis: Lerner.


The simple text explains how transportation has changed over time, another component of communities. Trucks now move people and products from one city to another whereas wagons were used in earlier times. Within cities today, residents may move by subways rather than by streetcars as in the past. The text includes photographs to illustrate how ships, trains, cars, and planes have changed. The end of the text includes a timeline of changes in transportation from 1786 until 1981 as well as transportation facts.

Neubecker, R. (2004). Wow! City. New York: Hyperion.


The text portrays characteristics of a city through the eyes of a two-year-old who visits a large city with her father. The young child exclaims her amazement when she sees airplanes, taxis, bridges, tunnels, buildings, fire engines, buses, museums, parks, ships, subways, people, parades, and bright lights. The text can be used to initiate discussions about unique features of cities, including problems which many cities face such as pollution and poverty.

Pancella, P. (2006). Neighborhood walk: City. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


The simple information text defines a neighborhood as a small part of a larger community, such as a city or town. The author defines a city as a very large community with thousands or millions of people. The text describes the different types and locations of homes, transportation, schools, jobs, stores, services, businesses, governmental offices, places of worship, and recreational opportunities available in cities. Despite the large size of cities, the author emphasizes that people in cities help one another and have fun together through parties and parades.

Pancella, P. (2006). Neighborhood walk: Farm community. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


The simple information text defines the meaning of neighborhood and community, then explains that a farm community usually means a small town with farms around it. The author briefly describes the different types of homes, transportation, jobs, stores, other businesses, community services, and recreational activities located in a farm community. For example, usually there is only one school or one school shared by two communities because of the small number of people living in a farm community. The author also emphasizes that people within farm communities help one another and enjoy common recreational activities, such as fairs or rodeos.

Pancella, P. (2006). Neighborhood walk: Suburb. Chicago: Heinemann Library.


The simple information text begins with a definition of a neighborhood and defines a suburb as a community near a city, but smaller and less crowded than cities. The author explains and illustrates the different homes, transportation, schools, jobs, stores, other businesses, services, and recreational activities available in suburbs. One important distinction about suburbs is that sometimes people live in suburbs, but travel to cities to work or enjoy additional recreation activities, such as plays, sports, or museums. The author continues the theme that people within suburbs also help one another and come together to enjoy parties and parades.

Platt, R. (2010). New York City. New York: Kingfisher.


The text and detailed illustrations portray changes in New York City over time. It begins with the Delaware or Lenape living in the area in the 1600s, tending gardens, fishing, building canoes, weaving wampum and baskets, and making pots and stone tools. Henry Hudson sailing a Dutch ship visits the area in 1609 and trades with the Lenape. Although he values the foods, tobacco, and furs the Lenape trade, he considers them lazy and their settlement crude. The Dutch purchase Manhattan from the Lenape, who do not have the same conception of owning land, and build New Amsterdam in 1626. The English take over the area in 1664 and change the name to New York. The town becomes a busy port for trading in the 1700s and 1800s, although crowding and pollution become problems. The text describes the creation of Central Park, the people’s park, in 1856-1860, the draft riots of 1863, and the construction of the Brooklyn Bridge in 1882, linking Brooklyn to Manhattan. Ellis Island is built in 1892 and by 1906 more than one million immigrants enter the U.S. through Ellis Island in New York’s harbor. The text contrasts the poverty during the 1930s Great Depression with the wealth of Harlem’s Cotton Club clients. New York City is also home to the World’s Fair in 1939, protests of the Vietnam War in 1967, and honoring the Apollo heroes in 1969. The text closes with a description of the attack on the World Trade Center in 2001 and important buildings, characteristics, and challenges of New York City today.

Talbott, H. (2009). River of dreams: The story of the Hudson River. New York: G. P. Putnam’s Sons.


The author explains and illustrates changes in the Hudson River from the time it was first formed by melting glaciers thousands of years ago to today. He begins with the Native people who lived in the Hudson River valley, conflicts over possessing the Hudson River valley between the Dutch and the British and then the British and the colonists in the 1600s and 1700s. Following the American Revolution, the author traces growth in river trade, water transportation, the development of railroads, and the rise of industry, which affected the Hudson River and led to its pollution by the 20th century. In the 1960s, a group of environmentalists, the Scenic Hudson, successfully opposed construction of a new power company on the river, which led to efforts to clean up the river. The text can be used to illustrate how the development of a city can contribute to the pollution of the physical environment if people are not careful to care for it.

Tonatiuh, D. (2010). Dear Primo: A letter to my cousin. New York: Abrams Books for Young Readers.


This realistic fiction portrays two boys who are cousins living in different communities. One boy lives on a farm in a rural area of Mexico while another lives in a large city in the United States. Carlitos describes the plants and animals growing on the farm, riding his bicycle to school, and playing different games outside with his friends. Carlitos also explains how he and his friends cool off by swimming in a river and how he and his family sell and buy food at the open-air market in a nearby town. Charlie describes the skyscrapers and cars near his apartment, taking the subway to school, and playing games with friends both inside and outside of their apartment building. Charlie also explains how he and his friends cool off by splashing in the water from the open fire hydrant and how he and his mother shop for food and other items at a supermarket.

Trumbauer, L. (2005). Living in a rural area. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.


The simple information text describe a few characteristics of a rural community. People who live in a rural area usually live far apart and must travel some distance to purchase things they need. There are often farms which grow crops for people or animals or ranches which raise cattle in rural areas. Because of the distance away from businesses or other work places, people living in rural areas may work from home. However, the open spaces of rural areas allow recreational opportunities, such as snowmobiling.

Trumbauer, L. (2005). Living in a city. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.


The simple information text describes cities as a big, crowded community with different neighborhoods. People who live in cities usually live in apartments or houses, travel in cars, buses, and taxis to get to work, and many work in tall buildings. Cities also have very tall buildings called skyscrapers. Cities have many resources for residents, such as schools and colleges, places for shopping, eating, and playing, and listening to music or plays at theaters.

Trumbauer, L. (2005). Living in a suburb. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press.


The author defines a suburb as a community outside or near a city in this simple information text. Suburbs are similar to cities, but with less traffic. Suburbs have many neighborhoods, different places to live such as apartments, townhouses, and houses. Some people live in suburbs, but travel to work in nearby cities while others have jobs in suburbs. Suburbs also have schools, malls and other shops, and recreational areas like parks.

Zschock, M. D. (2003). Journey around San Francisco from A to Z. Beverly, MA: Commonwealth Editions.


The picture book uses an alphabetical format to highlight different aspects of the urban community of San Francisco. It describes the steep hills, the cable cars used for mass transportation, the natural resources in Golden Gate Park and the redwood forests north of San Francisco, the contributions of Chinese immigrants, gold miners, entrepreneurs to the city, the city’s weather and climate, its unique geographic location, the famous Golden Gate Bridge, its designation as an international port, the devastating 1906 and 1989 earthquakes and the fires resulting from the early earthquake, the unique architecture of city hall, and examples of restored Victorian homes originally built in the 1800s.

Children’s Periodicals

Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2012, February). How we keep in touch. Cobblestone, 33. Elementary level.  

The issue focuses on changes in communication from the 1700s until now and the different forms of communication used over time. Changes in communication through letters and newspapers delivered by the U.S. mail, the pony express, and railroads as well as changes in newspapers since the 1700s are explained. Articles describe the use of telegraphs, telephone, and optical telegraphs over time and how telephones have changed since the early 1900s to now. Finally, articles clarify the importance of radios and television in getting news to people quickly, and how the Internet, computers, and smartphones have changed communication and sharing of information among people.

Chorlian, M. (Ed.). (2012, May/June). Next stop: New York’s subway. Cobblestone, 33. Elementary level.


The issue reviews the history of mass transportation in New York City from omnibuses, horsecars, cable cars, trolleys, the elevated railway (el), the first underground subway, to the current subway system. Articles clarify the motivation for building an underground rapid transit system: the Great White Hurricane of 1888 which paralyzed New York City for days, in addition to the increasing congestion of residents and businesses as well as the process of constructing the subway. Readers can also learn about the advantages (fast and inexpensive) and disadvantages (crowded and dirty) of the subway, what riders like to do while riding the subway (reading is the most popular activity), the different tokens riders used to pay the fare for riding the subway from 1953 until 2003, the current use of MetroCards as payment, and a map of New York’s subway system.

Curriculum Materials

Starbird, C., Bye, P. C., Hemstead, J. & Hemstead, S. P. (2004). Read to feed: Heifer International’s lessons from a village called earth, curriculum guide, 5th and 6th grade. Denver, CO: CTIR Publications.


The curriculum focuses on various aspects of communities, including building a proactive and self-reliant community (civics), making choices in order to become an economically self-sufficient community (economics), and wisely using the community’s physical land (geography). The civics unit explores the concept of community and different levels of communities from the classroom, neighborhood, city, state, country, to the global community. Civic virtue, giving time, money, or efforts to improve their community, is also studied, which is similar to the concepts of social responsibility, social action, and good citizen. Civic responsibility, another component of building strong communities, includes obeying laws, serving on juries, paying taxes, and voting. The unit focuses on paying taxes or donating time and labor in order to pay for things the community needs.

Audiovisual Resources

Bestor, T. (Director). (1996). Neighborhood Tokyo [video recording]. Lincoln, NE: Great

Plains National.


This video recording specifically deals with a small community named Miyamoto-cho located just south of central Tokyo. The community is comprised of over 700 families of which there are many cultural values and customs that are specific to the residents. The video points out the struggles associated with striving to maintain the neighborhood’s cultural roots in an area which is rapidly growing and evolving. Throughout the video the viewer is provided an informative narrative as well as a walk through of the neighborhood’s shops, social activities, and its residents.

Colman, W. (Director). (1997). All about neighborhoods [video recording]. Raleigh, NC:

Rainbow Educational Media.


This 12-minute video recording titled, All About Neighborhoods, discusses the concepts of a neighborhood and its people. The video defines a neighborhood, then stresses the similarities as well as the vast differences which occur in neighborhoods across the world. Along with the video, activity sheets are provided for students to complete after watching the program. There is also a suggested lesson plan provided for teachers which explains an effective method to integrate the activities with the informational material.

Fier, H. (Director) & Mantell, S. (Director). (1994). My America, building a democracy:

Neighborhood and community [video recording]. Chappaqua, NY: New Castle Communications.


This particular video is one of a twelve unit series titled, My America: Building a Democracy, which specifically targets what it means to be a citizen in a multicultural society. The educational objective of this video is to illustrate how people living in different neighborhoods and communities work together. The video is accompanied with a Resource Directory Disk as well as a user guide which both provide activities, educational ideas for teachers, and resources for teachers and students. The video and informational materials are available in both English and Spanish. (1999-2013). My neighborhood. Available from


This electronic book shows simple, highlighted text as it is read aloud for viewers. The text talks about different places within one’s neighborhood where one can purchase goods and services or use various services. Some examples include a bakery, grocery store, drug store, post office, library, school, and a park.

Family Communications, Inc. (2009). Build a neighborhood. Available from


This interactive game allows children to select a type of neighborhood, such as residential, farming, construction area, or fantasy and move different components to create their own neighborhood. Children may choose forms of transportation, homes, buildings, plants, and animals to create a residential or farming neighborhood. They may choose different forms of construction equipment, building materials, and trees and bushes ready for planting to construct a building site.

Schlessinger, A. (Executive Producer). (2006). My community: What is a community? [DVD]. Wynewood, PA: Schlessinger Media.


This 15-minute DVD begins with a definition of community as places where people live, work, learn, and play and illustrates similarities and differences among urban, suburban, and rural communities and advantages of each type of community. The DVD also defines neighborhoods as a place where people live close to one another, which varies in each type of community. Another component is the importance of various businesses (grocery stores and car repair shops), service workers (such as teachers, doctors, mail carriers, fire fighters, and trash collectors), and people to each type of community. Recreational opportunities also vary according to the type of community and its geographical location (such as in the mountains or along the coast). An emphasis of the DVD is that everyone can be good citizens by caring about the community and making it a better place, including children. Children can follow such laws as wearing bike helmets, not littering, and crossing only at the crosswalks, helping their neighbors or volunteering, and sharing ideas with community leaders. Overall, the DVD offers very positive aspects of different types of communities and omits any current problems or issues which communities may face.

Annotated bibliography list