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Neighbor's Day

September 27, 2008

Annually the last Saturday of September

Home Welcome Mat! Lesson & Activities Library Better Neighbor's Program


Getting to know your neighbors is a great way to make friends and learn about helping and giving. Do something good for a neighbor, impress your parents! Help carry groceries, do yard word, fix a bicycle, or help in the garden. Every good deed will be recognized with trust and often merit returned favors from your neighbor. Get involved and make your neighborhood a fun place to live for everyone. Check out some of the activities listed below for some other interesting ideas, like creating a Neighborhood Newspaper. Also check out What To Do On Neighbor's Day.


Now is the time to come together in the age of strip malls and mega-stores. Show your children by example what a community is, what it means to have neighbors you can trust and a safe community to come home to. On Saturday, September 29, 2007 make a point to visit a neighbor. From a simple favor like lending a helping hand in yard work to offering to exchange phone numbers, get in touch with your neighborhood and take a step toward making your community a safe and happy place. See the list of activities below for some interesting ideas, like creating a Neighborhood Network. Also check out What To Do On Neighbor's Day.


Check out the list below and select an activity and lesson for your class. If one of these suggestions isn't just right for your class, create a new activity and e-mail us at! We'll post your actiity and lesson suggestion for others to benefit.


Better Neighbors Activity
Activity: Neighborhood Who's Who Phone Tree/ Neighborhood Network
Created By: Ohio Crime Prevention Association


Phone trees have been used in the crime prevention arena for decades as a way to expedite communication between neighbors. The Better Neighbors Program is taking this crime prevention concept one step further. Typically a phone tree would be used when an emergency, or a suspicious character or activity exists in the area. Each neighbor would be given one other neighbor to call in case of an emergency, and when working properly the first person to call and report would be the last person called. The Better Neighbors Program would like this tree to be used proactively as well as reactively. By creating a Neighborhood Who's Who bio and phone tree combined, neighbors can become a stronger and tighter knit community while getting to know each other better. Create your neighborhood network.

Activity Plan:

    1.) Students would be encouraged in the evening or on the weekend to have a parent accompany them to all of the neighbor's houses on the block to complete the information survey. This survey would consist of names, ages, and number of people living in the house, address, phone numbers, pets, special circumstances, any personal information they might provide.

Students would compile all surveys and put them into a pamphlet format. If time allows student could also draw a map of the neighborhood.


Better Neighbor Activity
Activity: "Favor For A Neighbor Challenge"
Created by: Better Neighbors Program


To build a stronger sense of community and inspire students to participate more actively in community service projects, The Better Neighbors Program has implemented the "Favor For a Neighbor Challenge." This simple activity promises to teach students a number of civic-minded lessons that are often forgotten in our fast-paced lives.

Lesson Plan:

    1.) The teacher will introduce Neighbor's Day and the "Favor For A Neighbor Challenge" to their students. The students will then be instructed to decide upon which neighbor they will help and what favor they plan on doing.

    2.) After receiving approval from the teacher, the student will begin their good deed after school or on the weekend.

    3.) Upon completion of the favor, they will complete a report explaining what they have done, why, and how it affected them and their relationship with the neighbor they helped.

Scholarship Program:

The "Favor For a Neighbor Challenge" is an excellent way to get your students active in the community and give them the valuable experience of how wonderful it feels to do good deeds for others.

The Better Neighbors Program is currently looking for teachers, association alliances, and corporate partners to share in the success of this wonderful program. For more information on how you or your organization can take part in the planning of this program, it's activities and lesson plans, call 304-296-3605 or email us at


Better Neighbor Activity
Activity: Neighborhood Newspapers
Created By: Mr. Hall


Creating activities that teach neighborliness while still fitting into school curriculums can sometimes be a challenge for teachers. But 6th grade teacher, Mr. Scott Hall, has developed an activity that combines the teaching of neighborliness, writing, communication, and how a newspaper operates in the real world. By having students create their own newspaper for their street or neighborhood, students can experience what it is like to be a reporter, editor, and graphic designer, while learning valuable lessons in citizenship.

Lesson Plan:

    1.) Students are first asked to come up with a name for their neighborhood paper (example: The Dunbar Court Daily or The Munsan Street Messenger).

    2.) The cub reporters will then be instructed to go in search of interesting stories and community concerns that would make for quality articles in their upcoming publication (example: New Family moves in from California, Community Creek Needs Cleaning, etc.).

    3.) Upon completion of writing articles and stories, students will break up into proofreading groups to assist each other in the editing process.

    4.) Once articles are rewritten and approved by the teacher, students will design and layout their newspapers. If computers are not available in your school, the old fashion method of crayons, scissors and paste will work just fine. This work period can be greatly enhanced by teachers sharing history on the printing, paper, and newspaper industries.

    5.) Upon completion, students will be encouraged to make copies of their papers and deliver them in their own neighborhoods.

Better Neighbor Activity
Activity:  Being Neighborly/ Making Friends
Created By:  Mrs. McDonald


Applicable to grades k-3, Mrs. McDonald (no relation to Old McDonald), recommends beginning by reading several books aloud that lead to and encourage discussions on neighborliness. By getting children interested in the topic of being better neighbors, more focused activities can then be implemented.

Lesson Plan:

1.) Read aloud "Mitchell is Moving," by Marjorie Weinman Sharmat. This is a story about two good neighbors who move apart from each other and are very unhappy until they move next door to each other again.

Discuss: Why you think Margo & Mitchell were happy being neighbors?; Do you have any good neighbors?; Why are they good?; What would be a bad neighbor? Children can draw a picture or write a sentence about their ideas and then later role-play with the class.

List all answers on chalkboard (to later transfer to individual pieces of paper and put into bags labeled "Good Neighbor" and "Bad Neighbor"). Pull ideas from the "Good Neighbor" bag and have children role-play. Do the same for "Bad Neighbor." Discuss, compare and contrast the role-playing and the feelings the neighbors had. Relate it to the story and what children can do themselves to be good neighbors.

2.) As a whole class, brainstorm events that could bring a neighborhood together. Ideas may range from a picnic or party, to a festival. Vote on one event to have in your classroom where each student is part of the neighborhood. Discuss the details and ideas together and each student will choose a responsibility or job to undertake for the event (example: sign makers, game committee, food committee, etc.). Plan a time and date for the event and let the students take over!

Better Neighbor Activity
Activity: Neighbor's Day Better Neighbors Instruction Book
Created By: Mr.  Stark


In the fall of 1998, Mr. Stark had his 5th grade class read "Neighbor's Day", the story, aloud in class (visit

for a free download). The kids enjoyed it so much that after much discussion they created a life's little instruction booklet on how to be better neighbors.

Lesson Plan:

1.) Visit

to begin reading "Neighbor's Day", the story. The story is about a young boy's efforts to rid his community of destructive gang members. Through a rollercoaster of humorous and emotional adventures, the boy, his best friend, and a heartless banker sent back as a pigeon strive to make a difference. Upon completion of each chapter, take some time out for discussion.

2.) On a postcard have the kids illustrate and define how to be better neighbors.

3.) Make duplicate copies of final drawings and bind together with a title page and introduction. And then send us a copy. We will be picking the best ones for publication and posting on the web site (Please note: Neighbor's Day is written for ages 11 and older).

Better Neighbors Activity
Activity: Neighbor-Dome Experiment
Created By: Mr. Campbell


This is an excellent way to start the school year off and get students thinking about Neighbor's Day while allowing them to get to know each other better. Like many residents in neighborhoods, students starting new classes often do not know one another very well. And by taking part in the Neighbor-Dome Experiment, students and teachers can learn a lot about each other and how a community can work and grow together. In the Neighbor-Dome Experiment, the classroom will be transformed into a virtual community where students will play roles ranging from City Council member to babysitter. The teacher will be the Mayor.

Lesson Plan:

1.) The teacher and class will create an equal number of roles for the number of students in the class. Students will select their role and attempt to fulfill their duties to the fullest (For example: Mayor- listens to others needs and tries to do good for the whole community; Police Officer- tries to protect all equally; Repairman- does their part to keep everything in working order; Free-spirited Poet- attempts to entertain the masses; etc.)

2.) Each desk will serve as property (a house or business) and be taken care of properly with respect to others. Students may also be given children (flour or sugar bags) to care for if responsibility needs to be taught.

3.) By getting students to focus on creating their Neighbor-Dome they will learn many valuable lessons in life.

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