Primary Social Studies Fieldwork in Children’s Localities and Beyond, pp. 6 of 10


Guiding Questions


Suggested Teaching Activities

Stage 1


  • What are some of the places shown in the video?
  • Have you been to these places before?
  • Where can we find them?  


60 mins

Show a video of a neighbourhood with its many places

Create a word splash for a "good" neighbourhood using words (e.g. easy to find, easy to get to, nearby, convenient, affordable, etc.)

Introduce the fieldwork scenario and brief pupils on the fieldwork goals and  safety rules

Stage 2


Station 1

  • How do void decks make a good neighbourhood?

Void deck of  Block 179 at Toa Payoh Central/

30 mins

Inform class to spot and point to Block 179 where Ronaldo lives once they are at Toa Payoh Central

Inform class that Ronaldo saw a group of seniors gathering at this place in his block and ask, “What is this place?”

Explain that the place is called "void deck" (If there are people at the void deck, ask pupils what they are doing there. If there is none, ask the class about the functions of a void deck.) Pupils will learn that void decks are public spaces for residents to carry out a variety of activities (e.g. holding a Malay wedding or a Chinese funeral, etc.) They are common spaces for residents to gather and interact with one another.

Ask pupils to count the number of steps from the lift of the block to the  convenience store and ask why the store is located at the void deck

Ask pupils to observe the notice boards at the lift area and fill up the date, time and venue of one community activity in their activity booklets. Pupils will learn that notice boards inform residents about the community events in their neighbourhoods. Ask pupils about the purposes of community events.

Pupils complete a reflection checklist for Station 1. 

Sum up that the main purposes of void deck which makes up a good neighbourhood (e.g. it is a common space for people to gather and interact with one another, for events to bring people together, has one or two convenience store/s to serve residents, has notice boards to inform residents of the community events in the neighbourhood)

Station 2

  • How do supermarkets make a good neighbourhood?

Giant supermarket/

25 mins

Inform class that Ronaldo’s mother is cooking dinner and she has asked him to go to the place to buy the ingredients she needs  

Pupils will unscramble 6 pictures (2 per group) to find out the ingredients and fill in the names in their activity booklets.

Ask pupils to look at their surroundings and point to the place they think would sell the ingredients and introduce the term "supermarket"

Take class on a tour inside the supermarket and ask them to look for the ingredients they can find.

Call on pupils to share their findings.

Direct pupils’ attention to the "24 hours" picture on the supermarket signboard and explain that there are 24 hours in a day. If a supermarket is open for 24 hours, it means that it is open all day and all night for people to shop at their convenience.

Sum up the characteristics of a supermarket which contributes to a good neighbourhood (e.g. it sells many things, it is located where people live, it is open for people to shop at their convenience)  

Station 3

  • How does a library make a good neighbourhood?

Toa Payoh public library/

25 mins

Ask pupils to observe their surroundings and point to the place which is suitable for Ronaldo to study or to borrow books to read

Ask pupils more questions about the library: How many books can we borrow? What are the media resources available and how many can we borrow them?

Ask pupils to observe the library (level 1) before asking more questions: Why is the library quiet? Who visits the library? What do people do in the library?

Show pupils the procedures for borrowing and returning books (which also include informing them about the duration of the loan period and "due date").  Teach pupils about their responsibility when borrowing books (e.g. they must handle books with care, return books on time).

Sum up the main learning points: The library is a place that helps to make a good neighbourhood as it is convenient for residents to get their resources. There is no need for people to travel to the National Library in the city centre when there is one in the neighbourhood. A library is a common place where everyone goes to obtain information or knowledge in a safe place.

Station 4

  • How do coffee shops make a good neighbourhood?

Coffee shop (near the Toa Payoh library)/

25 mins

Inform pupils that Ronaldo is hungry after spending some time in the library. However, his parents are working and there is no lunch at home. He wants to buy some cooked food to eat. Where can he go?

Ask pupils to observe their surroundings and point to the nearest coffee shop near the library

Ask questions: What can you get at the coffee shop? Why is there a coffee shop in the neighbourhood?

Ask pupils to observe the coffee shop and ask more questions: Who usually visits the coffee shop? What do people do at the coffee shop?

Ask pupils to suggest ways to improve the coffee shop for residents. Call on pupils to share their work with the class.

Sum up: A coffee shop makes a good neighbourhood because it provides a diversity of food for residents who do not or are unable to cook. It is also a place for residents to gather and interact with one another.  




Outside coffee shop/

10 mins

Conclude the fieldwork by asking pupils to name the places visited and reinforce their importance in making the neighbourhood a liveable place for its residents and meeting their needs

Stage 3

Post Fieldwork



55 mins

Put pictures of the visited places in the neighbourhood on the white board, ask pupils to label them and call on some pupils to recap their learning experiences

Revisit the fieldwork scenario and ask pupils in their groups to draw one more place they would like to show Ronaldo as it also contributes to a good neighbourhood and meets residents’ needs. Show a drawing as an example to guide pupils

Groups present their work and paste them on the classroom walls.

Stage 4

Reflective Thinking/Extending Inquiry



5 mins

Get pupils to write or draw on post-it notes on what makes their neighbourhood special and what they can do to make their neighbourhood an even better place for living

An Inspiring Quote

"[Open-mindedness] includes an active desire to listen to more sides than one; to give heed to facts from whatever source they come; to give full attention to alternative possibilities; to recognize the possibility of error even in the beliefs that are dearest to us."

~ John Dewey, How We Think

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