Possible classroom resources include: Building a House by Byron Barton; Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty; Roberto, The Insect Architect by Nina Laden; Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker
Invite students to investigate the purpose of various buildings and structures. For example, The local grocery store was build to house food that they can purchase and eat. The doctor's office is designed with rooms or areas where people can improve their health and has specific instruments to check up on people's health. Students use background and experiential knowledge to share in this discussion. Document student contributions on a classroom white board. Ask students to organize their contributions. Can they see any patterns?
Discuss community helpers with the class, including firemen, police, doctors, nurses, librarians, teachers, etc. When on your downtown field trip, notice how their buildings are similar and different from each other. Students replicate a specific type of building, such as a fire station. Students can give their building a name, such as "Speedy Fire Station," and make themselves firemen for the day.