Planning Commission (The)

Grades: 
6, 7, 8

Students will be taking the role of city planners and will design a sound community by addressing land use and opportunity costs.

Lesson Rating 
0
Duration 
PrintTwo to Three Forty-Five Minute Class Periods
Objectives 

The learner will:

  • design a sound community blueprint addressing the general make-up and needs of the community.
  • explain the opportunity costs involved in choosing ideas for land use.
  • identify possible community needs due to population distribution and geographic location.
Materials 
  • Building A Master Plan (Handout One)
  • Blue print paper and blue markers (optional)
  • Scenario card for each student (Handout Two) These will need to be copied, cut, and mounted on construction paper prior to the lesson. The teacher will need to make one set for every team. In preparing the cards it is helpful to use a different color construction paper for each team. This will help organize your groups.
  • Master Plan Scoring Guide (Handout Three)
Home Connection 

Have students peruse a local newspaper with their parents, looking at the format of a paper. They should be able to identify different sections of the paper. (Examples: current articles, weather section, community calendar, ads, classifieds, etc.)

Instructions

Print
  1. Anticipatory Set: Ask students what a community planner does. After they have given their ideas, explain that they will try their hands at such a job.

  2. Have students get into teams of four or five. Distribute one Building a Master Plan (see Handout One) to each group. Go through the directions together and ask for questions before going on. Distribute a Scenario card (see Handout Two) to each student or give each team a set of scenario cards to be distributed among the group. As students work, they should not only decide what to include in their master plan but also consider the opportunity cost and some of the possible consequences of their decisions. One student should take notes on the business of each planning commission meeting.Students will need to be allowed more than one session to come up with a master plan. To avoid overuse of blueprint paper, have students create a working copy of the master plan on a smaller sheet of paper. (If you have time constraints you may choose to have students work their master plan directly onto the blueprint paper.) The master plan is only a potential layout for structures. It should not actually include the buildings at this time. (You may choose to have students color-code their plan in regard to zoning.)

  3. Distribute a copy of the Master Plan Scoring Guide (Handout Three) for their community model to each team. Using the master plan, have students create a three-dimensional model of their community. (Teacher Note: If students are unable to create a three-dimensional of their community, have them complete their blueprint by placing the businesses and dwellings onto the master plan.)

Assessment 

Community Blueprint Community Model Meeting notes

Philanthropy Framework

  1. Strand PHIL.II Philanthropy and Civil Society
    1. Standard PCS 03. Philanthropy and Economics
      1. Benchmark MS.9 Recognize problems different communities encounter using a "commons" and possible solutions.
    2. Standard PCS 07. Skills of Civic Engagement
      1. Benchmark MS.2 Discuss a public policy issue affecting the common good and demonstrate respect and courtesy for differing opinions.