Lesson Plans: Design the Future
In our online game Design the Future, students assume the role of Mayor of New York City and launch a plan to rebuild the World Trade Center site. Who will advise them? How much of the available land will be allocated for office space? Stores? Gardens? Memorials? That's all up to your students! And in the end, students have fun picturing how their mayoral plans and decisions would play out in the press.
If students do not have access to the online game, you will find a printable version of the game below. Simply print out each phase of the project, distribute, and let students tackle it one step at a time. Students should keep their completed worksheets for all phases of the project; they'll need their answers for the news report in Phase 4!
Phase 1: Choose your advisors (pdf) In this phase, students must select three key advisors from a group of people who live and work in lower Manhattan. Point out that students should read the descriptions of the advisors carefully and select advisors who reflect students' own top priorities for the WTC site. For example, if students feel that it is especially important for the site to include a memorial, they should include Lisa (a representative of victims' families) on their team. If revival of small business is a top concern, Small-Business Sammy is a good choice.
Phase 2: Balance your budget (pdf) Now, students must take committee members' desires into consideration and outline a space and budget allocation for the WTC site. On this printable, students will set aside a percentage of their WTC site budget for each category, then draw a pie chart to view their plan as a whole. Students may allocate as much or as little (including 0 percent) funding as they'd like for each category. They should keep in mind that they'll have to explain their choices to the press later!
Phase 3: Explain your choices (pdf) In this phase, students present their advisor selections and budget allocations to the public in a press conference. They will need to explain in their own words why they made each decision.
Phase 4: Read the papers (pdf) How will the Mayor's plans for the WTC site play out in the New York City press? Your students can find out by using their responses from earlier in the game to fill in the blanks in a news story. Have students read their final news stories out loud to the class and compare the outcomes.