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How To Use the Curriculum
Structure         Weekly units         Suggestions         A Note on Background

The curriculum is designed to be used over a 6 week period, with one unit per week. Each weekly unit is designed to take up between 1 and 2 class periods along with out-of-class research and follow-up activities.

The project contains the following sections and activities:
  • Weekly Units: Explained in detail below.
  • City Profiles: A brief history and sketch of 20 major cities around the world, including photos.
  • Fact Game: Interesting facts about cities in the form of an interactive graphic quiz.
  • Doing Good: Cases of successful urban projects, taken from the UN’s "Best Practices" awards.
  • Backgrounders: Information on the Habitat II conference, or "City Summit", held June 1996 in Turkey

The most important part of the project is, of course, the "Weekly Units" folder. All other folders provide support materials.

A simpler version of each unit and its activities is provided for grades 5-7. All 6 units and their related activities are available on-line.

Each unit is divided into five segments, all of which are hyperlinked:
  • "Objectives" describes the purpose and the learning goals of the unit.
  • "Summary" appears at the beginning of each unit. This sums up the unit in simple terms. It is the main text for grades 5-7. It can also serve as an introduction for grades 7-11.
  • "Text" is a longer and more detailed segment specifically for grades 7-11. Each unit focuses on a new aspect of urbanization (see below and table of contents).
  • "Activities" start out with simple questions, designed for the lower grades, and progress into more complex activities designed for the upper levels. Some of the activities will be directly linked to the text and data available on-line. Others will ask that students explore events and conditions in their own cities and communities.
  • "My Ideal City" is a single activity that goes on over the period of the curriculum and can be continued well afterwards. The goal is for students to design their ideal city.

The "Cities of today, cities of tomorrow" units on the World Wide Web are set up to be self-contained and easy to use. However, additional materials can be used from other Web sites. One useful site is Habitat II at http://www.undp.org/un/habitat/

It is encouraged that the work be done in groups or as a class, not individually. It is best if groups remain the same throughout.

If the classrooms or labs are well-equipped, groups can go through the site in the classroom.

If the classrooms have limited capabilities, the teacher can either assign user time to each group or print out the week’s units and distribute them in class.

Participants may choose to concentrate on the "Ideal City" activity. However, keep in mind that the program is integrated so that each unit and its activities should be considered not simply part of the learning process, but also part of the planning process for the creation of a city designed by the students.

"The Ideal City" activity builds up on itself every week and should be be the end result of the curriculum. However, there should be no pressure to complete the design of "The Ideal City" by the end of the six weeks -- the completion of your "Ideal City" could come at a later date.

The form your "Ideal City" will take depends entirely on the teacher and the students. Here are some suggestions.
  • Your "Ideal City" can be a three-dimensional model. With the use of recycled materials from wood, cardboard and paper to plastic, aluminum and textiles.
  • Your "Ideal City" can be a web-site. For example, there could be a map of the city with links to all the major places you’d want us to visit.
  • Your "Ideal City" can be drawn on tracing paper in the form of an architect’s or planner’s schematic, with a key to all the major elements you’ve included in the design.
  • Your "Ideal City" can be a written report, describing the important features of your city and an explanation of why they’re there and how they work.
  • Your "Ideal City" can be a mixture of the above.
Let us know when your "Ideal City" is completed by e-mailing us (cyberschoolbus@un.org). If it is a written document, we will post it on the site. If it is a Web Site we will create a link to it. If it is a drawing or a model, you can send us copies or pictures to scan in. This way, everyone around the world will be able to view what your ideal city would look like.

This curriculum is part of U.N. Publications’ CyberSchoolBus project. It was developed by the coordinator of the project in conjunction with 5 teachers from around the world. For more information on content or design please e-mail cyberschoolbus@un.org.

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