Urban planning community | #theplannerlife

+ Reply to thread
Results 1 to 16 of 16

Thread: Educating little kids about planning

  1. #1
    Cyburbian Friend of Flavel's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    South Minneapolis
    Posts
    30

    Educating little kids about planning

    One of our City Council members is speaking to a large group of 3rd graders this Friday and wants me, as a rep. of the planning dept., to come along and talk to the kiddies about planning in our city. Ugh! I've spoken to older kids about planning, but none that are this young. I don't have kids so I could really use some help (quickly, please!) with some ideas that will engage 100 or so 3rd graders for 45 minutes. Thanks in advance!!!!

  2. #2
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,263
    45 minutes is too long. Planning is a concept that is so intellectual. Knowledge economy problems. I would equate this with explaining how futures in the stock market work.

    You might try focusing on things kids are interested in. Parks, zoos, shopping, bike paths etc. and how the city process helps to make these reality.

  3. #3
    Cyburbian PlannerByDay's avatar
    Registered
    Jul 2002
    Location
    In the bike lane
    Posts
    1,827
    GRAPHICS, MAP, AERIAL PHOTOS ETC. and lots of them

    Kids this age will need something visual to keep them occupied.

    Show them the exsiting and future land use maps for the community and tell them in 3 grader lingo what it is used for..

    Show them aerials and explain what you use them for.

    Have them pick out their homes on the aerials.

    Explain what the Census is and how the social and economic characteristics of a communtiy are important. Maybe you could use pie charts and bar graphs.

    Keep it Visual and don't bore them with stuff like zoning, they will not understand it.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian jordanb's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    City of Low Low Wages!
    Posts
    3,235
    Originally posted by ludes98
    45 minutes is too long. Planning is a concept that is so intellectual. Knowledge economy problems. I would equate this with explaining how futures in the stock market work.
    What futures in the stock market? I wasn't aware of the ability to buy futures in anything but commodities. Buying futures on stocks kinda defeats the point, I think. Why not just buy the stock?

  5. #5
    Cyburbian donk's avatar
    Registered
    Sep 2001
    Location
    skating on thin ice
    Posts
    6,960
    I know you don't have the time to order it, but this is supposed to be a pretty good resource.

    http://www.cip-icu.ca/English/institute/cip_kg.PDF

    The info page gives some interesting ideas to look at with kids.
    Too lazy to beat myself up for being to lazy to beat myself up for being too lazy to... well you get the point....

  6. #6
    Cyburbian ludes98's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    Scottsdale, AZ
    Posts
    1,263
    Originally posted by jordanb
    What futures in the stock market? I wasn't aware of the ability to buy futures in anything but commodities. Buying futures on stocks kinda defeats the point, I think. Why not just buy the stock?
    I was generalizing, sorry. Futures are in commodities. Stock purchases are options, a call or put.

  7. #7
    Cyburbian Emeritus Chet's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    South Milwaukee
    Posts
    8,935
    Back on topic, Planner by Day has it right, especially with the aerials and finding their homes. Of course, you could always read them a Kunstler essay to two.

  8. #8
    Unfrozen Caveman Planner mendelman's avatar
    Registered
    May 2003
    Location
    Staff meeting
    Posts
    10,148
    Originally posted by Chet
    Of course, you could always read them a Kunstler essay to two.
    You don't want to make children cry, do you?

    I agree with make it visual, visual, visual.

    I'm a 19th grader and I still get really excited about visuals

  9. #9
    Cyburbian
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Who cares.
    Posts
    1,038
    They also love telling you all the stuff their town doesn't have that they want, and where it should go (Chuckie Cheese next door to their houses rate high, as do skate parks). They may need help with the aerials, though. I've worked with kids and planning before, and we're all so accustomed to seeing things from 9600 feet up that it's easy to forget how weird it all looks from above. Kids love aerials, because it's like flying, but they should be well-labled. I found that out the hard way. And we also tried having them draw on trash over the aerials--didn't work. Just let them draw right on the aerials, the trash gets moved around and then you get complaints of "Hey, he moved my house away from the skate park!" and so on.
    But it's lots of fun, and the kids I worked with anyway were totally open to planning concepts, and had some pretty good suggestions.
    Enjoy!
    (Just try to limit cookie intake, and remember that Sharpies and Prismas are permanent).
    I don't dream. I plan.

  10. #10
    Cyburbian solarstar's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2002
    Location
    Florida
    Posts
    205
    You've had some great suggestions. I have a 4th grader, and she still doesn't have much of an idea about what Mommy does every day. The best I've managed to get across is that I "tell people where they can build things", and usually can tell her ahead of time what store, restaurant, etc, is going where. Make it personal like that (Wal-Mart wants to go here, or 150 houses want to go there, etc.) on a very colorful map and you'll have their attention. A skateboard park was a good idea, and another discussion could be where a new waterpark could/should go. Good luck!

  11. #11
    Cyburbian martini's avatar
    Registered
    Jun 2003
    Location
    'sconni
    Posts
    679
    Don't lecture to them. Especailly for 45 minutes(jeeez!). I'd suggest getting creative with a project. Give them a blank sheet, give them a few rules and have them design a town, or neighborhood. Or use blocks and a large peice of carpet or something. I don't think striaght visuals will keep thier attention for such a long time on, for a 3rd grader, is REALLY boring stuff. Come up with a quick game or something phyiscally interactive.
    You're more boring than you know.

  12. #12
         
    Registered
    Jul 2003
    Location
    Toronto, Ontario
    Posts
    16
    This looks like a pretty cool site for kids…seems like you might need more time to plan it but you could probably find one or two of the recommended books locally, if you have the budget.
    http://www.planning.org/KidsAndCommunity/index.htm

    One of their pages illustrates the small scale view younger kids have and how that opens up as kids get older…
    http://www.planning.org/kidsandcommu...greatplace.htm

  13. #13
    Cyburbian Friend of Flavel's avatar
    Registered
    Apr 2003
    Location
    South Minneapolis
    Posts
    30
    Thanks for all the suggestions!! Great information from everyone - hopefully, the kids won't get bored. IMHO, 45 minutes is way too long for a presentation to kids, but I suspect the teachers need a break.

  14. #14
    Cyburbian mike gurnee's avatar
    Registered
    Feb 1998
    Location
    Greensburg, Kansas
    Posts
    3,043
    Third graders will also understand environmental concerns.

  15. #15
    Cyburbian Cardinal's avatar
    Registered
    Aug 2001
    Location
    The Cheese State
    Posts
    10,074
    Mike is right about environmental issues. Kids know and appreciate the open space around them better than adults sometimes. You might look at the Green Map Project for ideas. You could easily spend a half hour with the kids doing a charette, asking them what sites are important to them, why they are important, and how they might be protected or improved.

    I can relate to your difficulties in having to explain complex ideas to simple-minded people. I get to speak to the legislature on the need for regulatory reform on Trans 233, NR 30 and NR151. Their little minds just don't grasp the subject.

  16. #16
    Cyburbian Hceux's avatar
    Registered
    Oct 2003
    Location
    In Wasteland of Cedar Trees
    Posts
    1,028
    Maybe you could have the individuals to do a hands-on project. Like have them create a map of their neighbourhood, outlining what is there. Just see what they record because whatever they put on their map is likely a good reflection of what these young ones believe is important to their neighbourhood.

    It could be an invaluable resource in boosting neighbourhoods.

    I agree, visuals should be integrated in your presentation, but make sure it's some simple that they understand. Perhaps emphasizing on how planning is about sharing spaces: sharing playgrounds with other children is like how other subgroups of any population share a certain space.

    Enjoy the young children and the presentation. Be prepare for some innocent questions that might make you laugh out loud or make you realize how difficult it can be answering some questions.

+ Reply to thread

More at Cyburbia

  1. Involving kids in the planning proccess
    Economic and Community Development
    Replies: 6
    Last post: 25 Sep 2009, 9:26 AM
  2. Urban Planning books for kids
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 2
    Last post: 26 Feb 2009, 1:29 PM
  3. Replies: 8
    Last post: 08 Feb 2007, 10:03 AM
  4. Planning for Career and Kids
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 12
    Last post: 19 Sep 2006, 10:08 AM
  5. Teaching kids about planning
    Friday Afternoon Club
    Replies: 9
    Last post: 07 Nov 2002, 2:34 PM