Look Around: Middle School Students Learn How Land Use Choices Impact Visual Appearance, Economic Vitality and Environmental Quality


Look Around is an interdisciplinary curriculum designed to help middle school students understand how choices regarding community land use can have long-term impacts on the visual appearance, economic vitality, and environmental quality of their community. It consists of four lesson plans covering Discovering Your Sense of Place, What is Suburban Sprawl, Who Decides the Visual Appearance of Your Community, and What Do You Want Your Community to Look Like.

The curriculum is designed to satisfy Washington State’s Essential Academic Learning Requirements for Civics and Geography at the 7th grade level. It also incorporates lessons involving Language Arts, Math, Science and Art. The curriculum has its own reading lists, exercises, quizzes, and other materials making it user friendly for teachers. It also includes a short video on historic preservation, which could be supplemented by preservation updates from the area where the curriculum is offered. All exercises can be conducted in one day or spread out over a couple of weeks.

Supporting material include three PowerPoint presentations: Across the U.S., Photo Comparison, and Predictions Slideshow; as well as Sprawl Articles and two videos: Historic Preservation in Downtown Vancouver and Clark County Transit.

For more information contact: Laura Hudson at the City of Vancouver [email protected]

Image: Vancouver, Washington neighborhood in winter.

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