“My children really understand solar power and geothermal energy,” says a second grade teacher in Saugus, California. “Some of them are building solar collectors and turbines for their energy course.” These young scientists are part of the City Building Educational Program, a unique curriculum for kindergarten through twelfth grade that uses the process of city planning to teach basic reading, writing, and math skills.

The children don’t just plan any city. They map and analyze the housing, energy and transportation requirements of their own community and project its needs in 100 years. With the help of an architect consultant who visits the classroom once a week, they invent new ways to meet these needs and build styrofoam models of their creations. “Designing buildings of the future gives children a lot of freedom,” says Doreen Nelson, the teacher who developed this program.

“They are able to use their own space-age fantasies and inventions without fear of criticism, because there are no wrong answers in a future context. In fact, as the class enters the final model-building phase of the program, an elected ‘mayor’ and ‘planning commission’ make all the design decisions for the model city, and the teacher steps back and becomes an adviser.”


Mark the best choice.
1. The City Building Educational Program .

a) was designed by an architect consultant b) is a curriculum developed for kindergarten children only

c) was devised to teach children some basic skills d) aims to develop an awareness of housing and energy


2. Which of the following is not correct about the program?

a) The students are given an opportunity to develop the general skill of problem-solving.

b) The teacher herself picks some students for the planning commission.

c) The students are allowed to use their imagination freely.

d) The teacher is not actively involved in making decisions for the design of the model city.

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