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Public Space Detectives

Authored by EcoRise and Representaciones e Inteligencia Sustentable

80 minutes
Two 40-minute sessions plus time on their own with an adult reviewing a public space
Primary subjects: 
Civics and Government, Environmental Education
1, 2
Average: 5 (1 vote)

In this lesson, students review the qualities that make a public space great and learn how to recognize whether a place is a great or a not-so-great public space. On their own time and with a guardian, students play the role of a public space detective by visiting a public space in their neighborhood and looking for clues of damage, carelessness, dirtiness, value, etc. They take photos of the clues they find and evaluate the public space with a checklist that shows the characteristics of great public spaces. Then they compare their findings with those of their classmates by creating a poster that includes their photos or sketches and then participating in a gallery walk. The lesson ends with students considering how valuable public spaces are to the community and how important it is for everyone to take responsibility for the care of the public spaces.

Key objectives for students
Describe the characteristics of a great public space.
Recognize characteristics of great and not-so-great public spaces.
Explain why some places become not-so-great public spaces.
Secondary subjects
Art, History, Mathematics, Reading or Language Arts
Public space, Culture, graffiti, society, responsibility
Collaboration, Communication skills
Curiosity, Empathy, Mindfulness, Optimism
Brain-Based Learning, Multi-Disciplinary, Multiple Intelligences, Project-Based Learning, Real-World Application, Technology Integration
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