Design Your Society

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SWBAT use all they have learned about the potential impacts of climate change to create a 3D model of self-sustaining, resilient society.

Big Idea

It is time for students to apply all their newly acquired knowledge as they develop plans for a new society on Earth.


10 minutes

The end goal of this unit is as follows:

Design a resilient, self-sustaining society that can withstand the challenges that will be faced by the new hostile environment found on Earth.  Points to consider are:

  • Housing Structures/Safety
  • Energy
  • Transportation
  • Waste Management
  • Food Production


To get students thinking, I show them the following images (the first of Fort Jefferson in FL and the second is a scale model of the Tower of London) and have them identify the pros and cons of each design as it applies to what they have determined the state of the Earth to likely be within this unit's scenario (increased temperatures, increased disease (zombies?), people struggling to survive, challenges to energy production and food supply, etc.).  Students can and should use what they know from TV/movies/books that take place in post apocolyptic settings to assist them with this activity, for example, the high aggression and competition between surviving humans over remaining supplies.



120 minutes

To give students some more specifics on what I want them to focus on as they plan their society, I go over the Create A Society PowerPoint with students and discuss several options for each of the criteria students must make decisions about.  The following video provides an example on how I use this resource in my classroom:

I explain to students that they will use SketchUp to create a 3D model of their design.  SketchUp is a (relatively) easy to use 3D modeling program that can be downloaded for free.  Many of my students have some experience with this resource, however there are Tutorials provided by SketchUp along with many videos on YouTube.  The SketchUp tutorials are longer and provide more detail, however, if your students are like mine, they would prefer shorter videos and playing around on their own.  I included 2 videos from YouTube that provide enough info for students to get started (the two videos are different in style to appeal to the majority of students).

YouTube video tutorials:

Once students understand their task, I provide them with the next several days to put together their model and explanations behind their choices which will be presented to the class.


10 minutes

Once students have put together their model and explanation for their choices, they will present their work to the "crew" so that we can decide on the plan we want to follow.  To assist students with this, I provide them with the Society Presentation Notes Guide which helps them evaluate each aspect of the plans from different group's work.  This will help students come to a final decision on the plan that provides the best opportunity for our survival on this new version of Earth.