Things Cities Need

Primary Unit classes are deeply immersed in their winter theme studies of “The City.” First and second graders in Primary C have been exploring wants and needs and the ways people get what they want and need in our city. This week, they participated in a simulation that illustrated the importance of cooperation within a community. Children were divided into four groups and told that each group would need to make five items to represent some basic needs: food, shelter, clothing, education, and interdependence.

Each group was given an envelope containing materials for the project. To the students’ surprise, when they opened the envelopes, they discovered that they didn’t have all of the materials they needed! Only through cooperative exchanges with other groups were they able to get the supplies to complete the task. Despite these challenges, each group was successful in making what they needed.

As students reflected on this experience, they shared:

  • “It was really stressful, because we didn’t have everything we needed. Sometimes we had to wait awhile to use a tool.”
  • “Sometimes it was hard to share. When we had a disagreement, we tried to use our Friendship Tools.”
  • “It was really busy and loud. Everyone was running around to get what they needed. It felt like the city, with everyone rushing.”

As the study continues to unfold, the children will have opportunities to connect to this experience as they think more deeply about how people access the things they need in our city.