This is an educational activity designed to be a fun project for elementary aged kids to learn about cities by creating their own fictional city.
Create Your Own City
Picture a city in your mind. What do you see? Skyscrapers and traffic jams and lots of people? Do you live in a city? If so, what you think of when you imagine a city will be different from what a kid living in the suburbs would imagine.
There are many types of buildings and spaces that are essential, or important, to a city for it to survive. Here is a list of a few of those types of buildings and spaces:
- Apartments, houses, and townhouses: Every city has to have places for people to live. Some smaller cities have houses with some small yards and others only have apartment buildings or townhouses pressed against one another.
- Shops and stores: Every city has places where you can go shopping, such as malls, department stores, mom-and-pop stores, and convenience stores.
- Office buildings: Many skyscrapers are tall office buildings. Some only have one really big company in them while others split the building between many companies.
- Service buildings: No city would be complete without hospitals, police stations, fire departments, and government offices. Every city has at least one of each. Really big cities like New York City would have many more.
- Educational buildings: Every city has at least one school for kids your age, kids who are 11 to 13 years old, and teenagers. Many large cities have one or more colleges or universities where people go to school to learn how to do a specific kind of job, like being a doctor, a teacher, or a police officer.
- Green space: Not every place in a city is a building! Many cities have multiple parks where kids can play and exercise. Many neighborhoods also have community gardens!
- Roads: Every city has a lot of roads that connect each building to all the other buildings. Without roads, it would be a lot more dangerous and difficult for people to travel to work, school, or to get the help they need.
- Construction paper or poster board
- Crayons, colored pencils, markers, or gel pens
- A vivid imagination!
- Legos or building blocks
- Popsicle sticks
Think about everything you know about cities. How big and tight they can be, how many people can live there, and what kinds of buildings there are in a city. Now think about what kind of city you would make for yourself and your loved ones to live in. Is there a lot of green space? Are there lots of amusement parks? More schools and hospitals than other cities?
Make a list on one side of your construction paper of all the buildings and green spaces you want in your city and how many you want there to be of each.
Start to draw your city in pencil so you can erase it and make changes as you go along. Be sure to include roads to connect all your buildings and green spaces together!
Label the buildings and parks. Color them.
Come up with a catchy name for your city.
- Use your building blocks or Legos to bring your city to life!
- Use your popsicle sticks, glue, scissors, and extra construction paper to build your city and label the buildings.
Share your city with your family and friends!
- While you were creating your city, did you have any difficulty connecting all of your buildings or important sites to the other buildings? If so, what changes did you have to make so that your city would work?
- Now that you have a city, try creating an advertisement to tell the world why your city is the best city to live in. What makes your city the best? What makes it different from other cities?
Come up with three laws for your city that your citizens would have to follow. Think about what kind of crime might happen in your city and what kind of things you want people to do.
Susan’s city, Little Centropolis, has three laws: treat each other the way you want to be treated, never steal, and always treat animals with respect. Susan wants everyone to be nice to each other, wants to protect everyone from being robbed, and wants to protect animals from danger.