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Infinite Menus, Copyright 2006, OpenCube Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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Environmental Management Department > Curriculum > Lesson Plans > Using Land

Environmental Lesson Plan: Using Land

Click here to download a printable version of this lesson plan.

Grade Level: 5 & 6
Duration: 1 class period
Subject(s) and Illinois Standards/Framework: Science

Imagine planning a small town. People need homes in which to live, places to work, and stores from which to buy things. Children need to attend schools and have parks in which to play. How can all of these needs be met when planning a small town?

Draw a master plan to decide how 100 square units of land can be turned into a town.

Students will form and test a hypothesis how a town’s land reserves can be used.


Grid paper (12 squares x 12 squares)


  1. Make a plan using a square graph ten blocks across and ten blocks down. Each square represents a block.
  2. Using the table below, study what will be included in your town. The office buildings and industrial plant are places where the people of the town will work. They are each six blocks in size and cannot be divided. The landfill is four blocks in size and also cannot be broken up.
  3. All the other town parts can be broken up as needed. Stores and businesses are areas in which shops are located, as well as medical offices, restaurants, churches, and cemeteries.

    Amount of Land Needed for Town
    Parts of Your Town Number of Blocks Needed
    Office Buildings
    6 Blocks in One Group
    Industrial Plant
    6 Blocks in One Group
    1 Block
    Landfill for Garbage
    4 Blocks in One Group
    Houses & Apartments
    44 Blocks - Can Be Broken Up
    Stores & Businesses
    19 Blocks - Can Be Broken Up
    20 Blocks - Can Be Broken Up
    2 Blocks in One Group
    Recycling Center 2 Blocks in One Group

  4. Discuss how the different parts of a town might be put together. Should the park be in the center of town or near the edge of town? Should the school be near the offices or near the houses? Where should the landfill go?
  5. How will you show the different town parts on your grid paper?
  6. Design your town. Check over your design to make sure that all of the town parts are accounted for.

Analyze Your Data

  1. Where did you place the office buildings and the industrial plant? Why did you place them there? Where did you place your houses, school, stores, and businesses? Explain why you placed each one as you did.
    • office buildings
    • industrial plant
    • houses
    • school
    • stores
    • businesses
  2. Did you make one park or many parks with the land designated for park use? What are the advantages of your park design?
  3. Where did you place your landfill? Will any of the townspeople be upset by this location? What direction does the wind usually blow from in your town?
  4. Where is your lake? Will it provide enough water for your town?
  5. Is your recycle center accessible for residents? Will recycling extend the space provided for landfill? Is a recycle center necessary in developing your town? What are the benefits?

Conclude and Apply

  1. Where would you put an airport in this town? Keep in mind safety issues, noise levels, and transportation needs.
  2. Compare your town design with those of other members of your class. Discuss the advantages and disadvantages of each design.


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