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Teachers can use it to enhance a unit on the environment or urban planning. This is a great bring-alive activity for students if teachers are looking for a computer lab activity to complement the lesson on the topic. It can also be used as an extension activity for students who are interested in learning more about the topic. Students can play the game for homework and turn in a written reflection on their experience of building the city and what they learned as part of the game. An assignment related to playing the game can also be used as an extra credit or make up assignment in the classroom since the learning modules are comprehensive and self-contained.Continue reading Show less
Plan It Green: The Big Switch is an online simulation game that integrates environmentally friendly concepts with urban design. The game is designed to increase nonfiction reading, planning ahead, and strategy. The game is reading-intensive, with eco-friendly facts popping up upon advancement of play. Outside of building the city, players can engage in quests and arcade games for more points.Kids can connect to the game via Facebook, but the social component of the game does not activate until level 5.
Plan It Green: The Big Switch is full of useful information about the environment, featuring in-game pop-out facts, videos on landfills and mushroom extinction, and relevant current events related to the environment. The game also includes practical advice on recyclying and minimizing trash. Teachers will appreciate the depth of information built into the game. Overall, the game feels like an interactive version of the environmental/urban planning section of an encyclopedia.
Key Standards Supported
Earth and Human Activity
Obtain and combine information to describe that energy and fuels are derived from natural resources and their uses affect the environment.
Generate and compare multiple solutions to reduce the impacts of natural Earth processes on humans.
Obtain and combine information about ways individual communities use science ideas to protect the Earth’s resources and environment.
Apply scientific principles to design a method for monitoring and minimizing a human impact on the environment.
Ask questions to clarify evidence of the factors that have caused the rise in global temperatures over the past century.