Lesson Plan

Urban Spatial Inequality

Highlighting the unfair stand of living that some people face in urban areas.
Lisa B.
Classroom teacher
Hershey Middle School
Hershey, PA
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My Grades 6, 7, 8
My Subjects Social Studies
EdTech Mentor

Students will be able to define spatial inequality and other key terms related to urban settings and economic disparity. 

Students will be able to write about spatial inequality and provide evidence from the thematic maps of Mexico City to support their claim statement. 

Social Studies
global awareness
Grades 5 - 9
All Notes
Teacher Notes
Student Notes

1 Hook

Find clips to show about Mexico City, especially ones that show problems faced by the megacity, like the population expansion, slums, pollution, sewer diving, water scarcity, etc. 

By using EDpuzzle you can trim them to a shorter clip. There are so many great documentaries about mega cities, but you can normally show a fraction of it to get the point across. EDpuzzle also gives the teacher user statistics. 

Some ideas for potential videos in Mexico City: 

2 Flipped Instruction

Flipped lessons for the definitions of key vocabulary for this lesson. The words are all related to cities and the economic disparity: spatial inequality, urban, rural, urbanization, rural decline, slum, tenement, etc. 

It is important that student understand these terms because they will be required to use them in their writing to reflect and demonstrate understanding of the lesson. 

Give students a set of thematic maps for Mexico City on topics like percentage of homes with water and number of students with an education beyond primary school. 

Give the students a chart. Through the process of elimination, they will figure out which neighborhood the information is for. 

Students will also need to determine the standard of living: either high or low based on the chart. They should be able to back their opinion up with evidence from the thematic maps and the chart. 

My videos were created with Educreations, but any recording tool would work. 

3 Independent Practice

On Nearpod (Join Code: YCXHO), have the students go through the same process on their own to determine the neighborhood. 

The first neighborhood is a formative assessment. If students are struggling, have them work in a small, teacher-led group and use a paper copy of the neighborhoods.

Students who understand can go through the entire Nearpod figuring out the neighborhood and the standard of living. 

4 Written Reflection

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Students will write respond to the prompt: "What is the standard of living in the Mexican neighborhood?" They will write a claim statement and prove it by citing evidence from the chart and the thematic maps

By using Google Docs, students can get feedback from classmates and peers as they work. The Doctopus and Goobric Add-Ons allow for easy teacher feedback and grading on a rubric

5 Application Challenge

Students will need to look at the thematic maps to be able to answer the questions of varying difficulty. Sometimes students will need to look at one map and sometimes they will need to reference multiple maps. 

Here is the Quizizz with student created challenge questions about the living conditions in neighborhoods in Mexico City.  

6 Closure


Students need to find a picture of the actual neighborhood they wrote about. Using iMovie, or a similar app, they will upload the image and record themselves reading their paragraph. The mini-movies will be shared with the class.