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Grade: Elementary
Subject: other

#3886. Utopia Scavenger Hunt

Social Studies, level: Middle
Posted Sun Jan 14 12:44:49 PST 2007 by Nicolle Antonelli (nantonelli@msn.com).
Materials Required: Internet connection, laptops
Activity Time: 4 - 45 minute sessions

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Utopia Class Poster Project

Introduction
In his book, Utopia, Sir Thomas More creates a perfect world. People have always tried to improve their lives by improving the world around them. Many have created new governments, new villages, and new ways of living. Some have worked well; others have failed.

Task
What kind of perfect world would you make?
Your team actually has three tasks. First, your team will research real communities of people from history (past and present) who have tried or are trying to create a utopia. Second, your team will work together to come up with your own definition of “utopia.” These activities will help you achieve your final task of creating a poster detailing your own "utopia." These posters will be presented in-class.

Requirements
The group will be graded on the worksheet, the poem, the poster, and the presentation. During the presentation, each member of the group must participate. You will be graded individually on your participation in the creative process. I will be monitoring the progress of your group and your actions throughout the assignment. The assignment will be worth 150 points. Make sure to include all of the following:

Society Requirements
1. Religion
2. Economic System
3. Educational System
4. Government
5. Legal System

Poster Requirements
1. Name of Society
2. Explanation of how your society functions
3. Explanation of how your society is perfect
4. Illustrations of the important systems in your society

Process
During the 1800s in the United States, several groups experimented with setting up a “utopian society” in order to improve upon American society. These were small groups of people who usually followed the teachings and ideas of one leader. They isolated themselves and worked together to achieve perfection. Many shared work, wealth, and property. Some were based on religion.

Part One

Directions: Explore the following communities using the provided websites. Investigate the concepts of “utopia” and answer the following questions.
I. New Harmony: A historical society
http://www-lib.iupui.edu/kade/newharmony/home.html
1. Name the two American utopian societies that were born in New Harmony and the leader of each society.


II. Brook Farm: A historical society
http://www.vcu.edu/engweb/transcendentalism/ideas/brhistory.html
Scroll down to Philosophy at Brook Farm.
1. What were Ripley's goals?


Scroll down to Lifestyles.
2. What symbolizing custom did the entire company perform at the Farm?

III. Twin Oaks: A current “utopian society”
http://www.twinoaks.org
1. When did this community start?


2. How many hours does each member work a week?


IV. Acorn: A current “utopian society”
http://www.acorncommunity.org
1. Explore their culture and recreation. What did you find most interesting?

V. Victory City: future utopia
http://www.victorycities.com
1. What are some of the benefits for residents?


2. How will the money system work?


3. How will the educational systems work?


VI. Utopian States: future utopia
http://www.utopianstates.com/US1/index.html
1. Read the Utopian Goals. What are three of the most interesting to you and your group? Why?

VII. Utopian World
http://www.utopianworld.org/
1. Review the values of this organization. In their opinion, who is accountable for learning? Do you agree? Why/Why not?

Part Two
Directions: As a team, define utopia by creating an acrostic poem using the word "utopia." Your poem will be placed on display along with your classmates' poems as a way to share differing views of utopia. Next, create a name and plan for your utopian community.


Part Three


Directions: Once you have completed Part One and Part Two, plan a poster so that you may visually and orally share your information and insights with your class. Your presentation will focus on what you believe would make a successful “utopian society.”