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Migration to the Suburbs & Move Back to the Cities Activities

Days 1 & 2
Have the students do the "Migration to the Suburbs" activity.  Begin the class 
with a discussion on what the students know about the 1950ís.  Ask the class 
how many have ever moved and discuss the reasons that caused their move.	
Make the transition to the great migration in the 1950ís and introduce the activity.  At the end of Day 2 go over the causes of the migration.

Days 3, 4, & 5
Begin a class discussion on what is good (+) and bad (-) about living in their 
area.  After they discuss their area, ask them what would be good (+) and bad (-)
about living in a different area.  If they live in the city, then they will discuss the
suburbs and vice versa for the students from the suburbs.
Hand out "Move Back to the Cities" activity.  After explaining it, try to give 
some examples of what can and cannot be done by each government level.
Depending on time, the students can present their findings at the end of Day 4
or can be completed on Day 5.                                                     
Have the students turn in three copies of their plan.  Have two other groups grade a plan.  Use the third copy for you to grade.  If the students can assess one another		responsibly, then allow them to have some impact on grading.

The Migration to the Suburbs

After World War II and through the 1950ís millions moved from the cities to the suburbs.  Actually, many suburbs were created during this period.  Developer William Levitt revolutionized the idea of suburban housing.  He created mass produced, nearly identical units that middle class families could afford. This suburban growth did not happen solely through Mr. Levittís achievements or by chance.  Many factors caused this great migration.  This population boom in the U.S., 35% from 1950 to 1970, also saw a large shift in numbers to the South and West.  Your task is to identify these factors and their importance to this event.  Once your research is complete you are responsible for creating a table on the computer outlining the information.  You are also responsible for finding two more causes.  For each cause you must list the resource and particular page that supports your information.  Three causes must be researched on the internet.

Your information could be placed in a table like this::

William LevittTextbook, p. 435	Created mass produced, nearly identical housing units that were essential to the formation of a community	Allowed the majority of Americans, which were middle class, to afford these spacious 3 bedroom homes.
G.I Bill of Rights		
The great rise in population due to the baby boomers		
Highway Act of 1956		
Brown v. Board of Education of Topeka		
Post-World War II Immigration		
Trumanís Fair Deal		
The trend of automation		
Advancements in technology		

Move Back to the Cities Activity

You are a public official and responsible for reversing the trend of those moving from the city to the suburbs.  For several decades millions have moved from the city to what they believed would be a better life for them and their families.  Some have been pleased by their move, while others have not.  So your challenge will be to mend the urban problems and provide a tremendous opportunity to get the suburbanites back.  You will work in groups to map out your plan.  Depending on the size of your group you need to have at least one city (Mayor), state (Governor), and federal official (President).  

The Process:
1)  Select roles
2)  Research what your level of government can and cannot do with enacting laws and raising funds.
3)  As a group decide what areas need to be mended in the city.  
4)  Determine what actions your group wants to do fix the problems and get the people to move back to the city.  You may want to research the area of urban renewal to get ideas.  Hint: This would be what phrase you would use for the search "urban renewal."
5)  After listing the actions figure out what official would be most effective in implementing each action.  You may also have two or three officials work on one action together.
6)  Create a table that lists your actions supporting it with who will do it and why that official is responsible for that action.  For example, your table could look something like this:

Action	Official responsible for the action	Reason why this official is responsible for this action

7)  Present your table to your classmates.  Critique each groupís plan.  Assess your peers by these standards:  (You can rank them, grade each area individually by letter grade or by points.) 											A) How well each level works with the other levels;						B) The creativeness of the actions suggested;						C) The strength and validity of the support (reason) given for the action;			D) How effective you believe the plan can really be if put into action;			E) The ability for the plan to be accepted by all levels of government and voters; 		F) Your overall impression of the plan.