Living for the City: How Race, Class and Gender Impacts Philadelphia’s Future

Author: Ryann Rouse

School/Organization:

George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science

Year: 2021

Seminar: Cities through the Lens of Race, Class, and Gender

Grade Level: 10

Keywords: education, Environmental Issues, gentrification, Healthcare, immigration, intersectionality, Philadelphia 2035, Photo Essay, Urban Planning, Wealth

School Subject(s): Humanities, Social Studies

This curriculum unit is designed to engage learners in virtually any urban center. Although most instructional material was selected to focus specifically on learners in Philadelphia’s urban center to increase their civic engagement in issues that uniquely impact that city, this unit can be used with learners in other urban centers. Instructors in urban centers outside of Philadelphia may wish to supplement some of the instructional materials for materials that are specific to the urban center that is most relevant to their student population.

This curriculum unit is to be taught over a two-week period in a high school humanities elective course at George Washington Carver High School for Engineering and Science. Carver High School for Engineering and Science is a special admissions magnet school in the School District of Philadelphia that serves approximately 900 middle and high school students in grades 7-12. Students who attend Carver come from nearly every zip code in the city of Philadelphia. Carver’s educational program is designed as a college preparatory program for students with an interest in Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics (STEM) and offers specialized electives in those subjects. Carver serves a predominantly minority population of students from communities that identify as Black, Latinx, Asian, and White.

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Full Unit Text
Content Objectives

The development of the city is the product of power and privilege. In cities across our nation, including right here in Philadelphia, race, gender and class have converged in dynamic ways, creating the unique and sometimes troublesome circumstances associated with life in urban settings. As a public-school teacher in the city of Philadelphia and a resident/homeowner in Philadelphia, I have seen first hand how many of the dynamics of city life impact the city’s inhabitants for better and for worse. As an educator in a major U.S. city, specifically the city of Philadelphia, it is essential that the high school students that I serve from grades 7-12 have the ability to understand the space that they occupy and its influence on various aspects of their lives to better understanding the mechanisms at work in forming the geographic, social, political, economic and psychological effects of how city planning has affected its citizens in the past and present. Being informed about how urban policies and planning affect the daily lives of city dwellers ideally will increase civic engagement and help the city’s most vulnerable constituents secure increased power over the spaces they live in as well as forming the policies and means of governance that affect the quality of their lives.

Through an examination of select topics of interest studied in the Teacher’s Institute of Philadelphia seminar titled The City through the Lens of Race, Class and Gender, students will explore topics in urban planning and development and how intersectionality (race, class and gender) influences city planning dynamics. Understanding the history of the city and its impact on race, class and gender, will inform students and their families about who, what, why and how the evolution of urban spaces and its governance have and continue to impact critical aspects of their lives including but not limited to wealth, individual and collective, education, health, housing, and civic engagement.

For this unit, students will investigate the fundamentals of urban planning and investigate Philadelphia’s city planning process. After analyzing the topics/challenges that Philadelphia faces, students will write a proposal that accounts for and addresses their improved Philadelphia plan. Additionally, students for whom this curriculum is written will investigate their own city and uncover and present Philadelphia or their section of Philadelphia in a way that captures their own perceptions of their immediate neighborhood and the city as a whole, then summarize their learning through several media. These perceptions will be captured in an initial photo essay to orient students to the images of their city and revised later to reflect their learning from this unit.

Students will begin this unit by viewing sample photo essays. Students will be oriented to the unit by completing a photo essay of Philadelphia as they see it/experience it at the start of the unit. Students will begin this unit by viewing sample photo essays on which they will model their own essays. An initial essay will be created prior to beginning the unit’s lessons. As the unit progresses, students will read articles, look at images, and watch film clips to help them better understand the subtopics that we will explore in this unit. After completing their inquiries into the topics that this unit will explore, students will conduct interviews with select community members, focusing their interview questions on some of the sub topics explored in this unit. Using their initial perceptions, classroom learning and information gathered from their interviews, students will write an evaluation/proposal that addresses the subtopics of concern that are most significant to students and the communities where they live. Afterwards, students will revisit and revise their photo essays to reflect their learning about urban life as well as inform their proposals/critiques.

Seminar Learnings/Exploring the Sub Topics

Scholar Kimberle’ Crenshaw is credited with coining the concept of intersectionality-a term used to describe the ways in which racism, classism and sexism impact historically disadvantaged groups. At the forefront of those adversely affected by gentrification are racial minority groups who are often of lower socioeconomic status. The subtopics that were selected to be explored are the topics that have a tremendous impact on the way of life and the quality of life for those who call the city home. United States Census data from 2019 shows that the racial makeup of Philadelphia is approximately 70.5% non-White which means that minority groups overwhelmingly comprise the majority of city inhabitants. The subtopics to be explored were selected based on their implications for persons belonging to specific racial, social and economic groups. In many instances, as with intersectionality, the sub topics that will be explored are intertwined.

Gentrification

According to the Chapple and Thomas of the University of California-Berkley’s Urban Displacement Project (2020) gentrification is “a process of neighborhood change that includes economic change in a historically disinvested neighborhood —by means of real estate investment and new higher-income residents moving in – as well as demographic change – not only in terms of income level, but also in terms of changes in the education level or racial make-up of residents.” Philadelphia, like many cities across the country, has experienced increasing levels of gentrification in its recent history. This process has caused great controversy with respect to its intersectional complexity.

Both the city and the suburbs and race-based generational wealth has been dictated and manipulated by the United States federal government via policy and protocols put in place that then affected politics and policies that governed the housing market through much of the first half of the 20th century. Specific policies employed by the federal government and private industries also suggested that these archaic and inactive policies continue to adversely impact African Americans’ and white Americans’ individual and collective wealth.

Despite these deliberate actions, in Philadelphia, African Americans were able to purchase homes and establish communities in areas that white Americans no longer found desirable. However, these communities were later systematically divested and often fell into blight. A prime example of how gentrification has adversely impacted marginalized people is the Black Bottom community of West Philadelphia. Backed by the economic interests of the University of Pennsylvania, Drexel University and the University of the Sciences, these institutions joined forces to create the West Philadelphia Corporation. The corporation sought to create urban renewal in the area surrounding the aforementioned institutions to form University City. The formation of this “city” was made possible by taking over the Black Bottom and creating a neighborhood that aligned with the interests of the universities and their stakeholders with many of the renewed amenities and facilities not designed to serve the displaced African Americans of that neighborhood. Not only does this fact create access barriers for the residents who are displaced from these neighborhoods, research suggests that the increased wealth of peers in nearby neighborhoods can negatively impact outcomes for low-income teenage boys who are in the bottom 5% income bracket according to the research of Corina Graif, a sociologist at the Pennsylvania State University (Culver 2020). Graif’s study examined the likelihood of developing positive peer relationships in boys and girls who lived in extreme poverty but adjacent to more middle-class neighborhoods. Boys were more likely to associate with drug-using friends and reported more psychological distress in addition to witnessing more acts of violence and involvement in the criminal justice system than boys who lived in and close to other impoverished neighborhoods or boys who lived in and close to middle class neighborhoods. As cities across the country continue undergoing gentrification, more teenage boys of lower socioeconomic status who more often identify as a racial minority are at risk for developing adverse life outcomes.

Education

Another facet of city life that impacts individual citizens and collective communities is how schools are funded and operated. As an educator in the School District of Philadelphia, I have seen first hand the effects that an under-resourced school system has on schools and communities. Philadelphia is the largest school district in the state of Pennsylvania. According to the School District of Philadelphia’s PowerPoint presentation titled Budget 101:Understanding the District’s Budget, 51% of the district’s funding comes from real estate taxes while the other 49% comes from other tax sources, fees and the City grant. Paul Jablow notes that Philadelphia underspends on per pupil when compared to other major cities in the United States like Cleveland, Detroit, Baltimore, Boston, Chicago and Milwaukee. Jablow also notes that additional funding for Philly students is compromised by the number of charter schools in the city that further divert funding from traditional public schools. This fact is significant when considering that students in many of Philadelphia’s schools live at or below the poverty line. Although the School District of Philadelphia qualifies all of its students for free/reduced priced lunch regardless of income or household size, this dynamic reflects the tenuous socioeconomic status of families served in the Philadelphia school system.

Additionally, of the 202,944 students served by the School District of Philadelphia, 52% of the students served by the district identify as African American, 21% of the students served by the district identify as Hispanic/Latino, 7% of the students served by the district identify as Asian, 5% of the students served by the school district identify as multiracial/other, and 14% of students served by the school district identify as white, indicating that roughly 80-85% of the students attending public schools in Philadelphia are from racial minority groups. In other words, the majority of Philadelphia’s students and families who identify as a racial minority and struggle with poverty have less money spent on their educational needs and supports than other students in the aforementioned urban spaces in other major cities in the United States. Spending less on the education of Philadelphia’s student population limits resources which impede student outcomes and helps perpetuate the cycle of poverty that plague so many families in Philadelphia considering that most students who are dealing with issues of poverty need social and behavioral support in addition to academic support. This fact is only exacerbated by the estimation that $62 million in funding has been siphoned away from the School District of Philadelphia as a result of Philadelphia’s tax abatement legislation (Briggs 2018). The tax abatement program is designed to attract investors in Philadelphia real estate by allowing developers and investors to only pay taxes on the land allotment that a structure is built on rather than the actual value of the property itself. While the abatement is designed to generate jobs, there is an adverse side effect. Of the major cities with similar tax abatement programs, Philadelphia schools have the largest deficit as a result. Briggs suggests that most of the investors who receive the largest savings as a result of the tax abatement are corporate investors rather than individual residents. Corporations that are worth millions of dollars are not paying the maximum amount in taxes that hurts school funding received from the city.

Health/Healthcare

In 2020, 145 cities and counties across 27 states, including Philadelphia, Pennsylvania had declared racism to be a public health crisis. Culver (2020) cites multiple factors that inform this designation including adverse outcomes for Black women during childbirth among the racial stereotypes that compromise healthcare among other aspects of life including school funding, healthy food access, financial security and quality, affordable housing. Access to adequate healthcare to prevent and manage disease is an important factor in determining the quality of life for all people. Low-income citizens of color are more likely to be uninsured than their white counterparts which leads to an increase in negative health outcomes for this demographic. Compromised health/healthcare can exacerbate other unstable life dynamics.

Additionally, America’s history of systemic and institutionalized racism magnifies the adverse outcomes for communities of color, particularly communities of color in urban domains. National Geographic (2020) cites the United States’ historical practice of “redlining” as a source of  the increased health risks that plague Black and Brown communities in cities across the nation. National Geographic (2020) references a study that analyzed the average temperature in neighborhoods that were once redlined. Redlining was a practice adopted by federal and local lenders to limit the areas where Black families could live. Neighborhoods that were deemed to be undesirable were noted in red on the housing maps which is where the term redlining is derived from. This act of racism was designed to keep certain neighborhoods white and maintain white supremacy. These communities that, in the present, are still home to mostly Black and Brown communities, are hotter than historically white communities as a result of policies that place fewer trees, grass and open space in communities of color. Communities of color tend to have poorer air quality as busier roadways, industrial facilities and closely placed buildings are more prominent in Black and Brown neighborhoods. Increased heat related stress in these areas contribute to the proliferation of certain health problems like pollution-related illnesses, heart disease and hypertension.

Immigration

Disparities in education, healthcare, housing and wealth are not specific only to American born minority groups. Immigrant groups, particularly those that are non-White immigrants, are subject to these burdens as well. In the years following Donald Trump’s presidency in which immigrants in this country faced inhumane detention separated from family for weeks and years at a time, attempts to change some of the restrictive immigration policies is underway. According to data collected by the Pew Charitable Trust (2019) more than a quarter of Philadelphia’s inhabitants were born in a foreign country or have a parent that was born in another country. Pew’s 2019 fact sheet reflects an increase in immigrants in Philadelphia. Between 1970 and 2017, the number of immigrants in Philadelphia rose from 6.5% to 13.8%. With the exception of Albania and Ukraine, the majority of Philadelphia’s immigrant population belong to racial minority groups with the top countries in descending order that include China, Domincan Republic, Jamaica, India, Vietnam, Haiti, Mexico and Korea. Papa (2016) notes that the increase in the African immigrants in Paschalville have informed some of the supports and services being offered by the neighborhood’s local branch of the Free Library of Philadelphia such as ESL classes and citizenship corner to assist Philadelphians applying for green cards and citizenship.

Wealth/Financial Security

Sociologist Joe Feagin argues that white people are unfairly rich which inherently causes Black people to be unfairly poor. Feagin cites the United States’ long history of systemic racism as the source of nearly all disparities between the two demographics, not just with respect to wealth (Cole 2020). Lubrano (2019) notes that while Philadelphia has made strides in increasing its average median income in several neighborhoods, overall certain neighborhoods and demographics continue to remain in deep poverty. Despite these overall increases, the sections of the city that saw decreases in median income include Fairhill, Hunting Park, Tioga/Nicetown, and Southwest Philadelphia, areas that are nearly exclusively populated by Black and Brown people.

Additionally, in recent years, Philadelphia has seen an increase in the number of people who are employed. However, the vast majority of this job surge has been in the low-wage sector of the job market, meaning that more people are working but not able to lift themselves and their families out of poverty. On the other end of Philadelphia in the Graduate hospital area of South Philadelphia, the highest median income in the city can be found. Along with increased median income generally comes higher housing costs. Increased wealth in certain neighborhoods can inadvertently push lower income residents in those areas into sections of the city where more affordable housing can be found. However, lower housing costs are usually found in neighborhoods with lower median income. As gentrification continues, the low-income residents that are being flushed out of the increasingly affluent sections of the city are forced to live in the already strained sections of the city where more social concerns like crime, subpar schools and housing and poverty persist.

Environmental Concerns

Urban green spaces are few and far between in most major cities particularly in communities of color. Weischelbaum (2016) cites research being conducted by the University of Pennsylvania about the impact of green spaces in low-income areas. In Philadelphia, researchers found that when blighted, open spaces are “greened” the rate of crime decreases and reports of criminal activity increases. This premise is based on the “Broken Windows” social theory that emerged in the 1990s which suggests that citizens care more about spaces that are well maintained as opposed to areas that are rundown or poorly maintained. When mass greening initiatives were implemented in Philadelphia, the city saw a considerable drop in gun violence.

Philadelphia is a city that is not very clean. The city is plagued with significant blight and litter is an overwhelming concern in general but is most significant in lower income neighborhoods. Whyte et. al. (2021) notes that Philadelphia’s current litter problem is the direct result of racial injustice that dates back to the mayoral administration of Frank Rizzo, a controversial police officer-turned-politician most famous for his unabashed racist views and policies towards Philadelphia’s communities of color. Whyte et. al. note that as white flight increased and funding from the government decreased, the once pristine streets of Philadelphia became increasingly dirty. The litter problem that plagues communities of color as well as immigrant communities adds to the crime rates in low-income neighborhoods.

Teaching Strategies

Best instructional practice includes using highly effective teaching strategies that are centered on student learning and student involvement to increase engagement and knowledge transfer. This unit attempts to utilize an inquiry-based approach. Many of the tried and true instructional strategies such as think-write-share, collaborative learning and discussion, and use of various graphic organizers are incorporated into the lesson plans outlined below. However, this particular curriculum unit is highly reliant on use of the jigsaw strategy to help students work through a greater volume of material. This strategy is also employed with the intention that greater student leadership and responsibility in disseminating the unit’s information will increase student engagement/learning.

Classroom Activities

Initial Photo Essay Assignment

Objective

Students will be able to demonstrate a fundamental understanding of photo essay composition and will curate an original photo essay that narrates their initial story of their city as they understand it/experience it.

Our first assignment for this unit will be to complete a photo essay of the city Philadelphia as you see it and understand it. A photo essay is a collection of images that tell a story about a particular topic or subject. In this instance your photo essay will tell your audience how you see the city of Philadelphia. Your essay can focus on the city as a whole or in part such as a specific section of the city where you live. For example, if you reside in West Philadelphia, you may opt to include images only from West Philadelphia in general or images from a specific section of West Philadelphia such as Overbrook, Mill Creek, University City, etc.

Each essay must include 10 quality images of what is central to Philadelphia from your perspective and are shot by you. For each image, you need to write a caption that helps your viewer better understand your narrative. Click here for links to example photo essays.

Your photo essay should be created in Google Slides. Please include a title slide that includes your photo essay title and your name. Your essay should begin with an introductory slide written in paragraph form. Each image should be inserted into a slide. You should choose a slide layout that allows you to insert one image and write a caption. Your essay should conclude with a concluding slide written in paragraph form. Please find the photo essay template here.

Lesson One-Understanding Urban Planning

Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to define and explain the concept of urban planning by summarizing the key details of the lesson by completing all sections of the KWL Chart.

Materials: Video links, K-W-L graphic organizer/chart, Google Slideshow Template, laptops

Timeline: 45 minute class period

State Standards

CC.1.3.9–10.A Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

Warm Up (5 minutes)

Using the K-W-L graphic organizer/chart, complete the “K” (What I Already Know About Urban Planning) section of the KWL organizer/chart”. Be prepared to share your writings with the class.

Whole Group (20 minutes)

Students will watch the video. After watching a brief introductory video about urban planning, students will explain what 3 things they want to know or what 3 questions they have about urban planning based on their understanding thus far under the “W” (What I Want to Know About Urban Planning) section of the K-W-L chart/organizer. Students will then turn and share their questions/wonderings with their elbow partner. The teacher will then play this more detailed video for the class about urban planning. Students will then begin completing the “L” What I Learned About Urban Planning) section of the K-W-L chart/organizer. (Please note students will need to add to this section of the graphic organizer after the small group activity).

Small Group (12 minutes)

Students will work in pairs or groups (depending on class size) of 7. Each collaborative group will read the assigned section of the “Types of Urban Planning’ reading and work to summarize the information contained in their section on the shared Google Slideshow.

Lesson Closing: (8 minutes) Students will add to the “L” Section of their graphic organizer/chart to complete the summary of their learning.

Lesson Two-Understanding the City Plan for Philadelphia

Lesson Objective: Students will be able to summarize key points as well as organize information and present it in a logical fashion.

Materials- Copies of the Philadelphia 2035 summary, lesson handout, Google Slideshow or Chart Paper, markers, and tape for posting paper charts (if using), laptop

Timeline: 45 minute class period

Standards

CC.1.2.9–10.B Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CC.1.2.9–10.A Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CC.1.4.9–10.C Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well-chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.9–10.U Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

CC.1.4.9–10.V Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CC.1.5.9–10.A Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CC.1.5.9–10.D Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning; ensure that the presentation is appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

CC.1.5.9–10.F Make strategic use of digital media in presentations to add interest and enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence.

Lesson Warm Up- (5 minutes)

Look at the graphics, charts, and figures on pages 4-9. Then complete the “I See”/“I Wonder.” Each side of the chart should have at least 3 “I See” statements and 3 “I Wonder” statements on the lesson handout. Students will share their responses with their elbow partner.

Whole Group Practice (5 minutes)

The teacher will play the zoning video. Students will explain the function of zoning and why it is critical to urban planning on the lesson handout.

Small Group Activity (15 minutes)

Then students will work in groups of 5 and use the jigsaw strategy to read, summarize and report on their reading of pages 4-9 of Philadelphia2035. Each student in each group will read their assigned page(s) and then present their findings to the other members of their group.

Group Reading Assignments

Reader 1-Page 4

Reader 2-Page 5

Reader 3- Page 6

Reader 4-Pages 7 and 8

Reader 5-Page 9

(20 minutes)

After reading the assigned pages, students will create a list of the readings’ major points to share with the rest of their group via a shared Google Slideshow.

Then students will remain in those same groups and reading the pages below and recording the responses on a shared Google Slideshow or on Chart Paper

Group 1-Pages 11-12

Group 2-Page 13-14

Group 3-Page 15-16

Group 4-Page 17-18

Group 5-Page 19

Lesson Closing

Complete the 3-2-1 Chart on the lesson handout. Students will write down 3 things they learned, 2 things they want to know more about and 1 question they still have

Lesson Three-An Exploration of Societal Dynamics and the City

Lesson Objectives: Students will be able to read informational texts and organize and share information in informal presentations after initiating and engaging in collaborative discussions.

Materials: Newsela articles (linked below under small group activity) and video, Google Slides, index cards (lesson warm up).

Timeline:45 minute class period 

Standards

CC.1.5.9–10.A Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CC.1.4.9–10.U Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

CC.1.4.9–10.V Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CC.1.5.9–10.D Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning; ensure that the presentation is appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

CC.1.5.9–10.F Make strategic use of digital media in presentations to add interest and enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence.

Lesson Warm Up (7 minutes)

Look at the list of words. Choose one of the words that is most important/significant to you and explain why this word/idea matters to you or to people in your community.

  • Gentrification
  • Immigration
  • Healthcare
  • Finance/Economics
  • Education
  • Ecological Issues/Public Spaces

Small Group Activity (23 minutes)

Students will work in groups to read an article on their assigned subtopic. Students will discuss and compose a presentation on the information in their article.

Small Group Readings (Teachers can allow students to select from the source options or assign the source deemed most appropriate for their class and the unit implementation).

Gentrification Article, Gentrification Article,

Health Article, Health Video

Education Article, Education Article

Immigration Article, Immigration Article,

Wealth/Finance Article, Wealth/Finance Article, Wealth/Finance Article

Environmental Concerns Article, Environmental Concerns Article

Students will then present their findings to the whole group (15 minutes). Presentations can be recorded in Google Slides so that the whole group is able to access the information for the topics they did not read about/investigate personally.

Lesson Four-Analyzing the Plan

Lesson Objective: Students will be able to develop interview questions that incorporate their understanding of city dynamics in order to conduct original research.

Materials: District Plans, Interview Template

Timeline:1-2, 45-minute class periods

Standards

CC.1.4.9–10.A Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately.

Whole Group

Students will choose the Philadelphia District Plan from the Philadelphia 2035 document that best defines the area of the city where they live using the live map in the hyperlink above. Students will spend time in class reading through their selected district plan looking for evidence of how the topics studied in Lesson 3: An Exploration of Societal Dynamics and the City are addressed in their current district plan. Students will evaluate the evidence in the plan as well as conduct primary research in their district from a host of community stakeholders such as parents, neighbors, entrepreneurs, clergy, etc. on the condition of the neighborhood. Students should consider the following questions in their assessment:

  • What dynamics studied in Lesson 3 are most prevalent in your community?
  • Is the current district plan for your community sufficient for meeting the needs of its constituents? Provide evidence that supports your claim. Does the current district plan ignore critical factors that affect your community? Again please provide evidence of this to support your claim.

Independent/Small Group Activity

Students will work to formulate 7-8 questions to ask during their community interviews. Each student must interview a total of 3 community members during class time or outside of the classroom.

Culminating Final Project

The final project for this unit will consist of 3 parts:

  • The Community Member Interviews
  • The District Plan Analysis
  • The Final Photo Essay

Materials: interview questions and responses, photo essays, shared Google Slideshows from Lessons 2 and 3, laptop

Timeline: project can be assigned as teacher deems necessary

Standards

CC.1.3.9–10.A Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CC.1.2.9–10.B Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences and conclusions based on an author’s explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

CC.1.4.9–10.A Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately.

Students will complete their proposal paper for amending their city section subplan as well.

CC.1.4.9–10.B Write with a sharp, distinct focus identifying topic, task, and audience.

CC.1.4.9–10.C Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well-chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.9–10.D Organize ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text; include formatting when useful to aiding comprehension; provide a concluding statement or section.

CC.1.4.9–10.R Demonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

CC.1.4.9–10.S Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade-level reading standards for literature and literary nonfiction.

CC.1.4.9–10.T Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

CC.1.4.9–10.U Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

CC.1.4.9–10.V Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CC.1.5.9–10.A Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CC.1.5.9–10.D Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning; ensure that the presentation is appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

CC.1.5.9–10.F Make strategic use of digital media in presentations to add interest and enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence.

Students will revise their photo essays to reflect their learning. Students will revise the images and captions with at least 10 updates to images or captions. Total image count is expanded up to 20 images.

Bibliography

Student Reading List/Bibliography

Al, S. What happens if you cut down all of a city’s trees [Video]. TED-Ed. https://www.ted.com/talks/stefan_al_what_happens_if_you_cut_down_all_of_a_city_s_trees#t-187591.

Badger, E. (2017, May 8). Redlining: Still a thing. Washington Post. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/lib-redlining-housing-discrimination-30149-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=S6I%2BdZdI6fdVmhHWY9ZytTzh%2BXU%3D&Expires=1624504212.

Briggs, R (2018, Dec. 5). Report: Philly schools lose more to corporate handouts than any other big city. WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/report-philly-schools-lose-more-to-corporate-handouts-than-any-other-big-city/.

Briggs, R. (2019, Sept. 5). Who benefits most from Philly’s tax abatement? Center city developers. WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/who-benefits-most-from-phillys-tax-abatement-center-city-developers/.

Chapple, K. & Thomas, T. (2020). Berkeley, CA: Urban Displacement Project.

Cole, N.L. (2020, May 31). Analysis: Definition of systemic racism in sociology. Thoughtco.com. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/lib-systemic-racism-39531-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=FPWNUv0d06eKmLrE58YnAOYnWuY%3D&Expires=1624504725.

Culver, J. (2020). Racism declared a public health issue in 145 cities and counties across 27 counties. USA Today. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/racism-public-health-issue-2001016751-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=1X11C7iFtmp7f%2FtbcugLavG3g34%3D&Expires=1624419687.

Goldstein, D. (2016). Why it’s hard to be a poor boy with rich neighbors, The Marshall Project. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/poor-boy-rich-neighbors-18237-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=TTua9zHScxWEdx7%2FTCVtmO%2B18kk%3D&Expires=1624499219.

Jablow, P. (2015, June 17). When it comes to education funding, what’s the deal with Philly schools?. WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/when-it-comes-to-education-funding-whats-the-deal-with-philly-schools/.

Lubrano, A. (2019, Dec. 19). Philadelphia a city of extremes: High incomes, high poverty, report shows. The Philadelphia Inquirer. https://www.inquirer.com/news/poverty-median-household-income-philadelphia-temple-university-graduate-hospital-20191219.html.

Margolis, J. (2018). Detroit welcomes immigrants to spur the city’s revival. Public Radio International. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/immigration-detroit-revival-46317-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=ZBiIxaO8hXnApXD1N17Pw5RnYdA%3D&Expires=1624503918.

National Geographic. (2020). Racist housing policies have created some oppressively hot neighborhoods. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/racist-housing-policies-2001013662-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=uyCW%2BhJFu61x2pu3OocyOJFd%2BFU%3D&Expires=1624419212.

Papa, D. (2016). Zip photo essay: Echoes of history and signs of reinvention in Paschalville and Elmwood, 19142. WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/zip-photo-essay-echoes-of-history-and-signs-of-reinvention-in-paschalville-elmwood-19142/.

The Pew Charitable Trust. (2019). The state of immigrants in Philadelphia, 2019. https://www.pewtrusts.org/en/research-and-analysis/fact-sheets/2019/04/the-state-of-immigrants-in-philadelphia-2019.

Weischselbaum, S. (2016, July 29). Could trees help stop crime?. The Marshall Project. https://newsela-media.s3.amazonaws.com/pdfs/trees-stop-crime-19857-article_only.pdf?AWSAccessKeyId=AKIAJ2PCBAM2PRETFWXA&Signature=PEg3IdTKq2KlgY4yho%2FJhRQVoEM%3D&Expires=1624506138.

Whyte, R. et. al. (2021, Mar. 16). Individuals alone did not create Phily’s litter problems and individuals alone can’t solve it. WHYY. https://whyy.org/articles/individuals-alone-didnt-create-phillys-litter-problems-and-individuals-alone-cant-solve-it/.

Additional Teacher Resources

The readings below can be found in the full comprehensive Philadelphia 2035 document found here. These readings can be used for a deeper dive into the plan’s components. Teachers could opt to develop additional lessons after LessonTwo-Understanding the City Plan.

  • Housing/Neighborhoods pgs.66-75
  • Economic Development pgs. 76-89
  • Land Use pgs. 90-97
  • Transportation pgs.102-121
  • Utilities pgs. 122-129
  • Land Use pgs.134-143
  • Environmental Resources pgs. 144-153

Additionally, Jukur Johari’s TED Talk can be used as an additional resource/teaching tool.

https://www.ted.com/talks/smruti_jukur_johari_what_if_the_poor_were_part_of_city_planning

Discusses the ways in which the city ignores the poor and does not consider this marginalized group in urban planning. It also discusses the lack of choices that the poor are subjected to. Johari expresses the fact that the function of cities is reliant on the poor and the services that they provide. “Poverty changes affordability but not aspirations.” The poor often take over useless lands and add value to the land which the city in turn throws them off of their lands. “When poor people choose, they choose better.” Choice equals power.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Photo Essay Rubric

  Excellent Good Fair Unsatisfactory
Organization Images are in an order that is logical. The photo essay has a title that captures the theme of the essay and each slide has a captivating image and a profoundly written caption. Images are generally in an order that is logical. One image may be illogical. The photo essay has a title and each slide has an image and a caption that fits the essay’s theme. Images are in an order that is somewhat confusing. The photo essay has a title that is not connected to the theme and each slide has an image and a caption. Some of the images and captions are not related to the assignment Images are not in an order that is logical. The photo essay has no title and/or the essay is missing an image or caption.
Photo Quality Each image is clear and the focus is centered. Each image fills the frame. Most of the  images are clear and the focus is centered. Most of the images fill the frame. Some of the  images are clear and the focus is centered. Some of the images fill the frame. Most of the  images are not clear and the focus is not centered. Most of the images do not fill the frame.
Photo Content Photos are of high interest and show a unique perspective pertaining to the theme. Most photos are of high interest and show a unique perspective pertaining to the theme. Some of the photos are of high interest and show a unique perspective pertaining to the theme. Most photos are not of high interest and do not show a unique perspective pertaining to the theme.
Overall Impression Photo essay narrative makes a strong impression. Photos and captions demonstrate a strong understanding of the assignment. Photo essay narrative makes a solid impression. Photos and captions demonstrate a good understanding of the assignment. Photo essay narrative makes a mixed impression. Photos and captions demonstrate a confusing understanding of the assignment. Photo essay narrative makes little to no impression. Photos and captions demonstrate an unsatisfactory understanding of the assignment.
Caption Quality Captions completely explain each image and explain the image’s content in a way that the photo alone cannot. Captions generally explain each image and explain the image’s content in a way that the photo alone cannot. Captions somewhat explain each image and explain the image’s content. Captions do not fully explain each image nor explain the image’s content.

 

 

 

K-W-L Chart

Directions:

  • Step One-Before the lesson, write down what you know about urban planning (K Section).
  • Step Two-After watching the first video, write down 3 things you want to know about urban planning (W Section).
  • Step Three-After watching the second video begin summarizing your learning in the “L” Section of the chart.
  • Step Four-Complete the small group reading and Google Slideshow share, then add to the “L” Section.
What I Already Know About Urban Planning What I Want to Know About Urban Planning What I Learned About Urban Planning
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   

Name________________________________________

 

Warm Up (5 minutes)

Directions: Look at the figures, charts and graphs on pages 4-9 of the Philadelphia2035 pdf. Write 3 “I See” statements for the images you view and 3 “I Wonder” statements for the images.

I See I Wonder
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Based on your understanding of the video, explain the significance of zoning in the urban/city planning process.

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

 

Exit Ticket: Complete the 3-2-1 chart below.

Write down 3 things you learned. Write down 2 things you want to learn more about. Write down one question you have.
 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Name:_______________________________________________________________________

 

Directions: In order to prepare for revising your photo essay, you will prepare a list of questions you will ask in your community interviews. Using your understanding of urban planning in general and specifically for the city of Philadelphia, the dynamics of city living we studied and your personal knowledge.experience of your community, develop a list of interview questions that you will ask your three interviewees. You will use a separate sheet for each interview. You will use this data to inform the final submission of your photo essay.

 

Interviewer’s Name:

 

 

Interviewee’s Name:

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

 

City Dynamics I Want to Investigate:

 

 

Question That Connects to This Dynamic:

 

 

 

Appendix

Common Core ELA Standards

CC.1.2.9–10.B Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly, as well as inferences and conclusions based on an author’s explicit assumptions and beliefs about a subject.

CC.1.2.9–10.A Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.

CC.1.4.9–10.A Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately.

Students will complete their proposal paper for amending their city section subplan as well.

CC.1.4.9–10.B Write with a sharp, distinct focus identifying topic, task, and audience.

CC.1.4.9–10.C Develop and analyze the topic with relevant, well-chosen, and sufficient facts, extended definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples appropriate to the audience’s knowledge of the topic; include graphics and multimedia when useful to aiding comprehension.

CC.1.4.9–10.D Organize ideas, concepts, and information to make important connections and distinctions; use appropriate and varied transitions to link the major sections of the text; include formatting when useful to aiding comprehension; provide a concluding statement or section.

CC.1.4.9–10.R Demonstrate a grade-appropriate command of the conventions of standard English grammar, usage, capitalization, punctuation, and spelling.

CC.1.4.9–10.S Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research, applying grade-level reading standards for literature and literary nonfiction.

CC.1.4.9–10.T Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on addressing what is most significant for a specific purpose and audience.

CC.1.4.9–10.U Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.

CC.1.4.9–10.V Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.

CC.1.5.9–10.A Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions on grade-level topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

CC.1.5.9–10.D Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning; ensure that the presentation is appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.

CC.1.5.9–10.F Make strategic use of digital media in presentations to add interest and enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence.

 

Standards-Social Justice (Learning for Justice)

Justice Anchors

  • Students will recognize unfairness on the individual level (e.g., biased speech) and injustice at the institutional or systemic level (e.g., discrimination).
  • Students will analyze the harmful impact of bias and injustice on the world, historically and today.
  • Students will recognize that power and privilege influence relationships on interpersonal, intergroup and institutional levels and consider how they have been affected by those dynamics.

Diversity

  • Students will respectfully express curiosity about the history and lived experiences of others and will exchange ideas and beliefs in an open-minded way.
  • Students will examine diversity in social, cultural, political and historical contexts rather than in ways that are superficial or oversimplified.

Identity

  • Students will develop positive social identities based on their membership in multiple groups in society.
  • Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals.
  • Students will recognize that people’s multiple identities interact and create unique and complex individuals.
  • Students will recognize traits of the dominant culture, their home culture and other cultures and understand how they negotiate their own identity in multiple spaces.