Utopia: To Build a perfect World Mrs. Cordeiro Step One: What is Utopia?

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12 English Utopia: To Build A Perfect World

Mrs. Cordeiro

Step One: What is Utopia?

You've read what Wikipedia has to say about utopias, now, as a group, come up with a paragraph-length definition of your own utopia. Tell what utopia means to your group. You should discuss the following questions in your group before coming up with the definition. Use your imagination. Be creative. This is your chance to design your idea of a perfect world. Be sure to answer the following questions in your definition.

1. What kind of government would exist in your perfect society?

2. What would the educational system be like?

3. How would the community members receive medical care?

4. What kind of money would you use (if any) and how would it be distributed to the community members?

5. What kinds of recreation or leisure activities would be availableto your community members? How would they participate in these?
**Just in case you need to revisit: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Utopia

Step Two: Assignment of Roles

After you have created your own definition of utopia, you need to assign roles (described below) to your group members. You may do this one of two ways:

1. Write each role on a scrap of paper and draw out of a hat

2. Discuss which role suits which person in your group the best, and assign them

"If you dream alone, it's just a dream. If you dream together, it's a reality."

~Brazilian folk song

Leader: The leader is responsible for the team members getting along and making progress in their tasks. You are also the liaison between your team and the teacher. You will be responsible for planning the type of government your community will implement.
Developer: You will be responsible for mapping out the community, making sure to include natural resources found on your land like lakes and farmland. You will draw out the design for the community.
Planner: You will research issues like education and medicine. You will be the team's expert on these issues. You will design the community's education system. You will also design the health care system of the community.
Accountant: You will be the team expert on financial issues like what monetary system the community will use, how the money will be distributed, and how it will be generated throughout the community. You will be responsible for designing the banking system, if you use one. You will also be responsible for designing the money for the community.
Recreation Director: It will be up to you to decide what kinds of leisure activities will be available in your community. You will also be responsible for how they will be implemented. You will design activities for the rest of the community members to enjoy and you will be responsible for seeing that they run smoothly.

Step Three: Research

Your group will use the following websites to research various utopian communities that actually exist in the world today. Each of you should look for information that correlates with the role you have been assigned. For instance, if you are the leader, you will look for ideas on how to set up the government of your community. If you are the recreation director, you will look for ideas relating to leisure activities. If you find interesting information that doesn't fit into any of the roles assigned, write it down for later. This research will be completed on your own, as homework. The next day in class you will have a group meeting at which the research will be shared. The group meeting agenda is listed below. The answers to the questions on the agenda must written down and submitted for a grade.

Here are the websites. You'll have to hunt for information that fits your role. Not all of the websites will be helpful to everyone in your group, and you may need to look outside of these sites for relevant information.

WARNING: It may take some time to find the information you need on these sites.

  • The Acorn Community of Virginia


  • The Farm in Tennessee



  • Victory City ‑ A City Under One Roof


  • Factasia ‑ Utopian Fantasy


  • Utopian States


Step Four: Group Meeting Agenda

I. Each group member, keeping in mind his or her assigned role, reports in detail the information he or she has researched. It is important that each member report to the group.

II. Complete the following tasks as a group. These are considered "rough" sketches to help you finalize your ideas for your PowerPoint slides. Draw a chart that shows how the government in your community will work. Explain the role of each person or group in your community.

  1. Sketch a map of what your community will look like. Every building and area should be clearly labeled. Don't forget to include lakes, parking (if needed), public buildings, medical buildings, schools, dwellings, recreational areas, etc. An aerial view will be fine.

  2. Draw a chart or diagram depicting what your education system will be like. Don't forget to include details about when kids go to school and for how long and what types of things will be taught at each level.

  3. Draw a chart or diagram depicting how your community members will receive health care. Include information on who provides the care, what kind of care people can receive at which facilities, where people go for serious illnesses, prescriptions, etc.

  4. Draw a picture of what your dwellings will look like. You should include an outside drawing as well as an aerial view of the inside. Be sure to label the inside of the dwelling.

  5. Draw a picture of the money your community will use. Draw a chart or diagram depicting how people will receive money and how it will be used. If you are not using money in your community, explain how people will receive goods and services.

  6. Describe the different types of recreation that will be offered in your community. Include information on how they will be used by the people of the community (following a schedule, first come, first served, etc.)

  7. As a group, create a properly formatted (MLA Style) bibliography. This should be typed.

  8. **These can be memos / printed out on computer paper; they don't have to be poster-sized. Alternatively, you can assemble a power-point presentation

Step Five: Your Presentation

Each role should create 1-2 PowerPoint slides as part of your demonstration. Afterwards your audience will be given five minutes to ask you questions. Make sure each person in your group addresses the following relevant items in your group’s 15 minute presentation:

Leader: In detail, explain how the government in your community operates. Also explain how laws are made and enforced, if there are any laws. You may want to consider some simple visual additions to help your audience understand your intentions. Base your slide on the above information.
Developer: Present a map of your community. Make sure it is well labeled and that you can explain your reasons for planning it the way you did.
Planner: Explain how people will be educated in your community and how health care will be provided. You may want to consider some simple visual additions to help your audience understand your intentions.
Accountant: Explain/show what the money in your community looks like. Also be sure to explain how money is generated and how it is distributed to the members of your community.
Recreation Director: Explain what kind of leisure activities are available in your community and how people will participate in these activities.

Step Six: Individual Reflection

Now that you have built, showcased, and received feedback on your new community, you are going to reflect on the process and the outcome. For homework, you will type a two-page double-spaced essay where you address the questions below. You will be graded on how well you answer the questions, but you will also be graded on the organization of your essay. Your essay should contain strong, clear topic sentences.* Your paragraphs should be unified (that is, have one clear focus).* You should include transitions to help the reader navigate his/her way through the paper.* I will take off points for mechanical mistakes.

1. What was the hardest part about creating your Utopia? What was so hard about it?

2. What did you find the most interesting about creating a utopia? Why did you find it interesting?

3. Name a few things about other group’s worlds that you’d like to “borrow” for your own, and discuss why. Then

Name a few things about other group’s worlds that would make you NOT want to visit, and discuss why.

4. What did you learn about yourself during this process? Your classmates?

5. What did you learn about the nature of society and social constructs? How does this knowledge fit in with

what you learned about yourself and your classmates?

6. Would you recommend that future classes be required to complete this project? Why or why not?

*Statements in bold are your FCA's, please write them at the top of your paper.

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