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Minnesota State University, Mankato
Minnesota State University, Mankato

MCMA Educational Initiative Committee

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For most students, the local community is more accessible, more tangible, and more comprehensible than the State or national levels. For example, it is more likely that over the lifespan a student will be appointed to a committee or be elected to office in a city or county than to a State or national committee or office. The Minnesota City/County Management Association has been working for several years to develop curriculum units that will help students understand how their local community works. A number of strands and substrands in the Minnesota Academic Standards lend themselves to local government applications. Further, all cities and counties have websites and most post information to those sites that can be used to bring the local community into the classroom. This site provides links to a number of curriculum components created by MCMA members for classroom use, and from other sites on the Web (notably the Michigan Civics Institute). This page is regularly updated as new components are developed and tested.

MN Academic Standards in History and the Social Studies: Links to Lesson Plans

Strand V: Geography

  • Substrand C: Spatial Organization
    • Standard 1: "The student will understand the regional distribution of the human population at local to global scales and its patterns of change."
    • Standard 4: "The student will analyze the patterns of location, functions, structure, and characteristics of local to global settlement patterns and the processes that affect the location of cities."
      • Build a Block–A lesson that teaches students the issues involved in the subdivision of land and providing the space for services that will be needed.
      • Balancing Working and Living–A lesson in which students create a local economy which matches employment opportunities with household characteristics.
    • Standard 5: "The student will use regions and the interaction among them to analyze the present patterns of economic activity in the United States and around the world at various scales."
  • Substrand D: Interconnections
    • Standard 1: "The student will describe how humans influence the environment and in turn are influenced by it."
      • Design with Nature–A lesson that asks students to assess the environmental tradeoffs in locating building sites.

Strand VI: Economics

  • Substrand A: The Market Economy
    • Standard 7: "The student will understand the economic role of government in a free market economy."
      • Landowners' Game–A lesson, based on the Prisoner's Dilemma and "The Tragedy of the Commons," that points up the difference between private goods and public goods in trying to supply good quality rental housing.
  • Substrand B:The National Economy
  • Substrand E:Economics and Public Policy
    • Standard 1: "The student will apply economic theories and concepts to public policy issues."
      • Minapple Game–A role-playing simulation in which the students attempt to resolve an issue that wraps economics and political issues in the same package.

Strand VII: Government and Citizenship

  • Substrand A:Civic Values, Skills, Rights and Responsibilities
  • Substrand B: Beliefs and Principles of United State Democracy
    • Standard 3: "The student will understand tensions that exist between key principles of government in the United States."
  • Substrand D:Governmental Processes and Institutions

Committee Members:

City Members of MCMA (103KB DOC)