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Inclusive Unit Plan Project

Chris Allard
University of Manitoba

Urban Places Unit Plan

Subject: Geography 20F

Title of Unit: Urban Places (Cluster 5)

Grade Level: 10

Duration: 3 weeks

Theme/Topic: Urban Places

Topic Rationale: Urban places play a critical role in our society today. Not only do they serve a large
economic and social purpose, but they represent the core of a geographic region. However, there are
many issues surrounding modern urban centres, and in order to fully grasp their entity, we must
understand how and why they originate so that we can find solutions to overcome the barriers they face

General/Broad Objectives:

1. Knowledge - Students will be able to identify key characteristics of urban, rural, and remote places.

2. Knowledge - Students will understand why urban centres developed and grew in particular locations
throughout Canada and the world.

3. Knowledge - Students will be able to recognize reasons for urban growth and decline and demonstrate
the impacts that urban growth and decline have on an urban centre.

4. Knowledge - Students will be able to recognize social issues that impact urban centres.

5. Social Participation - Students will collaborate with their peers in order to share ideas and gain new
perspectives on geographic issues.

6. Social Participation - Students will collaborate to organize material from a variety of sources.

7. Attitude - Students will listen to each others contributions and be respectful when responding to one
another's ideas.

8. Skill - Students will develop critical thinking and research skills, which in turn will help them improve
their geographic literacy.

9. Skill - Students will learn to articulate and clearly communicate their perspectives on geographic issues
through written narratives.


1. The Characteristics of Canadas Rural, Urban, and Remote Places

2. The Location and Development of Urban Centres in Canada and the World
3. Urbanization and its effects on Canadians

Focus Questions:

1. What characteristics define Canadas urban, rural, and remote communities?

2. What are some of the advantages and disadvantages of living in urban, rural, and remote places?
3. What factors influenced the location and development of urban centres in Canada and the world?
4. What issues contribute to urban growth and decline, and what impacts do urban growth and decline
have on urban places?
5. What does the term urbanization mean in terms of Canadian cities?
6. What social issues surround urban centres?
7. How can we work towards solutions to social issues in urban centres?

Learning Plan
# Lesson Activities Assessment
Day 1 Collaborative Activity/Whole-class - Assess students prior knowledge of
1 Discussion: In groups of 4, students urban, rural, and remote places (during
brainstorm the characteristics of Canadas collaborative/whole class activity).
urban, rural, and remote places. Teacher then - Observe how students work in small
invites each group to share their ideas with groups and as a whole class.
the rest of the class. Teacher then uses the
information from the groups to develop a
class generated list on the whiteboard.
2 PowerPoint lecture on the differences N/A
between urban, rural, and remote places.
Presentation is supported by images and short
Day 3 Students complete a written assignment that - Assess students ability to apply their
2 is composed of fact-based questions and new knowledge and use critical thinking
opinion-based questions. The assignment skills (assess assignment).
focuses on the advantages and disadvantages
of living in rural, urban, and remote places.
Day 4 Working individually, students conduct Assess students ability to work
3 online research to compare the different independently while completing in-class
services offered in urban, rural, and remote assignment (observation).
communities. Students choose one urban - Assess students ability to form their
centre, one rural town, and one remote place own opinions and give reason for their
to research. arguments (assess research assignment).
- Assess students ability to locate
(research) specific information on the
- Assess students ability to think critically
about the differing services offered in

urban, rural, and remote places (assess

research assignment).
Day 5 In an effort to identify any patterns or trends, -Assess students ability to contribute to
4 students share their findings from the urban, discussions in small group settings
rural, and remote services assignment with (through observation).
their peers (small groups).
6 Teacher demonstrates how to properly use an - Assess students ability to locate and
atlas (coordinates, glossary, symbols, etc.). label major cities on a map using an atlas
Students are given a list of major Canadian, (assess map assignment).
American, and world cities to label on blank
Day 7 The teacher uses PowerPoint and videos to - Assess students ability to work in pairs
5 discuss the factors that influence urban and research specific information about an
location and growth. In pairs, students urban centre using the Internet (assess
conduct online research to compare and worksheet).
contrast the emergence of London, New
York, and Tokyo.
Day 8 Show video called Canada Vignettes: Flin N/A
6 Flon to introduce students to the idea that
different Canadian cities have different
9 Using the course textbook, students conduct a - Assess students ability to collaborate
group reading activity on the different types and cooperate with peers to do a reading
of urban centres (e.g. industrial, tourist, assignment.
service). Individually, students write a half- - Assess students summary assignments
page summary of what they learned from the to see if they were able to grasp the main
chapter. ideas presented in the reading.
Day 10 Students get creative and draw their own - Assess students maps to see if they
7 realistic urban centre. This activity essentially understand that different urban centres
ties together much of the content discussed serve different functions and have
over the past six days. different services.
Day 11 Teacher uses PowerPoint, short videos, - Assess students participation in the
8 images, and statistical data to introduce mock society activity through observation.
students to the topic of urban growth and
decline. Then, students take part in a whole-
class activity that requires them to simulate
the process of urban sprawl and urban decay
(this requires students to move around the
room and rearrange furniture).
Day 12 In pairs, students analyze statistical data from -Assess students ability to think critically
9 Canadas Census Metropolitan Areas about why cities have grown/declined
(CCMA). Still in pairs, students answer a set (assess the CCMA worksheet).
of questions based on the statistics they - Assess students skill in articulating their
studied. For homework, each student writes a reasoning and justification for urban
two-page research essay on a Canadian city growth/decline in their chosen Canadian
of their choice that is experiencing urban city (assess essay).
Day 13 Using PowerPoint, images, and Google Street - Assess students ability to collaborate
10 View, teacher introduces students to the and cooperate with peers (through
phenomenon of gentrification. In groups of observation).

four, students collaborate to generate a list of - Assess students ability to conduct online
pros and cons. Teacher then facilitates a research and organize their findings in
whole-class discussion to allow groups to concise paragraphs (assess paragraph
share their ideas. As homework, students answers).
research a city of their choice and briefly
describe (in one or two paragraphs) how
gentrification is affecting that urban centre.
Day 14 Students are introduced to the urban social N/A
11 issue of homelessness. A guest speaker from
Siloam Mission discusses what the
organization does for the people who use its
services as well as what those services are.
Day 15 Individually, students work on a WebQuest - Assess students ability to work
12 that focuses on the issue of homelessness in independently and conduct research online
Canadas urban centres. (assess WebQuest answers).
Day 16 Teacher introduces students to formal letter - Assess students letters for evidence of
13 writing. Using what they have learned about social awareness.
urban homelessness, students write a letter to
a local politician outlining their concerns
about the issue in their city. Prior to mailing
the letter, each student has their letter
reviewed by a peer.
Day 17 Students write a unit test that includes - Assess tests to determine if students
14 multiple choice, analysis questions, and understood the major themes and topics
opinion-based questions. discussed throughout the unit.

Accounts of Students Strengths and Needs

Strengths Needs
- Good No information No -Usually avoids No - Has a learning
conversational available information any type of information disability.
Seth skills when available class available - Reading is
interacting participation problematic for
with peers and (e.g. takes a the student
adults. backseat in (fluency and
- Expressing discussions). comprehension in
humor comes -Although he particular).
easy to him. tries to do - Struggles with
- Has much assignments at spelling as well as
common his desk, he organizing
sense. often thoughts in essay
disengages and format.
becomes easily -Has great
distracted. difficulty with
math facts (e.g.
addition, division,
- Struggles to
understand and
attempt math
word problems.
No - Although her - Her No information - Has Cerebral No information
information fine motor cognitive available Palsy (a available
Jane available skills are abilities are nervous
affected, she is average. system
able to write impairment).
with her right - Has
hand. increased
- Uses a muscle tone,
walking frame which affects
indoors to her legs more
overcome her than her arms.
balance - CP impacts
problems. her body
- Is able to movement,
travel for long therefore
distances in a hindering her
manual ability to
wheelchair. physically
-Her physical perform tasks.
limitations -Due to her
have not exceptionality,
impacted her her writing

ability to cope pace and

independently legibility are
at school. compromised.
No No information -Responds -Has Attention No -His academic
information available very well to Deficit information performance in
Troy available hands-on Hyperactivity available Language Arts
activities in Disorder and Math is
Science. (Predominantly slightly below
Inattentive). average for his
-Has grade level.
acquaintances, - Assignments are
but struggles to usually submitted
form lasting after the due date.
friendships. - Has trouble with
- Maintaining organization (e.g.
concentration losing textbooks
in 75 minute and binders).
classes is
-Functioning No information - Overall, he - Due to his No No information
at a very high available is functioning behaviour information available
Josh level socially. at a very high exceptionality, available
- He is quite academic he has a
popular with level. tendency to be
his peers. -He has strong rude and
- He is oral language disrespectful to
curious, and skills. the teacher
often displays - He enjoys (instances are
intense problem becoming more
concentration. solving. frequent).
- Is highly - Works well - Will often
motivated to independently. argue with the
perform well - Has a variety teacher over the
(perfectionism of interests content being
can have both and abilities. presented in
a positive and class.
a negative - Tends to be a
effect on the perfectionist
student). (can have both
a negative and
a positive effect
on the student).

SEB = Social, Emotional, Behavioural
P = Physical

Demands of the Classroom on Students

According to Manitoba Education and Training (2006), all students have individual

abilities and needs, and all students have the right to benefit from their education. For this

reason, teachers must reflect on the demands that they make of their students in the classroom

before they begin making adaptations for students with exceptionalities (Hutchinson, 2017, p.

35). In particular, this includes assessing the social/emotional/behavioral, academic, and physical

demands of the class. With regard to the urban places unit plan, it is evident that collaborative

learning, lectures, independent assignments, and reading exercises are the most common

classroom activities. Therefore, the average lesson requires students to engage in social

interaction, concentrate for long periods of time, and be proficient in grade-level reading.

Homework, on the other hand, consists primarily of online research and formal writing.

Consequently, students have to possess both academic writing skills and digital literacy skills in

order to succeed. This unit also requires students to write a cumulative test based on two weeks

worth of content. If a student has difficulty with content comprehension, reading, or

concentration, they may have trouble performing well on the formal test. In fact, everything from

inattentiveness to physical disability can impact a students success on summative assessments.

According to Hutchinson (2017), it is also imperative that educators address the physical

demands of the classroom (p. 26). Although the urban places unit involves a lot of seat work,

there is one activity that requires students to circulate throughout the room repeatedly. If a

student has an exceptionality that compromises their physical movement (e.g. Cerebral Palsy),

they may have difficulty fully participating. This can lead to feelings of isolation and anger for

the student. On another note, students who are unable to write due to a physical impairment

might have great difficulty fulfilling the many writing demands of the unit.

Based on all of these considerations, it is safe to say that no classroom is homogenous.

One student may have exceptional academic and social skills, while another student may struggle

to read one full sentence from a book. For this reason, teachers cannot assume that their

classroom demands are appropriate and realistic for every learner. Instead, teachers must find

ways to ensure that all students (exceptionality or not) can be responsible, active participants in

the classroom (Manitoba Education and Training, 1996, p. 2.9). This can be difficult, as teachers

may encounter hundreds of mismatches that either need to be taught through, taught around, or

accelerated through (Hutchinson, 2017, p. 227). Whatever the exceptionality, students must be

given equal opportunities to meet the learning outcomes in ways that are adapted to their needs.

Seth (Exceptionality: Learning Disability)
As a student with a learning disability, Seth has difficulty with class participation,

concentration, reading, and spelling. Since the urban places unit plan incorporates many

collaborative learning activities, it would be neither appropriate nor practical to eliminate all of

these exercises because of one students exceptionality. Instead, it would be most beneficial if

Seth could somehow become an active contributor during group activities. In fact, Hutchinson

(2017) reports that collaborative learning often leads to improved self-esteem and classroom

success for exceptional students (p. 300). During lesson activity 1, for example, it would be

appropriate for the teacher to create diverse groups. A diverse group could include an

academically strong student, a student with excellent conversation skills, an average student

(academically), and a student who needs extra help. Seth is a natural conversationalist, but he

might not understand the content as much as the academically gifted student. Therefore, Seth

could take on the role of group leader. Essentially, his job would be to make sure that everyones

voice is heard. This might involve saying Lets hear from Paul next or Thats a great point

Michelle. Although Seth would not necessarily be discussing the content, he would be using his

conversational skills to keep the activity flowing. Since he would not have to worry about

discussing the actual content, he may feel more comfortable being part of the conversation.

Through this process, Seth will hopefully learn about the characteristics of Canadas urban, rural,

and remote places from hearing his peers discuss them. On another note, Seths peers might learn

some of the conversational skills needed to lead a group activity. As he experiences more

collaborative activities with diverse groups, Seth will hopefully become more confident in

sharing his thoughts on the topic at hand. By lesson activity 13 (pros and cons of gentrification),

he may very well feel comfortable being a contributor of information or a recorder of group

members ideas (using word processor for spelling/grammar). The most important thing is to not

isolate Seth from group activities just because of his exceptionality. After all, Seth will never

become an active participant if he is not immersed in structured group activities where he has a

defined role.

Since Seth has trouble with reading comprehension and spelling, he may have great

difficulty completing assignments that focus on reading and response. During lesson activity 9,

for example, students have to write a response to the textbook chapter on different types of urban

centres. With this particular activity, it would be beneficial to use the scaffolded reading

experience technique. This would involve pre-reading activities (e.g. pre-questioning and

predicting), during-reading activities (e.g. oral reading by students) and post-reading activities

(e.g. writing). For less-skilled readers like Seth, the teacher could read part of the chapter aloud

and help the group of students understand the main ideas. For a post-reading activity, Seth could

write a short summary of what he learned, and supplement it with a visual representation. In

order to help Seth with his spelling, he could type his summary using a word processor. This

would enable him to use a spelling and grammar checker. In fact, it would be appropriate to let

Seth use a word processor for most (if not all) written assignments. Essentially, this would help

him to see where his trouble spots are with regard to spelling/grammar. Since Seth is in grade 10,

it is likely that he would be receiving help from a resource teacher to improve his reading

comprehension and spelling skills. Therefore, it is important that the teacher gives Seth ample

opportunities to practice these skills. During lesson activity 16, it would be beneficial to Seth if

he wrote a formal letter like the rest of his class. In this case, it would be appropriate for the

teacher to help Seth organize and edit his writing. Essentially, this scaffolding can help Seth

grow in independence as a learner and a writer. Seth may also benefit from peer-assisted

learning. According to Hutchinson (2017), peer teaching has been effective in helping students

improve their reading comprehension (p. 299). Therefore, if Seth were to be placed with an

academically stronger student for pair assignments (e.g. lesson activity 7), he may be able to

improve his reading abilities.

It is also noted that Seth has concentration problems, especially when he is completing

assignments at his desk. In order to help him overcome/improve this problem, the teacher needs

to take Seths interests into consideration. Instead of writing a two-page essay on urban decline

(lesson activity 12), Seth might want to create a video, draw a picture, or make a diorama. The

important thing is to give Seth an opportunity to make his learning experience relevant to him. If

making a short video on urban decline is interesting to him, it is more likely that his

concentration and motivation to meet the learning outcomes will be greater. Aside from adapting

daily activities, the teacher also needs to consider the summative evaluation. Since Seth has

concentration and reading comprehension issues, he may not grasp the unit content as much as

his peers. Therefore, Seth could benefit from a one-on-one review session with his teacher, and

extra time to complete the assessment. According to Hutchinson (2017), it is also suggested that

teachers record the test questions so that poor readers can listen to them during the test (p. 270).

Other useful adaptations for Seth might include underlining and bolding keywords, using simple

words in test questions, and making the print larger (Hutchinson, 2017, p. 270). So, with some

extra time, help, and test adaptations, Seth would be able to meet the learning outcomes in ways

that are respectful of his needs.

Jane (Exceptionality: Cerebral Palsy)

Although Jane has a nervous system impairment that affects both her fine and gross

motor skills, her cognitive abilities are average. Therefore, it would be inappropriate for a

teacher to have different learning expectations for Jane because of her exceptionality. According

to Hutchinson (2017), teachers must treat students with cerebral palsy as normally as possible

and not underestimate their ability to learn and participate (p. 133). With regard to the urban

places unit plan, Jane should have no trouble participating in collaborative activities, engaging in

whole-class discussions, and listening to lectures. Writing activities, on the other hand, have

proven to be difficult for Jane. In this particular unit, students are required to complete map

labelling activities, written assignments (e.g. essay, letter to a politician), and a summative

evaluation. These demands will be difficult for Jane to meet because her writing pace and

legibility are compromised. For this reason, it would be appropriate to let Jane use assistive

technology that would enable her to communicate her ideas in a legible way. During learning

activities 3, 16, and 10, Jane might benefit from using a laptop computer. With this technology,

Jane would be able to type her ideas using a word processor. For activity 10, Jane could create

her urban map using a computer graphics application like Microsoft Paint. Not only will

computer technology make Janes work reader-friendly, but it may also help her keep up with

her peers. Although this bypass strategy could be beneficial, it is important that Jane doesnt

become dependent on assistive technology for writing. There is a very good chance that Jane has

worked tirelessly to be able to write with her right hand. Therefore, it is crucial that teachers give

her opportunities to utilize this strength. For lesson activity 6, Jane might use a pencil to label the

maps just like her peers. Since map labelling is a less demanding writing task, it is a great

opportunity for Jane to practice and improve her writing skills. This, however, would not be a

realistic demand if Jane were writing the urban places unit test. In this case, it might be

beneficial to allow Jane to complete the test orally or use assistive technology (e.g. word

processor, speech to text application). With both of these options, Janes academic success would

not be dependent on her ability to write legibly in a given amount of time.

The last mismatch to consider is Janes inability to fully participate in activities that

involve physical movement. In particular, lesson activity 12 requires students to circulate

throughout the room and rearrange furniture to simulate urban growth/decline. In a situation such

as this, it is important that Jane does not feel isolated and left out. Jane could participate in the

activity with the help of her walking frame, but her safety might be compromised when 24

students are moving quickly around the room. The most appropriate option would be for Jane to

act as the facilitator and read the different scenarios to the class. Essentially, this would enable

Jane to meet the learning objectives and be an active participant in the lesson.

Troy (Exceptionality: ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive)

As a result of having ADHD, Predominantly Inattentive, Troy has difficulty

concentrating for long periods of time and meeting assignment deadlines. When studying the

urban places unit plan outline, it is evident that the majority of lessons incorporate a diversity of

activities. On day 6, for instance, students watch a video, participate in a group reading activity,

and work on an individual assignment. By incorporating a variety of different activities into one

lesson, the teacher can help students like Troy become more interested and engaged in the

content. Essentially, instructional variety can help keep the classroom stimulating. According to

Hutchinson (2017), it is also beneficial to incorporate ten-minute breaks into daily lessons (p.

79). If teachers give their students time to stretch, get a drink of water, or simply walk around the

classroom, the students are more likely to be motivated, productive, and successful. Short breaks

are especially important for students like Troy who get easily distracted and off-task. It is hoped

that the breaks and the diversity of activities will have a positive impact on Troys concentration


Nevertheless, Troy is still going to have difficulty with organization and assignment

deadlines. It is highly probable that there is a correlation between Troys inability to submit

assignments on time and his organization problems. If a student has ADHD, it is recommended

that teachers provide a predictable, structured environment and communicate explicitly to

ensure that all students understand prior to starting an activity (Hutchinson, 2017, p. 79). One

way to accomplish predictability would be to set deadlines for daily progress toward assignment

completion (Hutchinson, 2017, p. 79). Lesson activity 12, for example, requires students to write

a two-page essay on urban decline. While other students may have five days to complete the

assignment, Troy may be given seven. The teacher could sit down with Troy and create a

schedule for his essay completion. For example, Troy finishes the introduction on day 1,

completes the first body paragraph on day 2, etc. This way, Troy can have a structured plan that

will help him feel more organized and less overwhelmed. With regard to the unit test, it would be

appropriate to provide Troy with more time to complete the evaluation. Although Troy would be

answering the same questions as the other students, the test design could be adapted to reflect his

needs. According to Hutchinson (2017), teachers can create ADHD-friendly materials by using

larger fonts, leaving more white space, and bolding and highlighting key information (p. 79).

The last thing to consider is Troys inability to form lasting friendships with peers. Judging by

the learning plan, it is evident that the urban places unit includes a number of collaborative

learning activities. This could work to Troys advantage, as frequent social interaction in class

can lead to the development of friendships. This is especially true when teachers place students

into pairs to complete assignments. Fortunately, this unit plan incorporates a fair amount of pair

work (e.g. lesson activity 7). Although this may be uncomfortable for Troy in the beginning,

collaborative learning has the potential to help students with ADHD gain the confidence that

they need to have successful social interactions.

Josh (Exceptionality: Behaviour Disorder)

Judging by Joshs strengths and needs assessment, it is evident that he is an academically

and socially gifted student who strives to achieve high grades. Based on his other academic and

social/emotional/behavioural strengths, it is safe to say that Josh would have no difficulties

meeting the demands of the urban places unit plan. Although Josh is successful in many areas, he

has become increasingly rude and disrespectful with his teacher. Part of this disrespect involves

arguing with the teacher over the information being presented. Since Josh appears to be

academically gifted, his inappropriate behaviour may be partially caused by frustration over a

lack of challenging work. Therefore, it may be appropriate to allow Josh to complete an

assignment that requires more critical thinking and problem solving skills. Instead of writing a

formal letter to a politician about homelessness in urban centres (lesson activity 16), Josh might

write an essay describing how he would combat homelessness in his city.


Aside from making assignment adaptations, it is also important to take other actions to

prevent or lessen instances of inappropriate behaviour. According to Hutchinson (2017), students

with behaviour exceptionalities benefit from structure, predictability, independence, and frequent

feedback with consequences (p. 85). In order to achieve this, teachers need to set clear

behavioural expectations, establish clear classroom procedures, set fair consequences, and

develop excellent rapport with each student (Manitoba Education and Training, 1996, p. 2.8). If

the teacher incorporated these considerations into the urban places unit plan, the entire class

would benefit. Developing rapport with students like Josh is especially crucial, as it helps

teachers understand the students interests and goals. Furthermore, it lets the student know that

the teacher cares about them and their success. If the teacher found out that Josh loves maps,

he/she might allow him to draw a highly-detailed map of a declining urban centre in place of a

short essay. If Josh is able to draw connections between his interests and his school work, his

behaviour may improve for the better.



Hutchinson, N. (2017). Inclusion of exceptional learners in Canadian schools: A practical

handbook for teachers (5th ed.). Toronto, ON: Pearson Education Canada.

Manitoba Education and Training. (1996). Success for all leaners: A handbook on differentiating

instruction. Winnipeg, MB: Author.

Manitoba Education and Training. (2006). Appropriate educational programming in Manitoba:

Standards for student services [PDF file]. Retrieved from