Take a look at six detailed Unit Plans that include Visual Ranking Tool activities to engage students in discussion of priorities and decision-making.
Grow a Business: Why take the risk?
Grades 3-5, Mathematics, Social Science, Language Arts
Elementary students become entrepreneurs and develop business acumen by marketing flowers for Mother's Day. They survey schoolmates to determine flower popularity but also learn that they must consider market price and profitability. The Visual Ranking Tool helps students set priorities, debate differences, and seek consensus as they make important business decisions in order to grow their business.
Playground Design: How can our voice be heard?
Grades 3-5, Mathematics, Social Studies
Elementary students apply creativity and problem-solving skills as they design a new playground for their school campus. Taking the role of project planners and architects, students use the Visual Ranking Tool to help them prioritize a list of desirable equipment, compare their priorities with those of their schoolmates and the faculty, negotiate differences of opinion, and share their thinking with school and district decision makers.
What are the Chances?: What's fair?
Grades 3-5, Mathematics
Students analyze simple games of chance, explore probability, and use the Visual Ranking Tool to rank the chance of an event happening. Students become inventors as they design a game for a toy company describing the rules for play, explaining why the game is fair, and present the game to the board of directors.
Community Decisions: How can we make a difference?
Grades 6-8, Social Studies
Middle school students represent different constituency groups that live within their community as they learn how to participate in community decision-making processes. They conduct a needs assessment to collect data on possible ways to develop a vacant lot, use the Visual Ranking Tool to prioritize the responses, and then present their conclusions to a Community Advisory Committee.
Mystery Elements: What drives people to find an answer?
Grades 6-8, Language Arts
Emerging student writers un-wrap the clues to writing by dissecting mystery stories. They use the Visual Ranking Tool to prioritize literary elements in order to help themselves create their own compelling mystery.
National Energy Plan: How can we make a difference?
Grades 9-12, Social Sciences
High school students assume the role of a senator serving on an energy subcommittee and develop a national energy plan that provides for the future economic and environmental welfare of our country. Using the Visual Ranking Tool students evaluate and rank several energy proposals before reaching consensus on a viable energy plan.