Futuristics combines a language arts unit
by Pat Shea-Bischoff and a technology unit by Louis Velez. Science
fiction is explored as a genre in both poetic and short story forms.
In addition, students conduct a research study using a Delphi
technique to "predict" the future from the "seeds"
of today. After creating a futuristic city in technology class,
students describe their cities through composition. Famous futurists
such as Buckminster Fuller, Leonardo DaVinci, and Walt Disney are
introduced. The lives and foresight of these prominent men are studied
by conducting Internet searches and by reading biography. Finally, three-dimensional cities are designed and
Students use mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and
engineering design to question, seek answers, and develop solutions.
They access, generate, and transfer information using appropriate
technologies, and apply technological knowledge and skills to
design, construct, use, and evaluate products and systems to satisfy
human and environmental needs.
A computer with Internet access is needed, along with a computer
art program (AppleWorks, for example) and SimCity 2000 software.
The intermediate school students involved in this program are
average and above average academically. They have a basic knowledge of
both word processing and computer art programs, as well as a general
knowledge of Internet search engines and their utilization for
research purposes. They each have access to an individual computer in
a lab setting. This program is recommended for drafting classes,
social studies, or as a unit in problem solving or futurist workshops.
Students read multiple genres including science fiction, newspaper,
science books, poetry, and biography based on a theme. They write creative prose and poems, descriptive expository text, and responses
to literature; listen to and discuss responses to reading with peers
in literature circles and process data to draw conclusions by reading,
writing, and discussing their research findings.
This program engages students in a creative problem-solving
experience and enables them to explore the future through literature, research,
interview, and discussion, and
their accompanying graphic display/design empowers multiple
Collect samples of 3-D images for students to examine. SimCity 2000 software is currently more user-friendly for
students at the intermediate level who are not familiar with the
program. Older students or those previously oriented to the
program may enjoy SimCity 3000.
About the teacher:
Louis Velez has been teaching for more than 28 years in the New
York City public school system. He has taught both special and
education students in elementary and intermediate schools. Louis
taught computer classes at IS 24 in Staten Island for many years.
He has received several individual and team teacher grants to develop his
Pat Shea-Bischoff has been teaching in New York City Public
School 24 in Staten Island, New York, for 34 years. She is currently
serving a second term as International Reading Association Coordinator
for New York State. In addition, Pat recently earned a PhD in
Language, Literacy, and Learning from Fordham University, where she is
an adjunct assistant professor in the Curriculum and Instruction
Division of Graduate Education.
Areas: Computer Science