Categories : Lesson Plan of the Week
When it comes to teaching city engineering, urban planning and responsible budgeting, Cities: Skylines has no peer. Depending on the lesson, students can either begin building their own city from scratch, fix problems with an existing one or design difficult scenarios of their own.
Read on below for a quick look at the basic gameplay, one of the lessons available for the game and some additional thoughts on how to use the game in your classroom!
Playing the Game
In Cities: Skylines, your students serve as the mayors of their own virtual cities. Basic gameplay consists of building roads, zoning areas, budgeting and providing services for citizens. Just like real mayors, your students cannot directly control what kinds of buildings their residents erect or where exactly they work. Instead, it is their job to provide sufficient infrastructure and make sure their citizens can find what they need.
Careful budgeting and listening to your citizens are crucial skills when playing Cities: Skylines. Sometimes, the choices can be rough: will you invest in a few small clinics or save up for a hospital that can meet the needs of everyone in your small town? There are always many wants and needs, but that will not grant you an infinite budget. You as the teacher can do so, though, for a wholly different playing experience that will let your students really unleash their creativity.
This lesson has your students fix the problems of an existing city that comes, ready-to-go, with the game. Though an otherwise booming metropolis that benefits from a very powerful economy, the city is hopelessly backed up with constant gridlocks. Only by utilizing public transportation, smart urban planning and consolidating major arterial roads can students hope to succeed.
Each TeacherGaming lesson focuses on a certain theme that is crucial both in-game and for any 21st century classroom. These include human development, environmentalism, urban planning, economics and healthcare. Cities: Skylines also works as an inherently creative exercise, where the limit is your students' imagination.
Cities: Skylines and Your Classroom
The game is a good fit starting from tweens all the way up to adulthood. Though younger students might enjoy (and benefit from) the game as well, its concepts and sheer complexity can make it too challenging for them.
When it comes to teaching urban architecture, planning and engineering, there is no equal for Cities: Skylines. Infrastructure, city services and policies are all simulated with intricate detail, making what happens behind the scenes tangible for your students.