Kid Nation assignment

Kid Nation

It was a 2007 series or social experiment. Take 40 kids, aged 8 to 15 from all backgrounds across the U.S. and have them build a town.
This series, Kid Nation, takes place in Bonanza City, New Mexico.

The kids are given a town council (four leaders of four teams of kids), an old ghost town and a "diary" left by "previous" Bonanza City adult members, who were unable to make the town work.

Every three days one kid is highlighted for contributing to the success of the town. There's also a competition every three days, which determine each district's social status and responsibilities until the next challenge. The winner becomes the upper class, earning $1.00's worth of buffalo nickles to spend in the town's saloon and stores. Second place earns fifty cents and are the merchant class. The next district to finish wins the privilege of being cooks (25 cents) followed by the labourers (10 cents for cleaning latrines and hauling water).

Then there's the community responsibility: If all districts can win in a certain amount of time the entire community gets a reward. Each time there is a choice, which the kids' council make the final decision. Often the kids recognize that they are offered something that they want and something that they need.

This 14 episode series is a great learning tool about social structure, individual responsibility, personality and character traits, elements of narratives, and media (putting together a t.v. show) - deconstructing reality t.v.-deconstructing / editing/ directing a television show

Ideal audience: grades 6-9
Six specific lessons, two extensions and one culminating activity.
Autobiography, letter writing, reflection, oral discussion

Subject matter: media, reading, writing, oral/visual, IT, Arts (design and photography), character education.

Culminating activity: Personal biography including questions regarding personal beliefs and opinions.

Using a web site / blog / new media publishing tool create an autobiography.
Rubric to be added.

Page 1: Name with profile photo
page 2: photos (of you, your friends, family and doing things)
page 3: your talents (eg. drawings, podcast)
page 4 - Answer the following (choose 10)

Which world leader do you admire?
If you could, how would you change the world?
What is your idea of a neighbourhood? How could you make your neighbourhood a better place?
What did the show Kid Nation, teach you about power?
Do you think having power is a good thing?
What qualities do you think makes a person a good leader?
Who have been some of the best leaders in Canada?
Who have been some of the worst leaders in Canada, and why?
What do you think will be the biggest problem facing Canada in five years?

What do you think will be the biggest problem facing the world in five years?
If you had the power to change one or two things about Toronto right now, what would you do?
We've talked about the rights of children in class. If you could put one law into place that pertains to kids in our country, what would it be?
Do you think there is a reason that some people rich and others poor?
What is your opinion about global warming? What do you think we should do about it?
If you were in charge of education, what class do you wish that you could have as part of your schooling? Why?
Do you belong to any organizations or clubs?
If you could switch places with any person, at any time in history, who would it be and why?
If you could switch places with anyone in the present, who would it be and why?

page 5 (pick 9)
Do you have a motto?

What is your favourite quote?
Do you have a favourite video game?
List some of your favourite movies?
Do you have a favourite book?
What are your favourite colors?
What kind of music do you like?
What are your favourite TV shows?
Who are your favourite movie stars?
Do you have a favourite drink?
What is your favourite food?
What's your favourite ice-cream flavor?
What are your favourite sports team?
What kind of reading material do you pick up? What are your favorites?
Where do you like to go on vacation?
If you could go anywhere in the world, where would it be and why?
What are your favourite subjects in school?

Page 6 Family and friends
Who are your best friends?
Do you have a nickname?
If you could, who in your family would you dedicate a song to? What would the song be?
Page 7
Thoughts and musings
Do you have any role models? If so, who?

Do you have any kid role models? If so, who?
What would you do if you won the lottery?
What do you want to be when you grow up?
What would people be surprised to learn about you?
Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

Page 8
Your choice.

Lesson 1: Reality-based show and showing leadership
What makes a good leader?

Lesson 2: Setting and Character

Lesson 3: Conflict

1. What is your definition of conflict?

2. What kind of conflict are you faced with each day at school? How do you handle it?

3. What kind of conflict are you faced with each day outside of school? How do you handle it?

4. What did this episode of Kid Nation teach you about conflict?

5. Give some examples in the series so far when kids handled conflict in a positive way.

6. Give some examples in the series so far when kids handled conflict in an inappropriate way.

7. Can you add anything to your answer to question 4: What did this episode of Kid Nation teach you about conflict?
(after episode 6)

Part 2: Related: Grade 7 History
Conflict and Change lesson - Guiding Question: How can power be used in a society?

Lesson 4: Reflection questions:
How did this episode show the role of entertainment in our society?

How could this episode have turned out differently? Why?
(after episode 8)

-Students could being choosing questions and writing first drafts of culminating activity at this point.---

Lesson 5: Change
1. Pick one kid who has changed a lot during the season of the show. Explain how they changed.

2. Has your opinion of any Kid Nation kid changed at this point of the show? What made you change your mind?

3. At this point of the series...
Who would like to be friends with now (that you didn't consider before)? Why?

4. Who would you like to avoid being friends with now? Why?

(after episode 11)

Lesson 6: The FINALE..
Stop the final episode before the awarding of the final three gold stars.

Ask student to write down who they would give the three gold stars to.
For each kid, the student must list two pros and two cons.
Students share their choices with the class.
The class should come to a consensus on who the three gold stars should be given to.
Watch the ending.

Reflection questions:
1. Were you surprised about who was given the gold star? Explain.

2. Do you think the Kid Nation was successful in rebuilding Bonanza City? Give reasons.

3. What did you think of the ending to the final episode of Kid Nation?
If you could direct the finale, what would you have changed? Explain.

Extension 1:

Kid Nation 2 has still not been broadcast. Write a letter to CBS studios explaining your position on a) why there should NOT be another Kid Nation series filmed
b) why a season 2 series SHOULD be filmed

Use proper business letter format.

extension 2:

Read the following article: http://www.thestar.com/entertainment/Television/article/256385
1. Fill in the blanks: Headline: ?
Byline: ?
Dateline: ?
caption: ?
use of graphics ? (describe)

2. What is the author's point of view about Kid Nation?

3. Do you agree or disagree with the author's point of view? Explain.

4. Who's point of view is missing from this article? How would this article have changed?

5. What information or ideas did you find interesting or surprising in this article?

6. What information are you still curious about and would like to know more about?
Related / reference web site: http://www.cbs.com/primetime/kid_nation/ * This original link is no longer available.
As of Dec. 2013 see: http://www.tv.com/shows/kid-nation/episodes/

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