Document Sample
					                            THE REDISTRICTING GAME

Materials:    Redistricting gameboards (on transparencies)
              dry-erase markers
              data sheets

Introducing   Explain to students that this board represents a fake city, Fakopolis. Each
the game to   symbol stands for a census block of 5 people. As you can see, Fakopolis
students      has seen some population shift since its districts were created 10 years
              ago. (Show board on overhead as you introduce the game.) You can see
              that people moved into this area of the city, away from here, etc. Your
              task is going to be to redistrict the city so that the people are more fairly

              Model how you might draw districts based solely on population. The goal
              is to create five districts containing 50 people (or 10 symbols) each.
              Remind students that districts should be geographically continuous and
              compact. After drawing continuous and compact districts, talk about why
              there might be a problem with this plan. Show students the data sheet, and
              discuss whether or not districts based solely on population are meeting the
              needs of all the residents of Fakopolis.

Play          Pass out data sheets to students. Each data sheet explains the concerns of
              the people represented by each symbol, in order of importance. If desired,
              each type of symbol (stars and circles) can represent a different
              race/ethnicity. (This complicates the game by throwing in a factor that
              cannot legally be the sole basis for redistricting, allowing students to play
              with how it can be factored in and justified along community of interest
              lines). Students must draw districts taking into account these communities
              of interest. Districts may deviate by only one symbol from the target
              population (10 symbols), although no deviation is more desirable.
              Students should be prepared to explain why they created their districts as
              they did. (For the purposes of later discussion, also have students mark
              where on the map they began when creating the districts). Districts must
              be continuous and reasonably compact.

Discussion    After all groups have finished creating their redistricting plans, have
              groups bring their completed map to the overhead and explain to the group
              why they did what they did. Depending on the time available, other
              students can challenge or ask questions about the plan. After each group
              has presented their plan, lay all of the plans on top of each other to get an
              idea of the differences between them. It is likely that there will be
              sections that are in the same district in everyone’s map, and sections that
              are different on each map. Discuss the fact that all the plans are valid
plans, and that it comes down to powers of persuasion when convincing a
city, county, state, etc. to choose one plan over the others.
Jobs                                  Housing (own)                Housing (rent)
Housing                               Health care                  Crime
Health Care                           Schools                      Jobs

Neighborhood conditions               Neighborhood cond.           Neighborhood cond.
Schools                               Drugs                        Housing (own)
Transportation                        Transportation               Schools

Each symbol = 5 people

Target: 5 districts containing 50 people each

Factors to consider:
1. Target population (deviation of one dot only allowed, but not desirable)
2. Geographic continuity and compactness
3. Communities of interest

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