While studying geometry, my kids create a city on four tables at the rear of my classroom. Some students are assigned the responsibility of creating the natural features like lakes, hills, and rivers by placing construction paper where they are located. Others design roads and bridges and consider the use of other modes of transportation. Some work on the development of the business areas, while still others design needed municipal services, recreational areas, and housing. At home, the students create a 3-D building or facility to place in the town.
After the city has been created, I ask my students to provide a written mathematical description of the building they designed. They are expected to use geometric descriptions using area, perimeter, volume, angles, measurements of distances, etc. The kids have very interesting discussions about placement of the buildings, modes of transportation, and how they impact development and other issues cities grapple with as they develop.
My students voted this their favorite activity of the year. The cross-curricular connections with this are numerous.