Urbanization Lesson Plan

Instructor: Kevin Newton

Kevin has edited encyclopedias, taught middle and high school history, and has a master's degree in Islamic law.

With this lesson plan and materials from, you'll have everything you need to help your students understand the processes of Urbanization in the 20th and 21st centuries. A group activity

Lesson Objectives

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • define the historical process of urbanization
  • analyze the role of urbanization throughout recent history


40 minutes, plus 40 minutes for the activity

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.

Key Vocabulary

  • Urban society
  • Urbanization
  • Suburbanization
  • Urban renewal


  • Start by discussing the neighborhoods that people live in. Some are rural, some are urban, and some are suburban. Discuss which types students' live in and discuss characteristics of each. Make sure students understand these three terms.
  • Watch the video lesson The Rise of Urban Societies & Current Patterns of Urbanization.
  • After watching the video, discuss the following questions with the class:
    • What sets an urban society apart from other societies?
    • What caused people to move to cities in the first round of urbanization?
    • What caused people to move to the suburbs?
    • What were the consequences of this move?
    • How are cities luring people back to the urban centers?

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