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Terrace Town

Terrace Town Program

Since its inception in 2000,Terrace Town has introduced architecture and community design to over 2500 elementary school students and educators.

The program aims to teach students how cities are planned, what makes a quality city, and how citizens can participate in the improvement of their community.

The program also trains teachers in using the built environment- buildings, streetscapes, neighborhoods, communities- as a resource for subjects they already teach, including social studies, math, science, or the visual arts.

The nationally recognized "Box City" curriculum provides a framework for classroom activity. Lessons emphasize:
*"reading" the visual language of your surroundings for information about the past and present
*discovering the unique character or "sense of place" of your hometown or neighborhood
*evaluating your community and identifying any aspects that do not work
*proposing a solution and redesigning, using cardboard boxes to model ideas

Terrace Town is a biennial program comprised of the following events at Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center:

Teacher Workshops A fall workshop provides curriculum training and resources to educators enrolled in the program.

Terrace Town School Day Schools come to Monona Terrace in early spring and install their cities in the Exhibit Hall. They participate in a busy half-day of learning activities and a ribbon-cutting ceremony.

Terrace Town Open House On the following day, members of the community are invited to view the cities and celebrate the students’ work. Families have the opportunity to design and build in hands-on activities.

Who Participates?

Educators who are interested in using their communities- buildings, streets, parks, and more- as resources for learning. The Box City curriculum is appropriate for all grades and subjects. Elementary schools in Dane County may participate in Terrace Town events in March.

Design Professionals who want to share their expertise with students and teachers. "Volunteer mentors"- architects, planners and other professionals- are partnered with a classroom and contribute their real-life perspective to the students' design process.

Community Organizations concerned with the quality of city life have the opportunity to contribute materials, speakers, and other resources to classrooms, and to participate in the Terrace Town event.

The Community At Large can see the future of their community through the eyes of students at the Terrace Town Open House.


For more information or to receive an informational video about Terrace Town, please contact:

Heather Sabin
Monona Terrace Community and Convention Center
One John Nolen Drive
Madison, Wisconsin 53703
(608) 261-4015
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