The Rise and Fall of the Mall



  Happy Friday everyone! Are you feeling inspired today? I know I am, why you might ask? I see inspiration everywhere and one piece of inspiration hit me while I was driving to my school today. I was passing by a well known mall in the area that has been around for a good 30+ years. Despite hard economic times and changes in the community, the mall has continued to thrive through the generations. As I was thinking about this, I was remembering three malls that I visited during my childhood and later my teenage years that have either been closed and demolished or are in the process of being closed. I also started to think about what lead to these malls closing and why strip or mini malls are starting to rise again in the community. That’s when I it hit me, a great business and history lesson all rolled into one that can be put together several different ways and several tech ecosystems and would take a good week to finish. Let’s get started.


  • 1. First the teacher describes about what a mall is and the class shares their memories on visiting the mall, where they shop and where they go. They also talk about what stores they have seen close or expand during their visits. The teacher asks: “Why is this?” “Why do some thrive and others fall apart?” The students then go off to create a lesson on the Rise and Fall of the Mall.
  • 2. Students do research, usual Google or Spotlight searches with either their iPads, Chromebooks or home computers the first day.
  • 3. Students then compose a mini report on their findings and then build both a strip mall and regular mall with legos and do a pros and cons.
  • 4. Students then can do one of two things depending on the teachers and their school tech program. 
  • a. Have students create video documentary explaining the rise and fall of the malls through both a historical and business POV using Apps such as iMovie, iMotion, Shadow Puppet Edu, Green Screen, Tellagami, Keynote or 30Hands. For Chromebooks they can use Google Slides, We Video, Go Animate, Screencastify.
  • b. If you are a Minecraft Edu School, have your students build both types of malls, both indoor and outdoor and have students see the differences between the two both inside and out. 
  • 5. Have the students then present their findings on the mall and what they learned as a result. 


 This entire lesson should take a week, it teaches: research, community, business finances, creativity and social structure. Give it a try today.


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