Cowboy Bob Builds a Community


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Howdy Partners. I just rode into this ghost town and can see from some of the buildings that it once used to be a booming community. I am not sure what happened to force all the businesses to close up but I think we should work together to rebuild it and get folks to move back to it. With a little hard work and some cleaning we could get it back to where people would like to live here again. Let's give it a whirl!


You will begin to rebuild the ghost town selecting buildings/services that you think a community needs in order to grow. You will tell why the buildings and services you suggest are necessary, and what each one will do for the people of the town. You will determine for each new business you recommend, whether it produces a good or a service. You will also determine which businesses provide goods and services only to people who pay for their products (for example, restaurants, grocery stores, and gas stations) and which ones provide goods or services for the good of the public (for example, the post office, city hall, a waste-water treatment plant, act.) and are paid for by taxes.

Businesses or service agencies that are established for the good of the public could include law enforcement agencies, fire departments, 911 call centers, public schools, water and sewerage departments, highway and street departments, parks and recreation facilities and other support services.

Business that provide goods or services only to people who pay for them could include grocery stores, energy companies, phone companies, clothing stores, cable/satellite television providers, wireless Internet providers, cellular phone stores, gas stations, restaurants, hardware stores and shopping malls.

You will determine which of these businesses or agencies are paid for by taxes and which ones depend on money spent by customers who pay for goods and services.


Directions: Discuss the following questions with your classmates:

Why do you think this ghost town has returned to life? 

What types of businesses have returned to help bring the town to life? 

Who are the people that are necessary to make a town work?

Why are taxes important to a community? How does tax money help to bring in new businesses into a community and help communities to grow?

What services would you want to find in a community you were thinking of moving into?

What are some business that you would like to have in the community that you are living in?

Keep these questions in mind as you work to select the new businesses or agencies that will be part of the new community. Some of the additions you recommend may be provided by taxes (for example, law enforcement services, the post office, schools, and the fire department.) Others will be businesses selling goods and servies (for example, clothing, hardware, food, gas, and legal services) that are paid for by the people who buy them.


  • Select various buildings from a large selection to help bring the ghost town to bring it back to life.
  • What is necessary to have in order for a community to grow? Some things are nice to have in a community but not absolutely necessary in order for it to function.


Make a map of your community. Label all of the important services that are located there in one color and all the supporting services that make it a better place to live in another color.

Go to your city's website to find out more information about each service and what it provides to the community.

You can also Click here  for an online interactive activity.


  1. Design a map, make a model, write a report or give an oral presentation on what you feel are the most important businesses in your community.
  2. Chose a business that currently is not in your community and write a letter to the city mayor explaining why you think it would be a great idea to have this business move into town.