For the past 4 weeks we have been deeply investigating communities and the buildings within them. We studied our community and talked about the buildings and resources we have within it. We talked about how and why communities grow and change. Then we took a good look at WHY buildings are in our community- what purpose/function do they have? Are they for shelter like houses? Are they for entertainment like movie theaters? Are they there to provide food like grocery stores?
Then we had fun taking a look at some pretty interesting buildings in other parts of the world and specifically buildings made by Hundertwasser (architect and painter-love him!!!).
The kids were challenged to think of a building that they would want to see in their community and explain what function it would provide for the community. We sketched their building idea, named it and wrote it's function/purpose.
The following week we began construction!! Oh my has construction been a BLAST!!!! I was the city commissioner ;). I bought a crazy amount of wood pieces for them to build with and we used wood glue to bind them. They were given maximum height and width requirements and I teased them that the commissioner would knock their building down if it exceeded those guidelines. It was great for the younger grades to get even more familiar with rulers and measurements.
They had to stay as true to their sketch as possible. This week we began to paint them. Each class came up with a name for their class "city" so we have "Downtown Dillinger", "Clark Country", "Mitchelson Mountain" and several other clever variations. In the following weeks we will build roads, plot the buildings, design traffic patterns and then see if our imagined community would actually succeed on it's own ;).
I wish you could hear the dialogue that has gone on between the kids while we have been working on this project. I feel the "spark" in the room that I'm always aiming for- it's been awesome!!
I'll update more as we complete them!!