Home Sweet Home
The PreK-3 construction lesson started by focusing on a building quite familiar to the students – their own home. Students brought in an exterior photo of their home and discussed structural features including shutters, windows, lanterns and doors. They also discussed similarities and differences among each other’s homes.
Ask the Experts
Students had the opportunity to see a neighborhood map when architect/designer and PreK-3 parent Mike Hogstrom spoke to them about the design and building process. In addition, landscape architect/pool designer and PreK-3 parent Jeb Barber spoke to the class about ways to beautify the exterior of a home. Children placed model trees on the project map and had the opportunity to plant flowers of their own. Many even went home and transplanted the flowers to their own yards. The class also learned more from books as teachers read aloud works such as, “How a House is Built” by Gail Gibbons and “Dreaming Up” by Christy Hale.
Students enjoyed the opportunity to test their own building skills as they constructed forts, fairy houses and sand castles, using foam blocks and Legos. They heard the story of the three little pigs and made stick houses on the playground. To end the project, students even had the opportunity to construct mixed media houses to replicate New Orleans artist James Michalopoulos’ bold paintings.
While students certainly had a great time creating their structures, they were also achieving important milestones. Students acquired new vocabulary words, were introduced to new concepts and learned to think of themselves as a part of a larger community.
Over the course of the year, the students have truly gained the building blocks for learning. It won’t be long before they are studying the blocks of the periodic table outside of the Academic Commons!