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Lesson Plans

Architectural Awareness - first and second grade

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JudaOrlandi, Marilyn (Marilyn.JudaOrlandi)
Wed, 13 Aug 1997 11:51:00 +0002

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Dear Kara,
You said:

>..Dear All,
>I am looking for ideas on using architecture in the art classroom at
>any age level. Do you have any great web sites, or lesson ideas or
>crerative uses for teaching art by using architecture?
>Kara English

This is a lesson I did successfully with my first and second grade
students...After having noticed that they all seemed to do the stereotype
box houses with pointed roof, square door and window...I thought it would be
a good idea to stretch their awareness to the different kinds of houses that
exist in the world.

I keep picture files off all sorts of subjects, which I collect from
magazines, etc. and one of my files is entitled HABITATS. So I got out
pictures of all different kinds of habitats, from castles to Arab tents in
the desert, from thatch roof cottages to igloos from "southern" houses with
balconies and terraces to pointed roofed "northern" houses....houses of
wood, houses of earth and dung patties, houses with carved decorations and
dwellings carved out of rock .....we had discussion about different climatic
needs and why you would not build a house with large glass windows in the
desert, and why a pointed roof is advisable where it snows a lot....we
looked at columns, porticos, patios and different shapes and sizes of
windows and doors....skyscrapers in New York to better utilize space and
underground dwellings in North Africa to keep cool.

The kids were asked to search in magazines and books at home and bring in
pictures of as many kinds of dwellings as possible. Then the assignment was
to use their imaginations and "invent" a house for themselves using whatever
elements they wanted to use and afterwards explaining the reasons for their
choices. The kids had great fun (One boy even designed a house for his dog
along side of his house design)
.....sure....Frank Lloyd Wright would have turned over in his grave at the
results but at least they weren't drawing stereotyped box houses any more,
and it did make them aware of architecture.

By the way, does anybody else make use of picture files. I find them to be
most useful.
Marilyn Juda-orlandi
Rome, Italy

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