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Re: architecture

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From: Sandy Bacon (sbacon_at_TeacherArtExchange)
Date: Wed Nov 20 2002 - 21:35:41 PST


I introduced architecture to my 2nd graders this year while visiting the
Middle Ages. We looked at several different castles in books and on the
Internet, down-loaded to protect the innocent. There is also this silly
old book entitled something like "What Does It Feel Like to be a
Building?" If you are interested, I will look up the author and confirm
title. They have to bend and imagine how strong they would have to be,
what would be the best building material, etc. We talked about the
materials from which castles were made, how long it took to make them,
different styles in different countries, who lived in them, and the many
rooms and buildings. They loved learning about the nooks and crannies
where soldiers would hide to dump things on the heads of their enemies.
 We talked about location, sides of cliffs or river moats which often
surrounded and protected the castle.

After all of that, we looked for familiar shapes within the castle both
geometric and free-form. I have to retrain myself to say "figures"
because that is the word used on the proficiency tests. I gave them
different shades of gray paper plus black which had been cut into
various sizes of rectangles, squares and triangles. Man, they went to
town constructing their paper castles and gluing them onto light blue
backgrounds. No drawing was allowed. After they had constructed their
castles, I had them stamp paint white stones with small rectangular
pieces of sponge. The porous sponges gave the castles great texture!

I have been very diligent about encouraging the children to take their
time and take pride in their work. One of the ways I do this, is they
are required to then mat their art work to make it look important,
finished -- like a piece that hangs in a gallery or museum. They glued
their 12 x18 pictures onto black 18 x 24 pieces of construction paper.
 Have you ever seen the hole punches in the Sax catalogue that pop out
swirls, stars, circles, etc.? Well, they had to create a patterned
border our of punched yellow construction paper shapes. They love these
gizmos! The pictures take on a nighttime feel and look really good. I
did these at the beginning of the year and the kids don't want me to
take them down out of the hallway. They still like to hang out and
fantasize about their kings and queens, and knights in shining armor!
They are so funny. Hope this helps.

Sandy

West Friedman wrote:

>Does anyone have a lesson to introduce architecture to 2nd graders?
>Any book to recommend?
>
>
>

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