Many Fridays, I report on a wonderful website or project my classes and parents love. This one is teaching architecture to youngers:
Three projects over six weeks and your students will learn about blueprints, room layout, dimensions, and more. Plus, they’ll understand how to think about a three-dimensional object and then spatially lay it out on paper. This is challenging, but fun for first graders.
Spend two weeks on each projects. Incorporate a discussion of spaces, neighborhoods, communities one week. Practice the drawing, then do the final project which students can save and print. Kids will love this unit.
- First, draw a picture in your drawing program of the child’s home. If you don’t already have a class favorite, check this list. Many have architecture tools so show students how to find them. Have kids think about their house, walk through it. They’ll have to think in three dimensions and will soon realize they can’t draw a two-story house. In that case, allow them to pick which rooms they wish to include and concentrate on what’s in the room.
- Second, visit Classroom Architect and design your classroom with drag-and-drop pieces. I showed a sample first, drawing suggestions from the entire class to come up with the layout. Students had to think about where tables and storage was relative to other items. This became a good lesson in visual thinking. After I drew the sample on the class monitor, all students developed their own.
- Third, build a virtual neighborhood in Mr. Rogers:
By the time students have finished this three-week unit, they’ll possess the rudiments of design.
Jacqui Murray has been teaching K-18 technology for 30 years. She is the editor/author of over a hundred tech ed resources including a K-12 technology curriculum, K-8 keyboard curriculum, K-8 Digital Citizenship curriculum. She is an adjunct professor in tech ed, Master Teacher, webmaster for four blogs, an Amazon Vine Voice, CSTA presentation reviewer, freelance journalist on tech ed topics, contributor to NEA Today, and author of the tech thrillers, To Hunt a Sub and Twenty-four Days. You can find her resources at Structured Learning.