Saturday, February 23, 2013

Building Fun

This week in Social Studies we were studying houses and ways of living around the world.  In a place where most kids have mostly only visited their “home countries” on furlough but know a lot about their “home” culture through their parents, I was curious to see what would happen.   So after reading about houses throughout history in America and houses around the world, I gave the kids card stock, toilet paper rolls, glue, and scissors, and said, “Make a house!”  Here’s what they came up with.

Evidently, the activity was a success! :)

I told them they couldn’t take these home quite yet as I had another plan.  So today I moved all their “houses" into an open area, gave them paper and crayons, and told them to make a neighborhood.  I was curious to see what came out, since I had to explain the concept of a neighborhood to most of them in the first place.  But as I watched, I was amused, amazed, and thoroughly enjoyed some of the statements that came out of mouths during the process!

  • The largest house became the church.  “The biggest building has to be the church.  Because God is the biggest so the church has to be that way too.  And in the top of my church there’s a little ground where the pastor can go to pray after church.” (-J)
  • “We don’t want anyone to be late for church!  The church is in the middle of the neighborhood because – if the church was on the side, not every road could go to the church.  And then not everyone could GO to church.  And THAT would be a disaster!” (-L)
  • The smallest house (belonging to the lone boy in the class) promptly became a spaceship.  Because EVERY neighborhood needs a spaceship, especially as a shortcut to church.  “The spaceship has to be connected to the church!  This road is just for the spaceships so it can zoom along.” (-L)
  • Another house became a store.  “There’s going to be a little park where the babies can play in the grass.  And the mom’s will bring them toys.  And they’ll buy toys in my store.  And there will be markers there too, but those will be for the big kids.” (-M)
  • The kids have picked up a few things from life in the Land of Tanz for sure.  “Every kind of road needs a roundabout.” (-L)
  • “Wait!  There has to be a restaurant!”  “I have an idea!  As people are on their way to the church and they get hungry, you can give them food from a little restaurant to carry out on trays to people so they can get food.”  The spaceship owner wasn’t entirely keen on this idea since he insisted the ride to church would only take a minute… (-L&J)
  • “Who wants to help me build a swimming pool?”  “Yes!  There HAS to be a swimming pool SOMEWHERE!”  (These kids have their priorities straight!  There ended up being a baby swimming pool AND a big kid swimming pool) :)  (-M&J)
And with that?  Our Aussie-American-Dutch-Kiwi-Tanzanian-Intergalactic? neighborhood was born! :)

From L to R: The pastor's house; the spaceship; a regular house; the church; another regular house (gotta have a few of those!); the store; the baby pool and park; the older kid pool and park.

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