Building Imagination: curriculum

[Each class is different, but here were the last several weeks of a particularly strong class a couple years ago.]

Dear Parents,

Thursday is our final class.  You are welcome to come early, to watch or play with the children.  Their final challenge:
Build something that doesn’t exist. 

Gulliver: our tallest student had to get on on tip-toe on top of a chair on top of a table in order to complete.

Gulliver: our tallest student had to get on on tip-toe on top of a chair on top of a table in order to complete.

There has a been a rhythm to the sequence of challenges I have given them.  In the past few weeks we’ve had:

Building Gulliver — teacher-led, the tallest and most impressive structure we have built

Decide what you want to build — it was their call, the opposite of Gulliver.  They ended up building a city complete with zoo, runaway dinosaurs, garbage dump, police and ranger station

Build the school — our most representational project, in which we began by taking a “field trip” through parts of the school. I built them a miniature of a chair in the classroom, which they thought was very cool.

Build an abstract sculpture  — or as I said it to the children, “build something that isn’t something and  that looks cool.” I first demonstrated two aesthetic criteria, balance and pattern, which many incorporated into their creations.

and finally this week, Build something that doesn’t exist — abstract or representational, their choice, but hopefully using balance and pattern. In our initial discussion, I will try to nudge them towards building something together. but that may be beyond them.  Most of their work will be without my assistance.

Gulliver, taking away one block.

Gulliver, taking away one block.

They have gotten much better at building together.  You may recall that the dragon they built a couple of months ago, judged by their abilities now, was a fiasco.

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