Activity Plan 4-5: Under Construction!
Ask children to put on their thinking caps (or hard hats!) for this activity!
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Ideas: Art
- Books including the Machines at Work series published by DK Publishing, Inc., and Construction Zone by Tana Hoban, Creenwillow Books
- Collect pictures of building machines, construction sites, and construction workers
- Toy construction vehicles
- Chart paper and drawing paper
- Markers, colored pencils, pencils
- Language and literacy
- Social studies
- Social awareness
Invite an architect, building engineer, electrician, heavy machine operator, or construction worker to your class to discuss his/her work. Ask children to develop a list of questions to ask the guest.
Share a book with children that introduces the topic of building construction. Develop a language experience chart to record important information learned from the book.
Reread the book the following day. Ask children to think about the sequence of building a house or building. Explain that first an architect must design or draw the inside and outside of the building so workers know what to build. Ask children to think of a building they would like to create. What would it look like? Who would live there? Would it be a long building or a tall building? Provide children with drawing materials so they can create building plans. Invite all the "architects" to share their building plans.
Use books, photographs, and toys to introduce children to different types of construction vehicles and machines needed to build a home. Create a chart and list each machine, so children learn the names of the machines and their functions.
Discuss the different types of workers needed to construct buildings, including structural engineers, electricians, plumbers, brick workers, carpenters, welders, and heavy-machine operators.
Develop a chart with children to summarize what they learned about the stages of constructing a building, the workers, and machines needed. Display the charts and the children's "building plans" in the block area.
Remember: Within your school community, there may be parents or spouses of colleagues who work in building construction. Invite the construction expert to your class to discuss his/her work.
Machines in Our Neighborhood: Explain to families that children are learning about machines. Ask families to take their child on a walk through their neighborhood or a shopping center and point out different types of machines they might see.
CURRICULUM CONNECTION: BLOCK BUILDING
Construction Site: Change the block area into a construction site complete with safety signs, hard hats, work clothes, plastic tools, tape measures, and toy trucks. Arrange for children to work in small groups to create a building using the building plans they created.
B is for Bulldozer: A Construction ABC by June Sobel (Harcourt Brace & Company, 2003; $16.00)
Building A House by Byron Barton (William Morrow & Company, 1990; $6.99)
Digger (Machines at Work Series) by Nicola DesChamps (DK Publishing, Inc., 2004; $8.99)