Activity Plan 5-6: Architects at Work
Children will build on what they know to make new discoveries
- Grades: PreK–K
Ready-To-Use Teaching Idea: Block Building
- books about architects and architecture including Castles* by Gallimard Jeunesse (Scholastic Inc.; $12.95) and Building Shapes* by Susan Canizares and Samantha Berger (Scholastic Inc.; $3.25)
- magazines such as Architectural Digest and travel brochures with photographs of buildings
- art materials including child safety scissors, glue sticks, large sheets of brown mural paper, drawing paper, and pencils
- blocks and block props including vehicles, plastic people, fabric, plastic plants, rocks, pencil, paper, and tape
Objective: Children will engage in a block-building activity to develop language, math, and fine-motor skills.
- Write the word architect on a sheet of chart paper. Tell the class an architect is someone who designs the construction of a building. Encourage children to share what they know about architects and people who construct buildings.
- Then write the word architecture on the chart paper. Explain that this word describes the style of buildings such as skyscrapers, castles, and row homes. Show them pictures of a variety of buildings. Invite them to create a list; of different types of buildings found in their community. What are the specific buildings used for?
- Divide the class into small groups. Give each group several magazines or catalogs and ask them to find pictures of buildings they find interesting. Give them safety scissors so they can cut out the pictures.
- Invite children to share the pictures they chose with the rest of the class. Ask them to describe why their buildings are interesting. Encourage the class to use words to describe the shape of the buildings, types of materials used, decorative qualities, and where they were built. Place a large sheet of brown paper on the wall surrounding the block area and invite children to glue their pictures on the paper.
- Tell children they will each have a turn to be architects who work together to design and build a building. Divide the class into groups and develop a schedule for each group to build. Provide each group time to work together to plan their buildings. Give them drawing paper and encourage them to draw their ideas. After they have built their structures, invite each group to present their building to the class.
Curriculum Connection: MATH
Building Shapes: Take children on a walk to identify different types of geometric shapes found in neighborhood buildings. Prepare a sheet of paper for each child listing different geometric shapes and their names. Place the sheet on clipboards for children to carry on their walk. Encourage them to find the shapes as they observe different buildings. Children can also place drawing paper on their clipboards and draw interesting building facades.
Building a House by Byron Barton
Buildings by Betsey Chessen and Pamela Chanko
Roberto: The Insect Architect by Nina Laden