Children at the pre-kindergarten age learn best through experiencing the world directly around them. It presents them the opportunity to ask questions and make connections about their own lives. The five day pre-kindergarten class will be making model houses as a wrap up to our inquiry into homes in our community. By learning about the homes in our school’s community along with our own homes we are creating concrete connections and a platform to ask questions.
The five day class chose two homes in the St. James neighborhood to study and analyze. We looked at the materials that the homes are made of, the type of construction to build the home and the steps that we would have to follow to create these homes. We also looked at the differences and similarities between these two homes. One is much older and made of wood the other is newer and made of brick. By doing this with both homes that we can observe and analyze in person we are able to make meaningful connections to the community.
The Chicago fire was a major event in our city that restructured most of the city and the way it was built afterward. The class looked into the age of the buildings to discover if they were in an area devastated by the fire and how the materials they were built out of would have helped or hindered them.
We will be spending project week working making a plan and carrying it out, working together and collaborating and on our presentation skills. To help us hone in on these skills we have a coordinating project for each goal. The main project and presentation being the creation of our own model homes.
We have spent time talking about the sequencing, or order, that needs to be followed when creating a home to help us understand the plan that is laid out and how workers follow it. By doing this we now know what the sequence is for creating a home. We will be making a plan of our own to complete our model homes and then carrying it out.
The students will be creating these homes in small learning groups. This will give them the opportunity to work with their peers and collaborate on their learning. By working in small groups we are also giving the students a chance to share the information they know with their peers.
Our final skill is presenting the information. On Friday parents and families are invited to come to our classrooms to see all of our hard work and allow the students to “teach” them about the subject. By giving students an audience that they know well we are enabling them to perform at their best.