On Friday, we expanded our Community Unit to include the question: What does your house say about you? The kids and I (Mrs. S) read, The Big Orange Splot, a story that makes you consider how a home, both inside and out, reveals aspects of a person's interests and choices.
After the discussion, we began designing our own Dream Houses. Using a house inventory, the children decided on a house shape, room selections, and backyard features. They mapped their home and yard while developing a key for their maps and designs. As we continue our work next week, the children will develop drawings of their homes as viewed from the street. Each child's home reflects an enormous amount of creativity and consideration for what he or she would truly want and need in a home. The discussions between children, the sharing of ideas and the feedback received provided priceless learning opportunities.
Now that brainstorming and designing shaped our Dream Houses, the children will be given a budget in order to purchase land, construct their home, and pay taxes in our virtual community. Some children may need to revisit their designs once they know their budget. Using the Smart Board, Mrs. M. designed a map of our community's land and now the children will need to "move in," build homes, and develop the jobs, government, and services to run their town. The land has a river, different kinds of geologic formations, and other Ohio-based habitats such as forests, prairie meadows, and swamps.
The IMA students are very excited about this project to say the least. Their town will serve as an anchor for learning about government, economics, mapping skills, civics, and problem solving. The town's events and problems will inspire writing in many forms. Our reading work continues to explore the ideas that individuals make a difference in a community and communities are influenced by its members. The projects will create infinite learning opportunities and both the children and teachers are ready to see what happens next!
We will keep you updated as the town evolves. We are planning a Learning Celebration for December and will let you know the date very soon for planning purposes. Thanks for your continued support!