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Colorful Castles

Why do some buildings look different than others?

  • Directions

    1. Collect clean, recycled boxes, such as cereal or gift boxes and milk cartons, foam produce trays, and paper-towel rolls. Glue the openings shut using Crayola® School Glue. Allow to dry overnight.
    2. Gather a variety of pictures of various building types. Ask students to find the similarities and differences between the pictures. Document student contributions using a classroom white board and Crayola® Dry Erase Markers.
    3. If possible, organize a downtown field trip for student to observe the types of buildings in their home neighborhoods. Take digital cameras on the walking trip to document what building types you see. Print student pictures using a classroom computer and post their pictures in the classroom for easy viewing.
    4. Share with students that they will begin creating their own structures during today's activity. This will require them to put on their Crayola® Art Smocks and to spread recycled newspaper on their work areas. Provide students with Crayola® Washable Kid's Paint to students, poured into flat containers or recycled aluminum pans, and So Big® Brushes.
    5. Allow time for students to paint the boxes in self-selected paint colors. While the painting continues, talk with students about what they have observed about buildings, using their pictures as stimulus. Allow boxes to dry overnight.
    6. It's time to build! Provide time in the school day for students to manipulate their painted building blocks. What can they create? How are their building creations similar to what they see in their pictures?
    7. After students are satisfied with their physical structures, allow them to draw doors to their buildings, as well as windows and other building elements using Crayola® Washable Markers.
  • Standards

    LA: Participate in collaborative conversations with diverse partners about grade level topics and texts with peers and adults in small and larger groups.

    LA: Use words and phrases acquired through conversations, reading and being read to, and responding to texts.

    VA: Use visual structures of art to communicate ideas.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Building a House by Byron Barton; Iggy Peck, Architect by Andrea Beaty; Roberto, The Insect Architect by Nina Laden; Goodnight, Goodnight Construction Site by Sherri Duskey Rinker

    Invite students to investigate the purpose of various buildings and structures. For example, The local grocery store was build to house food that they can purchase and eat. The doctor's office is designed with rooms or areas where people can improve their health and has specific instruments to check up on people's health. Students use background and experiential knowledge to share in this discussion. Document student contributions on a classroom white board. Ask students to organize their contributions. Can they see any patterns?

    Discuss community helpers with the class, including firemen, police, doctors, nurses, librarians, teachers, etc. When on your downtown field trip, notice how their buildings are similar and different from each other. Students replicate a specific type of building, such as a fire station. Students can give their building a name, such as "Speedy Fire Station," and make themselves firemen for the day.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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