First Grade Neighborhood Build

The first grade students spent 6 weeks studying the inner and outer workings of the neighborhood that encompasses Sea Crest School. They talked with a historian, discussed the differences between WANTS/NEEDS and GOODS/SERVICES, went on several field trips which included; the fire station, water treatment plant, a walk down Main Street, a beach walk and a trail hike. The children talked about what most neighborhoods have and why their neighborhood (the coast) is special. After the study, using the knowledge they collected during their investigation, the students spent 4 days intensively creating a 3D model of a neighborhood using ‘junk’ that had been collected from home. They started by deciding what goods and services belong in their neighborhood. Each student chose a box for their business and residence. They paint their boxes, made signs for their businesses and adorned their structures with windows, awnings, outdoor gardens and lights, however they saw fit. They were encouraged to be as creative and innovative as possible. The students laid out the neighborhood (with a lesson from a former city planner) and strategically placed their buildings and open spaces. They painted the roads, beach, and grass. They drew lines and parking spaces on the street. They made the ‘extras’ they had seen on their Main Street walk like: street lights, street signs, bus stops, bus shelters, fire hydrants, benches, planter boxes, bike racks, trash and recycle bins. All of the students worked in a design program called Tinkercad to design some of the ‘extras’ and some were printed on the 3D printer. The students suggested names for the neighborhood and voted democratically on ‘Friendship Town’. They did the same for the street names; Respect Road, Sharing Way and Caring Drive. At the end the students celebrated with their family and peers at our Friendship Town ribbon cutting where the mayor of Half Moon Bay cut the ribbon with her big scissors.

Does your school do something similar?

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