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Books for Inspiration

February 18, 2011

“How did they build it like in the middle of the water [moat]?  Look at it from the inside.  I wish I could live in this castle and have like dinner.”

What I love about children is that they can get inspiration from almost anywhere – something as simple as looking at the sky can open a discussion with a million questions. A piece of cardboard on the playground can be treasure.  Triangle shaped paper can turn into a mountainous creation.  They incorporate ideas into their work easily, and watching them do this is unbelievable.

Large picture books made for adults are typically relegated to coffee tables, but we’ve found them quite useful in the classroom lately.  When students were focussing on building “Lebanon City” over the last few weeks, we got books about the world’s skyscrapers, Frank Lloyd Wright, Islamic Architecture, and English Castles.  The blocks’ area was dominated by a group of about five boys before, but these books did an incredible job at tugging the interest of most children in the classroom, involving them someway in the building of the city. 

As students marveled at the pictures, sitting with them was a lesson in itself – a lesson about their own relationships with architecture.  I heard stories about old family buildings that are falling apart, “very very VERY” tall apartment buildings, churches, mosques, and stairs.  Looking for books that coincide with their interests has helped their thinking move forward, and made the play in our classroom rich.

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2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 20, 2011 4:41 am

    Beautiful post. I hope you continue in this direction. Would love to hear more of the children’s stories, and yours too.

  2. Katy Jenkins permalink
    February 20, 2011 12:02 pm

    How amazing Lauren and really fantastic that so many have become absorbed in this project.

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