Rewinding. How did we get to constructing a hotel?

Often we ask the children to rewind their memories, to think back on what we have done, in an effort to make new sense of our work. This blog post is a rewind. It is an effort to show how the hotel construction evolved.

After a small group thought about the work in the playground sandbox through drawing, a second small group met to think about how our back sandbox might lend itself to this building project. The group brainstormed possible tools and materials we might need.

“I know who has a drill.  My daddy has a drill.  It drills in nails.”  Charlie

“We need wood.  We could carve the wood.  We could carve them the same.  I could show you a book that does it.  It’s in this book.  See this picture?”  Brooke

“I’m showing them going side to side.  Rocks and sticks make sparks to go into the vent.  it’s for the tube of heat to make it warm.” Chester

7. Beams, 8. Sticks

All the talk about stones, wood, bricks, cement, wheelbarrows, and shovels led Charlie to consider a different kind of tool.

What about a smaller model and then we make a bigger one?  Cuz that’s what real construction workers do.  A mini-model Charlie

Hey, we could use Legos to make the mini-model!  Chester 

And so, we brought this invitation to the whole group. Individuals created several models and by the end of the week, a small group began to work together around one larger model. More children joined in the effort. In the end, in a unanimous vote, all the children decided to use and add to the group model that had incorporated so many ideas.

The main components of the model hotel include: Swimming pool, diving board, life guard seat, slides, parking garage, elevator, doors, windows, roof, balcony.

The walls are the trickiest part cuz you have to find the right pieces.  Ryan

These are separating different rooms.  Brooke

This is a parking garage.  Ray

What should I make, guys?  Zaahra


You can do anything.  Brooke 


I can make the bottom of the pool.  Maren


Oh, a window!  Two windows!  Oh! This could be a life guard seat!  Zaahra


This could be a part of the roof?  Jane 


This could be a faucet.  Doesn’t the hotel need a tub?  Maren

There is a balcony, a sitting place to look out in the sun.  Birdie


That part, it’s a pool.  That’s why this white piece is hanging out.  It’s a diving board.  You need a soft and watery surface to land on.  Vivian


That goes up and down when you put a circle on one of those X sticks it goes up and down like an elevator.  Chester


Or maybe this could be a part of the security camera.  Zaahra

If we’re building a hotel we can make it all together!  Zaahra


Yeah, we’re making an awesome hotel. You can join!  I think everyone likes it, right guys?  Brooke

Using the mini-model as a reference, a small group then measured and created a blueprint for everyone to follow.

Children used pixel blocks to measure the sides of the model.

Children traced the lines and removed the pixels.

That’s a block that’s missing.  Graeme

We are making the perimeter.  Birdie (tracing with blue) 

Look how straight this one (line) is!  Ryan

The lines that are inside!  We haven’t even done that yet.  Ryan

They counted each pixel rod and transferred the perimeter measurement onto graph paper.

Where’s the real one?  Ryan

I’ll count them.  Ryan

So they can connect.  Graeme

I accidentally counted… Birdie

I don’t think you should start on this one cuz this is part of this line.  Charlie

Wow, a big blueprint! Birdie

[A blueprint] is a type of construction. We need to build a hotel , it's a plan. Charlie

I know what a blueprint is cuz our house in Martha's Vineyard and I saw the blueprint. I saw there's upstairs and downstairs. For the builders. Lyla

It's a drawing of what you're going to build and you've already studied it. Graeme

I think (we need a blueprint) because we're building a hotel in the sandbox. Birdie

With the blue print, a small group began to construct.

…to tell you where you have to dig.  Jane

"The foundation and the pipes came first." Ryan