4th Grade Architects!

Students draw the classroom to 1/2 scale ( 1 ft = .5in)

Our 4th graders are incredibly lucky to once again be part of the District Architecture Center‘s “Architects in the Schools” program. We are now half way through our partnershis and our amazing architects from HKS Inc. have provided meaningful, exciting lessons to our students. So far, our amazing architecture team is made up of Abigail Howard, Matthew Noe, Sara Sepanski and Mindy Goodroe. Over the course of 8 sessions, our budding 4th grade architects will design  DREAM classroom for our youngest learners, the preschool and prekindergarten students!

Students have been using their sketchbooks during and between classes to keep their ideas!

Lesson One: What is Architecture? What do our clients need and want?
To get to know the wants and needs of our students, we began with interviews! Listen to the great ideas our youngest Maury learners.

During the first lesson, “our” HKS architects introduced the project to the students: creating a DREAM classroom for our early childhood students! Each team would be in charge of designing one center (blocks, dramatic play, table toys, animals or library).


Not only did our budding architects listen to what their clients had to say, but they also observed them playing to get ideas. They took copious notes in their AIS program provided sketchbooks and began thinking about what could be included in this project.

Lesson 2: Scale!
This lesson introduced the students to the idea of drawing to scale. Using varying sized chairs as models and going on a measuring scavenger hunt, students gained a deeper understanding of the importance of the relationships between items in a classroom.

Students sit in three chairs to experience their relationship to scale.

Students then took their measurements and translated them into a drawing that was created at half scale! This task challenged them to use their picture, math and people smarts.

Students measure each chair to see how the dimensions change as they get larger.
HKS Architect Matthew, helps students draw the room to half scale.

Measuring the door to help understand scale.
Measuring the table and shelves during our scale lesson.

Lesson 3: Plan, Elevation and Section
 Did you know that architects must be able to draw and create models of things from multiple perspectives?
Student looks at what Mrs. Ford would look like in PLAN view. (Plan is birdseye!)
 Our great architects came ready to teach students all about how to look at things and draw them from varying perspectives. 
Student drawings of each of the  cups in PLAN view.
Using cups cut in different ways, actual models and examples of their every day work, students learned that there are very specific ways that architects relay their ideas to others. Other topics introduced included architectural symbols and line weight.
HKS Architects Abigail and Matthew give examples of their own work to inspire students!
Students draw the three cups in plan, elevation and section.
Lesson 4: Using our 5 senses to inspire design!
Have you ever thought that when designing a space you’d need to take into account how things would smell? How about how they sound? These are important considerations for architects! Students had mystery bags that held their “sense”. They then collected inspiration related to that sense around the classroom and presented their ideas to the class. For example, those with “sound”, found things such as marbles could be included in a room to provide our client with fun sounds. One group was inspired to make a “scratch and sniff” wall by exploring the smells that could be included in their space.
Students find items in the classroom that represent their ideas for what they could “SEE” in a dream early childhood class. Other students make notes in their sketch books about the items they chose to represent their ideas for “TOUCH”. These included soft items, bumpy items and round items.
Students work with HKS Architect Abigail Howard discussing how to draw their ideas “in plan” versus ” in elevation”.
Using inspiration from their senses activity, students get to work sketching some of their new ideas for their space. These students considered creating a “dragon table” that would feel smooth, look interesting and could be used in the “table toys” center.
Over the next 5 weeks students will take all they have learned, each of their pieces of inspiration and apply it to creating models! Stay tuned for their work and their evidence of their learning!
Special thanks again to the District Architecture Center and our HKS Volunteers!!!
-Mrs. Ford

Posted in Specials Posts, Think Tank.