About the project
The focus of the Class 1 project was understanding the need and significance for a home. Conducted over 7 weeks, our project became an enjoyable introduction for students to the different kinds of shelters found world-wide, the kinds of construction materials used in them, and the layout of a typical house. The project theme was integrated with music and art classes, and the programme included videos, meetings, and a visit to a construction site. Above all, the children developed the ability to collaborate and find information as they worked together in groups.
The project opened by the students viewing an animated film, followed by a discussion on how the characters in the film needed a house to protect themselves from the weather, thieves, and animals. Working on a mind map and a worksheet, students concluded that a shelter was essential, even for animals, because it provided comfort, safety and security.
They went on to identify different types of shelters used in the world using a booklet, slides, flash cards and a world map, provoking discussions on why people built houses differently and how they constructed them. Students were able to explore new concepts like geographical location and natural resources in relation to this topic.
Technology aided the children in connecting with fellow-learners in faraway Assam, and they enjoyed sharing information about where they lived and learning about the stilt houses in Assam. Children gained valuable insights into house construction while listening to and clarifying doubts with an architect about the process of designing and building a house. They also visited an actual construction site to understand the basics of building technology from a mason.
Artistic skills and imagination came into play when children drew up floor plans for their very own dream homes and constructed three-dimensional models in collaboration with older students. Learning English and Hindi songs about houses added to the enjoyment of project sessions. Modelling huts using clay taught the students a valuable lesson — that clay houses were not completely weather-resistant or durable. Worksheets, quizzes, ‘Friday Projects’ and the models of different types of houses and huts constructed by the students — all assisted in assessing their progress, leading to the culmination, where they constructed a 3D model of a city with the variety of houses they built during the project course.
The project culminated with the students showcasing the 3D houses they built and a 3D city formed with these houses, in a whole school assembly. The students also presented their learning during this assembly attended also by their parents. The assembly began with the enactment of the play ‘Three Little Pigs’, where the children demonstrated the need for animals to have shelters too. This was followed by a ‘question answer’ interactive session for the parents. Finally, the children sang the songs about houses that they learnt during their Indian and Western Music classes.
What was most engaging about the project was the enthusiasm displayed by the children to approach the integrated activities and that their final presentations displayed an achievement of all the learning objectives. The willing participation of parents, especially in helping the children complete their ‘Friday Projects’, was another noteworthy feature as was the real-life connect, when the students drew up a questionnaire, interviewed an architect, saw a house being constructed and interviewed students in Assam on Skype about their houses.