In the Classroom: The Peanuts
Building from the ground up
The Peanuts have been investigating buildings of all sorts. We started with a discussion of the different aspects of buildings, such as the foundation, the walls, the roof, the floors, and built collaborative sculptures during meeting times.
The Peanuts were encouraged to talk through their building process, fostering a deeper understanding of why they placed blocks the way they did, and how the structure could be used.
We saw their buildings become more and more elaborate, as well as much larger, as our focus progressed.
We discussed safety and how both the construction workers and the people in buildings stay safe. The Peanuts used this information in their buildings as well, making note of how many people could be in it at a time, making sure their structure was well supported, and wearing hard hats while building.
The Peanuts also used our city as a tool in our investigation. From our classroom we are able to see many different buildings. We counted roofs, talked about the height of different homes, and made note of things that could not be seen from the ground, such as AC units and chimneys.
We talked about aspects of architecture while on neighborhood walks – What buildings have porches? How can you tell a building is a business or a home? What is the structure made from?
We visited Cira Green, a rooftop park with incredible views of the entire city. We talked about the park, green space in an urban environment, and how it is sustained. We could event see (and talk about) the stadiums!
And now for the animals
After spending most of our focus discussing structures built for, and by, humans the Peanuts followed a natural progression to discussing animal homes.
We started with a discussion of pets. Friends shared about animals they live with and those they wish they could have.
We made nests out of string, sticks, and other loose materials from our recyclateria. We ventured outside to collect natural materials like sticks, rocks, grass, fallen leaves, and dirt to create more realistic habitats.
The Peanuts looked for animal and insect homes on our nature playground. We found birds’ and squirrels’ nests, spiders, crickets, and even spotted the hawk flying above the playground.
Nearing the end of our focus, the Peanuts build more elaborate and collaborative sculptures, identify various features of architecture and parts of buildings, and have gained a deeper understanding of the habitats of both people and animals.