Good Wood

reInterpret has wood in many shapes and sizes -squares, rectangles, sticks, triangles and random polygons.

WP_20131028_005Children love working with wood. It feels real, solid, permanent, sturdy. It lends itself nicely to building and experimenting with different types of structures.

-What type of house can you build? Who lives there? Children will naturally create a story with characters and, often, themselves at the center. Would the children like to write or retell a story based on their building creation? Can they use their creation to illustrate the story?

-Can you build to the ceiling? (Provide a ladder). Be prepared for many failed attempts that provide opportunities to learn about structures and stability. Lead children in reflecting about what could be done differently to get an improved result. Is it only WP_20131028_004the foundation the affects stability? What type of planning should take place? Children will discover the many effective ways to create stability and go “higher”.

Wood can be used to create a two-dimensional plan of any space or environment.

-Can you use the shapes two-dimensionally to map your neighborhood? Where does your neighborhood intersect with your classmate’s neighborhood? Inspire children to collaborate with classmates. They will work out solutions to spacial challenges and get excited about “connecting” to their friends’ neighborhood map.

WP_20131028_003How else can wood be used in your classroom? Does it fit in with math or science? What about art? How can the pieces be used over and over in multiple ways?

What ideas do the children have for using wood? Can they describe their ideas using drawings or text? How will the planning influence the outcome of the project?

After projects, allow time for children to participate in picking up and organizing the wood in the classroom. By doing so, they will view the wood pieces as valuable and meaningful materials.