Second Grade Architects Design Their Dream Houses!
Shana Ryback, Lower School Art Teacher
In art class, students are learning about what it means to be a part of a community. They discussed all of the different communities they are a part of—from our families, friends and BZ community—to the city of Chicago, the United States and the whole world!
We then read the book The Big Orange Splot, by Daniel Manus Pinkwater. In the story, a community learns to rejoice in the uniqueness and individuality of each of its members as each neighbor transforms their house into their dreams. Throughout the story, the people declare, “My house is me and I am it. My house is where I want to be and it looks like all my dreams.”
Students stepped into the role of architect and designed their own dream houses. In addition to the structural considerations that go into designing a house, like the floor plans, entrances and exits, windows and modes of movement throughout, students were also asked to think about how to incorporate their interests into the overall shape and design. They were encouraged to think outside of the box and dream big! We added details and textures with oil pastels and painted over them with watercolors using a technique known as a resist. The oil in the pastels reacts to the water, resisting it and pushing the paint away, leaving the colored areas visible.
Students were asked to discuss what makes their house unique. When they are finished, these classroom communities will be displayed in the hallways for our BZ community to see! 

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