©2020 By E. R. Smith
Building inspiration for The Where We Live unit for UPK means time to draw and color a chart made from student direction. Calmly talking about the buildings I’m drawing; shapes I’m using, stimulating the visual learner. Using positional words, I add vehicles to the sky above and the street below. Making sure I draw every child’s suggestion, to the best of my ability. We will add more and more as the week progresses then they will tell me their suggestions for colors. My friends love to watch me color in class charts and add their reflections with a sticky note. They ask, “Ms. Elizabeth is that my story?” I nod yes and remind them to show their families later in the day at pick up time.
Afterward we build a diorama of New York City. Small groups will be responsible for decorating structures, buildings, skyscrapers, traffic signals, The Diamond District, shops, Central Park’s pond, sail boats. Word acquisition is my goal, along with nurturing cooperative learning, and hands on learning.
The following weeks’ centers will be a hustling bubble of activity as children paint cities, tell about their paintings, draw communities and tell about their street. They will build with Legos, blocks, and interlocking cubes. Children will work in small groups to add windows, wheels, jewels, and etc. to the three dimensional model of this city. The ownership they’ve been given of their unit will expand their awareness, their world connections, their creativity.