Each year, Class 1 embarks on a yearlong interdisciplinary study of community which helps build their creativity, imagination, empathy and curiosity. Throughout the year, their study is informed by the essential question “How can we build an equitable, sustainable and innovative community?” Using recycled materials and engineering skills learned in science, they begin to bring their thoughtful creations to life.
On Friday, June 2, remarkable buildings were displayed across tables in Gym 1 for the girls’ “Build Showcase,” which was preceded by a special Community Play for Class 1 parents and guardians. The room boasted schools, shelters, toy stores, playgrounds, libraries, hotels and so much more, all constructed by our talented first graders.
As families marveled at the array of residential and commercial structures, Class 1 tour guides explained that when discussing the needs and wants in a community, they determined that homes, education, health, food, government and transportation were essential.
“The heart of our community lies in its people,” explained Class 1 teachers. “It was important that the community members we created reflected not only ourselves but the diversity we see in New York City.”
During Español, each student created a “mini yo” (mini me) puppet which was displayed next to the building they designed. Each station was also equipped with a QR code that brought viewers to a special page that allowed them to listen to the students share more about their project in Spanish or view parts of their process (choreography sessions in Dance, for example).
Students drew inspiration from their homeroom studies to inform their Community Play, the creation of which began in their Drama classes. The process launched with students brainstorming a list of “community helpers” (fire fighters, teachers, doctors, etc.) followed by imagining themselves as said helper. Through this exercise, they developed creative dialogue and settings for the play.
In Dance, students worked with partners to bring blueprints and buildings to life through movement, and created dances inspired by their community helpers’ jobs. In Music, the students discussed what qualities make a community and practiced singing special songs to warm up their vocals.
Great job, Class 1!
Browse photos of the community place and build showcase below.