Today, K-5th grade students enjoyed the opportunity to spend the school day with each other!
Every day, K-5th graders always act with kindness and compassion towards one another. Today, they got to work with each other to build a delectable house!
Six groups, mixed with K-3rd graders, led by a 4th or 5th grader, took it upon themselves to build gingerbread houses. An easy task, you may think--- not so easy of a task, it was! Each group quickly discovered that it was not as simple as placing gingerbread walls against each other and placing a roof on top. Some groups realized that some gingerbread pieces were more fragile than others. Others realized that the amount of frosting mattered, either helping or hindering the gingerbread build. Although quaint and traditional an activity, the building of a gingerbread house, even from a kit, is a task that requires STEAM thinking, skills, components, and processes.
Problem-solving was also on full display during the activity. When gingerbread house pieces did not stay put or do what was intended, groups had to figure out the remedy--- they had to solve the problem at hand. Questions considered, included:
How do we get the roof to stay? How do we get the walls to stay up? Do we need to move the chimney? Do we need to add icing here, or, remove some from there? These candy decorations--- are they more than decoration? Will these candies help stabilize the walls and roof? What is going on with our foundation? Maybe our foundation needs better support in order to support the walls and roof? Our wall fell apart--- UH OH! Is it the end of our house?!?! OR, can we re-purpose other building materials and create a house that is still functional?
So many more questions were pondered as students built the houses, from the ground up!
After contemplating and deliberating with the physics of gingerbread house design and building, students enjoyed the fruits of their labor by indulging in the houses!
Thank you to all of the families who contributed to this fun and exciting activity!!!
The students had a FUN, CREATIVE, and MEANINGFUL LEARNING experience that demonstrated teamwork makes the dream work, and, sometimes, grade levels are just numbers that don't define the students....
<3 Mrs. Katrina, Ms. Nancy, Ms. Jen, Ms. Kari, Mrs. Robin, and Ms. Terri
P.S. We had some leftover Gingerbread House kits; we are donating the kits to our local homeless shelter.