Building good citizens
For our mixed Year 2 and 3 class, we tackled the theme of going green and improving the local community by getting the children to build a model village together.
An instructor from a company called Young Town Planners came into the school with a huge amount of Lego and talked about the logistics of building houses: how to overlap bricks to ensure the structure was sturdy and how to leave space for windows and doors.
Once the children had made a start on their buildings, the instructor showed them how to level the bricks off to begin building the roof.
When the pupils had finished, they placed the buildings together to form a town and gave it a name.
They were asked to think about a variety of issues, such as where they wanted their house to be (near a road or hospital?); what features they wanted to include (shrubs, fence, flowers?); what type of building they had made (house, church, doctor's surgery); and who would live or work in the building.
The lesson was to promote citizenship by recognising the choices they can make about where they live, and focusing on how to make the community a better place.
After the session, I discussed with the children how they had made their community a better place for everyone to live.
They were keen to place their houses next to their friends' because they got along, and they wanted to have a garden with trees and flowers to attract wildlife.
Pamela Izerkhef is standards leader and teacher at Britannia Village Primary School in Newham, London.