Begin by following suggestions found in the Brooklyn Historical Society’s, Tour Your School. Have students present their sketches and observations of their school. What did they learn as a result of exploring their school building? Discuss with students the idea that design can impact relationships and learning in the school setting. How would things like wider or curved hallways or a different shape for their classroom change their experience?
Students will develop their understanding of architectural design by creating a new design for their classroom. Begin by having them survey the classroom and what already exists as well as patterns of movement and how this affects interactions with each other and the teacher. Have students consider what things in the classroom are visually distracting or if there should be more to look at. Think about light, ventilation and how the desks are arranged. Pass out graph paper and have students work in teams to come up with a new design for their classroom. Each group should get a chance to present and implement some of their ideas.