Each child took turns adding and gluing a shape to our 'paper' structure, the only rules being - start at the bottom of the paper, and the paper blocks should be touching. (That led to an interesting side discussion of floating in space and gravity). However, when we used a few blocks at the table for a guide, they could see why the blocks would need to touch on paper, to work in the finished project.
Our finished designs, ready for building.
The next time our groups met, we created what we designed using real blocks.
As the children created block structures using their own designs as guides, it was interesting to see if their designs would work. And if not, why? This opened up many discussions of why it's important to design real structures first, such as bridges and buildings in real life. The entire project had so many levels of learning for the children. Starting with thinking about how to create a design using only their imaginations - to actually building what they designed. Afterwards, their designs stayed in our block area for a long time, so all the children could try to build the designs from other groups as well.
It was a fun learning experience for all!
Photo above links to book at Amazon