Students in Jon Kristofer’s and Casey Florczak’s 2nd grade art classes have been architects and builders the past few weeks–using LEGOs.

According to Ms. Shearill, Holmes 2nd grade Teacher: “The LEGO construction activity is a part of a Thematic Unit called ‘Welcome to Our Community.’ ‘Welcome to Our Community’ is an example of Project Based Learning that combines Language Arts, Social Studies, Math and Art. The students first research the community around Holmes School by taking a walking field trip. They take notes and pictures to gather information about the types of homes, buildings, businesses, landmarks and service providers in the area around Holmes School. Next, they complete a Webquest to gather information about the history, demographics, businesses, and services of the village of Oak Park. The third component is creating an Audio Visitor’s Guide. Our Technology Specialist, Elizabeth Conway, helps us upload the photos taken on the walking field trip into Photo Story. She then records the 2nd graders as they narrate the captions they compose about the picture during Language Arts. The final, and highly anticipated, component of the project is building the community out of LEGOs.

“Prior to partnering with the Oak Park Education Foundation, we constructed the buildings out of various sized card board boxes and milk cartons with our wonderful Art teacher Mr. Kristofer. Mr. Kristofer and I both agree that boxes pale in comparison to LEGOs. This is our 2nd year of having the privilege to work with Gretchen Junker from The Oak Park Education Foundation’s “Geared Up” program. Together, She and our Art teachers Mr. Kristofer and Ms. Florczak have helped take the construction component of the project beyond what I ever envisioned when I wrote my lesson plan. It gets better every year!

“Thank you for helping us combine Art, Math and fun with our study of Social Studies and Language Arts!!”

Make sure to check out our slideshow of photos by Paul Goyette and Gretchen Junker.