Hoyne Elementary School

Year 2 - Grade 4


Instructors wanted to investigate the idea as to why students/children are disconnected from their surroundings. Why is there a social disconnect to the outer world? How can we get students to connect their relationship to the rest of the world and the role they play in it. Students are looked into writings from artists such as Alice Walker, Maya Anjelou also African Spiritual songs and strategies strategies in their writings like Haikus, Otto-Motto-Poeia, Limmericks.

4th, 5th & 6th graders investigated the idea of taking lost and found/recycled materials and used them to assemble and create 3-dimensional art work representative of their environments. Students looked at how this material says a lot of the environment where it’s found. Students looked at a variety of artists that create art work out of lost and found/recycled materials such as:

Mathias “Spyder” Schergen

Tyree Guyton & Sam Mackey: Heidelberg Project in Detroit, Michigan.

Sabato “Sam” Rodia : Watts Tower

Robert Rauschenberg

Students were also shown images of homes from different parts of the world such as: Nogales Mexico/Texas U.S./ Haitti/ Ghana & Nigeria Africa

Q-Why do these homes look the way they do? Why are they built this way? In what way does their environment/climate and resources affect how these homes are built? How people in these communities live? Why do you live in the area you live now?

Students worked collaboratively in creating 3-Dimensional “Homes” from material that they themselves utilize in their own school environment. Students created their idea of a home from sheets of cardboard donated from the cafeteria lady.

We gave students a brief 15/20 min. demo on how to create a home using cardboard donated by the cafeteria.

We gave them rules to abide by:

  • -6×6 inches in height/width  & length.
  • -have 1 to 2 sides exposed to show the inside of the home.

It should have atleast:

  •  1 to 2 basic/utilitarian necessities
  • 1-Item representative of utopia

4th grade pushed the idea of conflict/chaos to inspire the creation of the home or have something in the home that is symbolic of it.




Student #1

Students collbaorated in groups to create a 3-dimensiional sculpture using basic pieces of wood. Students were asked to think about: What is it like to work in a group? What are some things you need to consider when building a structure?    

Student #2

Students pointed out these ideas needed to be taken into consideration when building:
  • Making time for everyone to share their ideas: Being careful when working in groups: Think outside the box: Being respectful of one another.

Student #3

Students noticed these components in the process while building their 3-D assemblages:
  • There were unconscious patterns being made. In some of the group's sculptures height was an essential part of their building processes while others it was length or it  (3-d object) being flat/closer to the ground. Some of these decisions were made consciously or unconsciously. Students seemed to be interested in this.


Student #1

Some groups had a hard time collaborating with another at the beginning of the exercise, interrupting each other's ideas or sabotaging each others contribution to the building process. Eventually at some point they did come to a collaborative and came to a consensus to how their 3-d object was to be built.

Student #2

Other groups worked well together and were able to move forward fairly quickly once they understood how height and balance played a significant role in their building processes. Because they were able to collaborate from the get go, they were able to try out many different ways/ideas of building their 3-dimensional structure.

Student #3

Students really got into drawing. They could be all worked up one minute and the next second they would be all quiet with pencil in hand.  


Student #1

What basic necessities does a home need to make it inhabitable?

Student #2

How do the natural resources in a home's environment affect how it is constructed or where it is constructed?      

Student #3

Students built and arranged their homes together to represent a neighborhood. Students took careful consideration as to which way their homes should face. They felt that having the homes face each other would create more interaction with in the community. Students also applied the idea of class to their neighborhood. The houses in the back were of lower class as opposed to the ones in the front near the entrance/exit which were of a higher class. Families could pay more to live in the middle of the community because It offered a better view and it was in a specific place where it could be admired. Students and Instructors engaged in a discussion about how chaos in our communities can affect they way people live in neighborhoods and how money can separate communities from one another. Students felt that just because a neighborhood is poor doesn't mean that it lacks community. There are many strong, united, low income communities in our world where the environment is still safe and folks look after one another. Students came to a consensus that one can better their community through their own participation in its building/re-building. Folks must contribute in order to move ahead together as one.
Year One
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