This is a community-building project for the Social Studies curriculum in an elementary school class where students can build a town together digitally and 3D print the pieces so that they can all come together. There are connections to the curricula in more than one elementary-level grade for this project.
Here's the link to my website where you can find progress pictures, connections to the curricula, and the project design: https://2teacher4u.wordpress.com/elementary-social-studies-building-a-community/
1) I designed the puzzle piece base with Blender 2.7, utilizing the Boolean modifier to add and subtract the interlocking pieces.
2) 123D Design - use both iPads and PCs to create town details. This is what the students will be working with.
- Create a community with the essentials of life
- Discuss what they might need while considering what others in their community need (for example, churches, entertainment venues, power plants, FNMI resources)
- Design pieces of the community with iPads and print them in a 3D printer
The Alberta Social Studies curricula that best match with this project are Kindergarten, and Grades 1 and 2. There are further connections to the higher elementary grades as well. I would especially recommend this as an ongoing social studies project throughout the years, where students can add onto their town as the curriculum advances, such as learning styles of government and the making of laws and how it affects different groups of people within the community.
Here are some of the main outcomes. The rest in their entirety can be found in the document provided on this Thing.
- K.2 Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of the characteristics and interests that unite members of communities and groups.
- K.2.3 appreciate how their participation in their communities affects their sense of belonging
- K.S.5 demonstrate the skills of cooperation, conflict resolution and consensus building
- 1.1 Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of how identity and self-esteem are enhanced by their sense of belonging in their world and how active members in a community contribute to the well-being, growth and vitality of their groups and communities.
- 1.1.2 value the groups and communities to which they belong:
- 2.1 Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of how geography, culture, language, heritage, economics and resources shape and change Canada’s communities.
- 2.2 Students will demonstrate an understanding and appreciation of how a community emerged, and of how the various interactions and cooperation among peoples ensure the continued growth and vitality of the community.
This will be part of a teacher's decision on whether their students are ready to begin this project: Students must have at least a basic understanding of the 123D Design iPad app or the 3D Slash software (web or PC). Which software to use is also up to the discretion of the teacher.
I would recommend that the teacher use the 123D Design iPad apps. Ahead of time, create a classroom AutoDesk account so that the teacher can moderate the content uploaded to the cloud and have access to it for printing purposes.
1) Students will discuss as a class what they require in a community. Take time to flesh out what some students need that others may not, such as religious or FNMI resources.
2) Students should sign up for what they would like to design. Try to make sure that most of the things that were talked about are being designed.
3) Students may work in partners or alone on iPads under the classroom AutoDesk account. When they are finished their designs, they should save their designs to the cloud under an appropriate name (such as "BillysTownPiece").
4) The teacher should adapt town piece to the blank puzzle piece template using the 123D Design PC software and then print off the town pieces. The teacher may wish to find out if there are filament colour preferences. Make sure to label whose piece is who.
5) Watch as the town grows. Allow the students to place their own puzzle pieces and marvel as the community gets larger and more colorful.
Keep coming back to the town and the lessons learned from it. If there is an argument between students, ask them how they should act as a community to resolve the problem (for example).
- Some students may not wish to use iPads or computers to design their town pieces. The teacher should have some blank puzzle piece templates printed out ahead of time for these students to work on with materials of their own choosing, like paper or clay.
- Some students may wish to design more than one piece. This is okay but have them focus on one piece at a time.
The two pieces that I designed in 123D Design can be used as exemplars for the students. Show them how they fit together and explain how they are vital pieces of the community, but they need the entire classroom's help to grow.
Ideally each student will design and print one piece of the town, similar to the pieces I provided, symbolizing their belonging in the community.
I wouldn't personally put any summative mark to the completion of the puzzle pieces, but I would use the town as an example to the parents of their child's belonging in the community and keep examples written down of when they were a great member of the community.