Curriculum Spotlight – Maps, Homes, and Windows

Recently, the Purple Room friends have been hard at work playing, exploring materials, and learning new things. A few weeks ago, we wanted to more deeply study some of our research board questions – and we noticed a common theme. The Excavators have been particularly interested in learning more about our Barrow building, architecture, and where we all live. Some friends have been asking important questions like, “Where is Pottery Dave’s House?” “Why are there so many stairs?” And, “Do the pipes go under the floors?” So we decided to investigate!


We began researching where all of the Purple friends and teachers (and of course, Pottery Dave!) live by plotting our houses on a map of the city. We loved noticing who our neighbors are, discussing the different ways we get to school, and seeing how close or far from Barrow we live. We found the excavators addresses, and then each child helped us keep track of their “dot.” The children were already familiar with maps, and when we showed them a map initially we heard, “I have a map at my house!” When we asked them to describe what a map is someone said, “It goes this way, this way, this way!”


Later, we wanted to help the children conceptualize our building at Barrow, as we often visit many of the floors (1/Lobby, 2, 3, 6, 7, and 8/Roof!) The children often recognize which parts of our school are on which floor, so we have begun walking the staircases to notice their observations. We gave the children floor plans of the second and third floors, too, to see what they might notice. At first, the children asked, “What’s a floor plan?” but quickly noticed the familiarity of the spaces. When we identified the Purple Room on the map, they were shortly after able to add the Green Room, the Blue Room, the Library, Nicole’s office, the White Room, and the Silver Room to their plans!


We introduced marble run as a play center, which helped us to understand layers/floors, just like at Barrow. Where is your loop de loop? Where do the marbles start? Where do the marbles end? And after many questions about the construction happening on the roof (they are taking down the scaffolding!) we created a Purple Room Fix it Shop with tools and safety precautions alike.


Looking ahead – we are excited to begin sharing the views from outside our windows at home. This was inspired by reading a book called “Inside, Outside New York City” where we were able to see the outside and inside views of many famous landmarks in NYC, such as the Statue of Liberty, The Natural History Museum, and the Flatiron Building. The children already often explore the view of the inside/outside of Barrow whether they are looking out the windows on the tricycle track or looking down from the rooftop. What does your window view look like? If you haven’t sent us a picture yet, please do 🙂