Here is a photo I took of the kids' Boom Town project. Most of the other pictures have the kids' excited faces, but I can't post them due to security policy of our school sytem. But, you can see the roads and railroad tracks laid out. You can see the lake with boats and the 3-D trees. Our natural resource we voted on was gold, so we made the Treasure Town Gold Mine (in yellow). We made houses from our milk cartons from lunch. We had an architect come in to tell us how to plan a town. At one point, we had so many buildings there wasn't room for a public park. So, I started taking their houses away. They got upset. I used that as an example to explain about Public Domain. Even first graders understood, but one little girl asked me for $3,000 dollars for her house to be moved. When we handed out the match box cars, the excitement level rose even higher. We had loaded the book Boom Town on the Smartboard and read it to them previously. This is a wonderful geography lesson on neighborhoods.
I am building a town. It is made of bits and pieces of lots of shapes and clipart. It can be used for parties or school projects. At the very bottom of the post is a photo of some of the boxes with these designs on them.
I am going into school with architects who work for my husband. We are going to be building Boom Town with all the First Graders. Last year, my husband went. A little girl got sick all over the floor. Then the janitor had to come clean it up. Then there was a fire drill. He said, "Not again. But you can use volunteers from the office." Hopefully, their day will be uneventful.
I started designing buildings that might be useful to demonstrate the concept. A Boom Town is a town that builds up quickly around a natural resource. A good example of one is a gold mining town.
The first graders are making their own houses out of milk cartons. They are making the commercial buildings out of empty food containers brought from home. In a previous blog I posted roads and bridges for you to use for cars. I made those for last year's town, along with railroad tracks. They are below.
We push all of the desks together in the middle of the room. Then we cover them with brown butcher block paper. I cut up some blue poster board for a big lake and some rivers. I crumple up the brown paper for hills. We have a landscape. They lay the tracks first. You have to provide transportation into town.
There is a great book called, "Boom Town." We put it on the First Grade Server to use with the Smart Board. So, all the classes will read about it first.
Can I use these graphics for a party? You bet!!! I can enlarge them for my husband's office windows at Christmas. I am going to have a Super Hero Party. Santa, if you think about it, IS a Super Hero. (I was going to have a Santa Goes to Seussville theme, but changed my mind. I'll use those graphics for some other party).
As usual, feel free to copy and save these images to your pictures folders. Below are the roads, tracks, and bridges in jpg. You just might get inspired to make your own town.
Town made with food boxes. I covered all four sides. My son would have loved this when he was little and crazy about cars.