Excitement was in the air, and their dreams were being expressed on paper. They started drawing bedrooms, bathrooms, closets, kitchens, and playrooms. Soon sketches of furniture, appliances, and decorations appeared.
As things began to unfold, it was obvious that they had little working understanding of what “to scale” means. Their toilets were nearly as large as their three-car garage and the oversized chairs appeared about five times larger than the doorways.
Earlier this week, I recognized that they needed a little help and guidance on the project. I spent a morning with the children teaching and demonstrating the meaning of “to scale”. I took a minute to sketch a simple 5’x 8’ bathroom “to scale” (1/8” = 1’) and proceeded to explain what I was doing.
Just a few moments later, after seeing the sketch, little eyes began to light up. Understanding started to materialize, and they got the idea. They could see that a standard tub/shower size is 2’6” x 5’0” in real life, and it is possible to draw a smaller scale of it on paper. They realized that a toilet, sink, and tub all nicely fit in a 5’x 8’ bathroom, and it’s “to scale”. It even looks proportionate on paper. They were excited and impressed with this new understanding.
I gave them about ten homework problems scaling down different lengths (1/8”=1’). They did a great job and qualified to receive their 1/8” square graph paper and become an apprentice architect. They were so excited to start putting their dreams on paper. As their homes began to take shape, the children were delighted to see how professional their drawings appeared when they were drawn “to scale”.
During their free time, they have carefully designed, re-designed, changed, and added to their dream homes. They seem to be very satisfied with their creations in progress.
Along the way, I have been giving helps and tips but have insisted that they find answers that they’re capable of finding on their own. The most common type of question raised is “How wide is a dishwasher?” or “How deep is a closet?” I simply gave them a tape measure and replied, “Go find out.”
Over the last few days, they have measured almost every part of our home and have discovered the sizes of appliances, rooms, hallways, doorways, etc. The children have enjoyed this activity and are excelling. With significant effort and time, they have drawn some pretty nice floor plans, learned a lot in the process, and have had a bunch of fun. They are still in full swing and excited as they continue dreaming and creating. I am proud of them all.