Learning about how other people live around the world is an important part of the Key Stage 3 Geography curriculum and Haygrove School’s Year 8 students were asked to build their own miniature ‘shanty house’ using only materials they could find at home, including from the rubbish bin. They were asked to think about what the shanty houses might be made of and how they could be constructed, and also to consider aspects of daily life such as sewage, safety and sanitation.
All kinds of household cast-offs made their way into the houses including old cereal boxes, cake wrappers, tin-foil, cling-film and lolly sticks and leaves from the garden. Some of the designs replicated the living conditions as well as the structure of the houses by adding clothes-lines, water butts and piles of rubbish gathering outside the doors.
Speaking about the project, the students said, “We really enjoyed working together on this piece of work and have made a model of two buildings linked with a clothesline and with a stream running in between. It’s interesting learning about how other people live and how different their experiences are to ours. For example, when we did our research we were surprised to find that often the floors are just mud and shocked at how little space families have to live in.”
When all the models from one class were gathered together, the students were able to see clearly how dangerous the make-shift home might be and how cramped and uncomfortable living in these conditions would be.
Teacher, Miss Mitchell was pleased to see how creative the students were with their models. She said “Haygrove School is committed to helping students learn about the challenges faced by young people living elsewhere in the world and this project allows our students to explore and understand different cultures, environments and ways of living whilst at the same time building key skills such as curiosity, reflection and empathy.”