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A House Made Out Of Sticks

When I was a child I was lucky enough to have a big family with seven siblings. Three of my brothers are a year apart in age, with the oldest of the three just one year younger than I am. Because of that, I “hung out” with them more than I did my sisters, who were a few years older. I have a distinct memory of my brothers and I making popsicle stick houses with sticks that we saved from our entire family’s popsicles and good old Elmer’s glue. It was with this memory in mind that I asked the art club if they would like to make a popsicle stick building. Of course they did!

This project has lasted the better part of 7 sessions held for an hour weekly. This being 2013, glue guns were used instead of Elmer’s glue, which makes the process a lot faster and the buildings much more stable. At first there was some trepidation about using the hot melt glue guns. After a couple of burns, you get used to it. I know that sounds harsh and I don’t mean for it to! It’s the absolute truth that you get the hang of the hot melt glue gun and you quickly learn where not to touch. By the end of the first session the kids were like old pros.

This activity is as easy as it sounds. The kids could choose to stop with a simple structure or to add more rooms or furnishings. It was an excellent activity for differentiated instruction, as you will see in the photos. Some are simple boxes, some have been furnished with fabric additions. Some are giant; some are small. Most are painted with acrylic paints, some are not. The large barn has a pink cloth roof and will not be painted, because “some barns aren’t painted” stated the artist/builder…

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