FABClassroom: Fabricating the City of Ember


For this week's FabClassroom we head over to Boyden Elementary School in Walpole, MA.

Cheryl Ivatts is a fourth grade teacher and her students recently embarked on a Fab@School Maker Studio journey mapping out the City of Ember.  

City of Ember

“We are an active, curious fourth grade classroom in Walpole, MA. Letting students create and explore on their own is a driving force in our daily routine. I read the book “City of Ember,” written by Jeanne Duprau as a read-aloud to the class. The kids loved the book and were hanging on every word.

With none of the kids having read the book yet they were experiencing it together and trying to unlock the mystery in it. Realizing how much could be done with this story and wanting  to let them show their vision I gave them free reign to design a bulletin board to match that vision.

They knew they needed buildings, roads and pipes. Having seen FabMaker used in the school previously and with the help of Nancy Carroll, our Digital Learning Coach, the kids each designed a building to go on the board. Next they knew they needed lanterns so those were made using the FabMaker also. The next thing was the pipe works this was made using the cylinders and then the kids even were able to have blue colored water put in ziplock bags and placed in the pipes!

As I finished reading the book they begged for me to read the next in the series – “The People Of Sparks,” and when I said I would be reading a different book many went out and found the book on their own and read it. I do believe that the excitement around the bulletin board pushed many to read it because they were able to connect to the book on the next level.

One of the aha moments was when they were all working on parts of the board in groups chosen by them and working on building parts of the board thought out by them. Giving up control while showing them the resources available was the best way to unleash their creativity!”

Is your classroom a FabClassroom? We would love to highlight your school! To be featured in an upcoming post, send an email to andrea@reynoldstlc.org. You can also tweet your photos with the hashtag #FabMakerStudio! For more posts featuring Fab@School Maker Studio, click here.