When they are in school, children spend most of their time in their classroom. But have they ever considered its design? Have they thought about why it was laid out in that way? Do they think they could create a better classroom layout?
Before they actually start to design a classroom, you might want to encourage the children to think about some of the following aspects of the room:
- the contents of the room – what is actually in the room? what are these things used for? do they have to be located in the classroom, or would there be a more suitable place for them (perhaps where other classes might have access to them)?
- the size of the room – are there any spaces in the classroom which could be put to more productive use? Is the room too small for the number of things present in it?
- the location of objects within the room – are there any things which cannot move within the room (e.g. sink, cupboards / shelving)?
Once the children have thought about these things, they could start designing a new classroom layout. When doing this, they will also need to think about health and safety (i.e. fire escape routes, easy movement within and around the room).
The children could then evaluate each other’s room designs. They could even choose one which they think is the best and, if you wish, you could try to rearrange the room using that layout. Then, after a few weeks, you could discuss what they thought of the layout and perhaps think of alterations which might make the layout better.