For this session we moved the city into a lightly larger space within the school, to give us a better idea of the layout and perhaps look at it with a view for a more permanent piece. Initially the children recalled what they had made and explained to newcomers (adults) in the group what each building meant and who lived in them. And what they were used for. In this session we wanted to encourage the children to think about the wider community, new people coming to the city and what needs they would have.
As yet our city had no people and the children want to put themselves into their city along with their families, friends, firemen, guards, teachers, bus drivers, lifeguards and many others. Carol the teacher and Mary the classroom assistant spent much time preparing the tiny stand up figures of each child each with a photographic image of each child.
As the city grew and became populated the children became more confident in how their city functioned and many of the children began to role play with their cardboard characters. Their imaginations fueled the growth of the city and whilst some children were influenced by fantasy, fairy tales, computer games and space age others focused on the details of their building creating full scenarios. E.g. a Garda station was created, including a cell with bars and a prisoner, a Garda van and cctv cameras. The two children making the Garda Station were rewarded by a chance visit by the local Community Guard who inspected their work.
Our city is now almost complete but it is without a name and a few small buildings and amenities. The children have been invited to add the extra pieces throughout the week creating and building at home or in the classroom. I am looking forward to be told the name of the city in the next session.