Kids create a play town with Make a Town. This project teaches kids about how towns are arranged and how they grow. Fun and educational hands-on learning project. Free interactive learning software.     

     

     

     

     


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Make a Town


A learning project to create a model town using free software

     Children can learn about what makes a house, how houses are arranged along streets and into neighborhoods and towns, how parts of a community relate to each other, how people use streets to get from their homes to work and to shop. Using a PC printer and Make a Town free software, they can print patterns for paper houses and stores, and arrange them into their own town. They also learn to visualize how a flat object becomes 3-dimensional.

Materials needed:

scissors
cellophane tape or glue
crayons, markers or colored pencils
patterns for houses and stores:
Go To Make a Town Download Instruction Page

Strongly Recommended:

large piece of butcher paper or several pieces of green construction paper fastened together.

     You can print on ordinary computer paper, or on thicker paper if desired. (You will probably want to use paper heavier than most computer paper if a number of children are doing the project.) Check your printers instructions before printing on heavy paper--some do and some don’t. You can also take your printouts to a copy shop and copy onto heavier paper or enlarge them.
     Download the software. Instructions are on the download page. Print out one or more copies of each house. The "roof" page has two roofs on the page, so you will need one copy for every two houses (or you can cut roofs from construction paper). All of the stores have flat roofs. You may want to print out extra copies of the blank store, and label one a police station and one a fire station.
     It is best to color the buildings before cutting them out. When coloring, you should turn the building around so that you are coloring each side "right way up". Even if you have several copies of one house, you can make each one different, by the way you decorate and add things to your houses.. You can add curtains, a doorknob, a cat in the window, houseplants, bushes and flowers on both the inside and the outside. The stores will have the things they sell in their windows, and maybe you can see salespeople or customers inside too. If you add three-dimensional touches (bushes, flowers, etc., you probably want to add them after the houses are assembled).
     Cut out the patterns on the heaviest black outline, cutting around the tabs where they occur. You can cut the doors on one side and across the top, so that they open. Fold the house on all the lines, including the tab lines. When you hold the buildings with the colored side toward you, all folds are away from you (blank sides of the paper together), and at 90 degree angles when you are finished. Fold everything, then glue or tape the tabs on the inner (flat) roof to the sides of the house. Then fasten the back of the house to the sides. The sides will stick up to hold the roof. The rood piece can be secured with glue or tape if you like. Younger children may need some help assembling the buildings.
     Is there a house like your house? Make a house that looks like your house (use blank house). Put the doors and windows in where they are on your real house. Do you live in an apartment house or condo? Use the link below for an apartment house. Several of this pattern can be joined on the ends to make a larger apartment house.
     Lay out a large piece of paper (or a number of sheets of paper fastened together). Have the children place their houses on the paper, wherever they want their houses to be.
     What are the parts of a house? (Use the blank house form to draw in the parts of a house--windows, doors, roof, walls). Discuss "front" and "back" doors with them. (Note that most of the houses have their front doors on a long side, but a couple have their front doors on a short side.) Discuss how every house has a driveway to the street. Do the "streets" need to be changed? You may want to change some streets, starting with a plan for the town. Is there a main street? Are the streets perpendicular lines, or is there a circle? Is there a park? Is it in the center of town? Do the houses go in first, or the shops? Where are the shops?
     Where do people work? How do they get their money? (Lay out more sheets for farms). Is there a manufacturing plant in this town? How much do people get paid, and what do they spend it on? Does everyone get paid the same amount?
     What goes into and out of each house? (Water, electricity, telephone, perhaps gas) Is heating oil delivered in your community? What goes out? (Waste water, garbage) What do people need to buy or bring into their houses? (Food, clothing, toys, books, furniture, etc.) Where does all of this come from, and where does it go to?
     How many families do you need to support a grocery store? a bank? a toy store? If these things are not in the town, where do people get them? Does everybody live in a family?

     The link below has, besides the apartment house, other houses, and an old-fashioned church with a steeple.

Go To Make a Village Download Instruction Page

 
 

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