Designing and Building an Island in 8th Grade Spanish

  • Learning
Olga Valeria, Middle Grades Spanish Teacher

As part of of their “City Life” topic, students in the Spanish 8D class worked on a hands-on project, “My City Life.” In collaboration with the iLab, students were to collectively reimagine and reinvent public spaces, paying particular attention to physical, cultural and social identities. They were also able to draw inspiration from renowned Spanish-speaking architects.

The project’s purpose was to strengthen the connection between students and the places they share through the concept of “Placemaking." To accomplish this, the class created and designed its own island based on an existing island called Redonda. Redonda is a small island in the Caribbean that is currently uninhabited. In students' version of the island, Redonda is a thriving island filled with shops, offices, apartment buildings, schools and other facilities. In order to complete the final product, students needed to work together as a class to plan out and brainstorm what they wanted to create.

Creating an Island

A paper prototype of La Isla de Lenny,
El Tiburón (The Island of Lenny the Shark).

Creating an Island

Students talk with iLab specialist Mr. Jackrel.

Creating an Island

Building the design in Tinkercad.

Creating an Island

A 3-D model of the island.

The Spanish 8D class wanted to make sure that their island was as realistic and detailed as possible. Using exact measurements, students looked into the effect the buildings would have on the island. Next, the students decided on buildings and drew them with blueprints and elevations. While it was a difficult task, these drawings helped the students when they began designing their buildings on Tinkercad, an online tool that allows users to design and and make 3-D models of their own creations.

Working with blueprints

Working with blueprints

Working with blueprints

Placing structures on blueprints. 

3-D printed structures for the island.

Placing the 3-D prototypes on the island.

Placing the 3-D prototypes on the island. 

Students create "water" around their island.

Students create "water" around their island. 

Once they had physical prototypes, students were able to plan more accurately. Ms. Barragry, one of our middle grades art teachers, and Mr. Jackrel, our iLab specialist, then created the base of the actual island. After this, students were able to decide where all of their buildings would go on the island and spray-paint them silver. They placed their buildings on the island and began creating paths and planning out where all the grass and dirt would go. The final step was placing all the buildings on the island. This was months of work, but it was definitely worth it. Their ideal city on Redonda island is now finally complete and is something students are all proud of.

Placing the 3-D objects on the base, and adding more paint.

Placing the 3-D objects on the base, and adding more paint. 

Adding vegetation and sand to the base.

Adding vegetation and sand to the base. 

Spray-painting the 3-D buildings.

Spray-painting the 3-D buildings.

Look at the buildings now!

Look at the buildings now!

Students also had the opportunity to share their island with the Avenues community.

Putting the final touches on the base, and adding the buildings!

Putting the final touches on the base, and adding the buildings!

La Isla de Lenny, el Tiburón

La Isla de Lenny, el Tiburón

A closeup of the island.

A closeup of the island. 

The class with their ideal island!

The class with their ideal island!

 

  • 8th Grade
  • Arts
  • iLab
  • Middle Grades Program
  • Project-based Learning
  • Spanish
  • Upper Division