Designing Windows Using the Imagination

By Susan Soler, February 27, 2017

Grade Level

  • PreK-1


  • School Design

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Lesson Time

Ongoing project with 45 minutes in each unit.


  • New windows will be installed in my classroom.
  • We are studying our own buildings and the building of the school and the immediate neighborhood.
  • The students will use their knowledge of the senses and geometry to create a template of a window that may fit the criteria.
  • Goals - to observe a variety of windows. To learn the purpose of windows and to use the imagination to go a step further.

National Standards

  • KMD3 classify objects into given categories
  • KG-1 Kg2 Kg3 Identify and describe shapes
  • KG456 Analyze compare, create and compose shapes, patterns and positions
  • SLK-4 Presentation of knowledge and ideas
  • NYS CCLS: ELA Science /Social Studies
  • Identify, analyze, describe, use illustrations and work in teams


Students will be able to describe, sketch and compare the windows that have already been used with why and how their windows are different and can work.


  • The school (105 years old)
  • The Greenwich Village neighborhood
  • Books: fiction and non fiction on shapes, architecture, and senses
  • Skyscraper Museum
  • Center for Architecture
  • Open House New York
  • Greenwich Village Society for Historic Preservation
  • Round Buildings, Square Buildings, Building that Wiggles Like a Fish by Philip M. Isaacson, Alfred A. Knopf, NY, 1998 (ISBN: 0679-80649-0)
  • Open House (lift the window book) illustrated by Steve Noon
  • From the Mud Huts to Skyscrapers by Christine Paxmann, Prestel, NY, 2012 (ISBN: 978-9-7913-7113-9)
  • From Mud to House: A Photo Essay by Bertram T. Knight, Children's Press, 1997 (ISBN: 0-516-20737-7)
  • A Day with Animal Buildings by Sharon Rentta, Alison Green Books, 2013 (ISBN: 978-1-4351-4868-0)
  • All the Buildings in New York by James Gulliver Hancock, Universe, 2013 (ISBN: 978-0-7893-2467-2)
  • New York Is... by The Metropolitan Museum of Art, Abrams, 2013 (ISBN: 978-1-4197-1169-5)


  • Blocks - big and small, Duplos
  • fragrances from fashion magazines inserts
  • graham crackers and twisters
  • tissue paper,  construction paper, pipe, cleaners, straws
  • jewelry pieces and beads
  • bells, shakers , bubble wrap
  • oak tag
  • materials that the students have brought from home


  • Observation-is an active acquisition of information using the senses.
  • Record-a compilation  and document of evidence.
  • Design-a creation and guide for something or someone
  • Five senses-the faculties  of sight, hearing, smell, taste and touch.
  • create-to build, assemble or produce


  1. Discuss and review the five senses.
  2. Divide the group into five groups by senses.
  3. Have materials that can fall into those characteristics.
  4. Look at the previous sketches of windows from other lessons
  5. Identify materials
  6. Explore different possibilities for windows. Every month, take class to study buildings and structures in the neighborhood. Then, take the class to visit the buildings where students live in around the neighborhood. Students should draw and compare windows and buildings. Visit local museums, such as the Center for Architecture and Skyscraper Museum.
  7. One example of a design challenge to get students used to thinking about design is creating a building with windows that you can walk in through.
  8. For this project, the students have this design challenge: How would we like our new windows to look?
  9. Using our knowledge of geometry, we sketched these drafts using blue pencils for blueprints. By doing this, we are becoming architects and builders.
  10. Next, we can use pattern blocks to create our windows and buildings.
  11. Finally, create the final designs using poster board, markers, etc.
  12. Demonstrate what the group has designed. (The buildings this class designed were displayed at the local library.)


  • Students can articulate and demonstrate using the senses while designing windows.
  • Students can use their knowledge of shapes and senses and create and solve problems.
  • Checking the uses of shapes and listing the definition of the senses.

Enrichment Extension Activities

  • By experimenting, exploring and creating, the students can use these skills to apply to other design challenges.
  • Feeling empowered, the students  will feel they can succeed  with many  activities and subjects  that will be presented to them.

Teacher Reflection

  • The students love hands-on activities. This is successful and age appropriate.
  • The students need more time to explore materials and explore the senses before combining the two.

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