50 Chapter 2
Clifton School
They traced a few other features of the architect’s
ideas and then put the paper on the floor to deter-
mine where to place the climbing structures they had
in mind. Lynn decided it was time to go outside and
walk the actual space.

Ellie: “I don’t think there’s enough room for all of
our plans.”
Rachel (walking around): “We can use that tunnel
for the castle. It’s going to be too small, but over there
should be fine.”
Many times the children would hold their arms
apart when Lynn asked how big something would
Over a period of months, Lynn met with the project
be. She asked them to think about where and how
group, documented their ideas, and had the group
children would enter and exit the climber. With their
report to the whole class. She met regularly with
ideas continuing to expand, Lynn told them they
Amy as well, seeking threads of meaning and find-
needed to choose some priorities. They decided that
ing questions to guide her next steps. Lynn provided
along with the castle, one stump cluster should go
opportunities for the children to draw and represent
between the bike track and the classroom wall. The
their ideas. She introduced them to the blueprints
program gave the architect the children’s ideas to
the landscape architect had developed. She and Amy
include in the final design.

decided that the children needed to understand that
With a tight construction schedule looming, Amy
a bike track was already a feature of the architect’s
and Lynn wondered whether it was time to bring
design. As the children’s drawings of their playground
the classroom project to a close. Would the children
ideas proliferated, Lynn and Amy carefully studied
take up the challenge to now think about how their
them. They noticed that ideas were randomly drawn
ideas could be built? Could they speculate about
on their papers. To coach the children to better grasp
what John, their carpenter, would need to do to
the spatial relations involved, Lynn gave them each
bring this design to life? Would this question launch
a piece of paper with a circle on it, representing the
a new phase of the project, uncover possible theories
bike track, and told them the climbing structure they
wanted would have to be built with the path in mind.

from individual drawings to one group drawing so
they would have to make some compromises together.

Lynn projected an enlarged copy of the blueprints
on the wall, asking the children to first trace the bike
track. Those who had previous experience in tracing
projected images taught the others how to do the
drawing process.

Rachel: “You have to stand on the side so the
shadow doesn’t cover it.”
Ellie: “We want to see what it looks like, not the
people’s shadows.”
Clifton School
The next time they met, she challenged them to move