The Pink Tank House

Today in my project-based learning classroom, my second graders began the Not-a-Box project, based on the book Not a Box. We read the book, and students gathered in groups of four or five, based on their table numbers, and began to create something out of a box. They had to work together to decide what it should be. Then they worked together to create it.

One group consisted of three girly-girls and one very boy-ish boy. He’s into army guys and explosions. They’re into Barbies. He wanted an army box. They wanted a Dream House. they wanted pink. He wanted brown. Yesterday, they completely over-rode him. The result: a very frustrated boy, four busy girls, and one very pink box.

Today when we began to work on it, I asked him, “What is your idea for this box?” “Armies,” he said. “War.”

“War gives me bad dreams,” one girl said. “War makes me feel sad,” said another.

“Fine,” he growled, and stormed away. I found him outside the classroom at a picnic table. “What would you like the girls to know?” I asked.

“Nothing,” he growled, his hands over his ears, teeth gritted.

“Your voice counts, too,” I said. “You need to tell them what you want. Do you want me to help you?”

Slowly he got up, and we went inside. “Bradley has a message for you,” I told the girls. “Tell them what you would like to see in the box.”

“I want there to be some army parts in the box,” he said.

The girls began to protest, like crows cawing.Bradley put his hands over his ears.  I put up my hand. “Bradley’s ideas matter, too,’ I said. “How can you include his idea into your house?” The girls looked at each other. “Well….”

“We could put army guys inside the house.” He shook his head.

“We could glue army guys on the outside, like guards.” He looked up. Suddenly, his eyes were alive. “I know!” he said. “We could put army rollers on the bottom, like a conveyer belt!”

“It could be a tank-house!” a girl cried.

“With a gun on top!” he said. “A shooter on top of the house!”

In the end, the guns were nixed. But the house went onto cardboard rollers, like a tank, and the house became a dreamy, pink tank-house.

And everyone was happy.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

I Love Nature Books

I check out more picture books than my seven-year old twins put together - especially those on science and nature. I hope my reviews will be a useful resource to you!

Downsizing Dad

Discovering the mysteries of family as I help my Dad simplify his life.

prayer & practice

a prayerful & practical guide for manifesting a life you love & deserve!

Raising Literate Humans

Join me on my journey to raise my children to read the word and read the world.


Simple life with cacti

Explorergarden's Weblog

Just another weblog

Great Mentor Texts

This site is the cat’s pajamas

Nature Explorer

Just another site

There's a Book for That

Where book love and the joy of a classroom community are shared

Emily Louise Heard

Painting Happiness


Bring new life to your garden!

Reflections on Leadership and Learning

Sharing my learning experiences

The Reading Zone

I am a reader, a teacher, a writer, a thinker, a reviewer, and a dreamer of dreams.


A meeting place for a world of reflective writers.

Waking Brain Cells

"I like nonsense, it wakes up the brain cells." — Dr. Seuss

Nerdy Book Club

A community of readers

Bug Gwen

Entomology. Ranting. Nerdery.

%d bloggers like this: