Tuesday, May 27, 2008

Austin's Castle Project

Austin had to construct a castle for his 6th grade Social Studies Class. He wasn’t really sure why he had to do it because he isn’t studying castle in his class. I surmised that he had to do it because of the Medieval Fairewell they have for the 6th graders at the Intermediate School.

We started collecting boxes from various snacks (granola bars, Pringles, etc.) and waited for the papers to come home from school giving the requirements for constructing his castle.

I was actually pretty excited about the prospect of a project. This would be the first one this year. There would be some restrictions like no kits, can not be any larger than 18” x 24” and it had to be to school by May 21st.

So we (Jerry, Austin & I) started brainstorming - which usually ended up with Austin in tears. Austin had his ideas of how the castle should be built, but he basically just wanted it to be done & didn’t care how well it was constructed or, for that matter, how it looked.

I was most concerned about how pretty it looked. You know me, everything had to LOOK perfect. I had no clue about structural integrity or logistics of how it was to be constructed, it had to look good.

Thank goodness for Jerry, our voice of reason. He knew how it had to be constructed and he & Austin did all of the design work. Jerry also helped with hot gluing, painting & overall project completion.

I knew that we need a couple different tones of grey paint, black paint, brown paint, craft sticks & felt. See, I am the exterior designer. Jerry is the contractor & Austin is the slave labor.

Austin needed to make sure that the following element were included in his castle: Moat, Gatehouse, Drawbridge, Portcullis, Towers, Turret, Wall walk, Outside Wall, Keep, Bailey & Flags. All of these items had to clearly labeled & were worth two points each.

Also worth two points each were: Name is displayed, Project shows effort, Directions were followed (materials, size, etc.) & castle is constructed well. Altogether, the project was worth 30 points.

We worked on the project for four days. Painting, cutting, taping, gluing, painting. Finally at about 7:00 pm on Tuesday, May 20th, we were done with the castle.

Austin took the castle to school on the bus. He said he had seen other students castles and he thought his was pretty good,

We waited anxiously each day to find out what we, er….Austin got on his castle. He came home on Friday carrying his castle and stated hat he had got a “C”. But before I could freak out and rant and rave, he got that devilish smile on is face and said “No, I got 30 out of 30 - A+.

I was so pleased that he had stuck it out through his parents rigorous demands & did his best on a project & was reaping the rewards.

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