Early interests in measurement and block planning led the Purple Room children to an extended exploration of making collaborative sculptures. During a meeting in the late fall of 2014, two groups reflected on their work making a snow-melting machine and a doctor’s office. When one child suggested that they connect their structures, the meeting took an exciting turn! As one child remembered it, “Everyone pretty much shouted, ‘Making a city!’ and then we decided to do it and make a city.” Purpleopolis was built over six months, and included studies of architecture, infrastructure, and scale. It also led to a richly collaborative classroom community that depended on each child playing a unique role in the city’s creation; while reflecting on her classmates’ work at the end of the investigation, one child said: “I was just...so proud.”
Here's a snippet of their first meeting conversation:
MIA: We could get a big white piece of paper. And cut snow.
WES: And put a big whole piece of paper under it. Glue it on. That would be ground with snow.
NIAM: Snow! Then the snow melter thing would . . . POW!
ANNA: We can make a city!
ALL: We can make a city! YEAH!
ANNA S: Well it sounds like the Purple Room wants to make a city.
Jason Harvey, a filmmaker and RHP parent, worked with the Purple Room children and teachers to create a documentary of their Purpleopolis investigation.