Grade K-2, Grades 3-5, Grades 6-8, High School

Future Building – a K-12 analogy

construction-worker-builder-with-hammer_fJKFYF0u.jpgKindergartners think they can grow up to be anything. And maybe everything. Do 11th graders? Do you?

Use this post to help your students keep enthusiasm and confidence for ‘future-building’ at every grade level.

Build on This Analogy
A successful person is like a successful renovation manager – both must be cross-curricular savants. Home remodeling integrates interior design, architecture, engineering, ‘hammer & nail’ skills, landscaping, budgeting, and knowledge of utilities. Seat-of-the-pants problem solving, and social savvy can come in handy, too. All while mixing classic craftsmanship with modern, practical amenities.

Analogy Translation: There’s at least one thing in the list that every one of your students cares about, can do, or will consider trying now & for life.

Blue Prints for Success – two people living the analogy
Nicole Curtis is the host of Rehab Addict, but she didn’t start with TV. First, she just cared about her hometown. Then she figured out, one skill at a time, how to improve it. As the program’s website states:

Nicole Curtis is saving historic houses, one broken-down fireplace at a time. Working in Detroit and Minneapolis, Nicole takes ramshackle homes from the wrecking ball to their original stunning glory. Whether it’s managing her rugged crew or wrangling city officials, this single mom wields her hammer with skill and returns condemned properties to their place as the pride of the neighborhood.

Yes, rehabbing pays Nicole’s bills. It also supports her passion for bringing vitality back to downtrodden areas while working alongside residents to restore their communities. Oh, and her street cred has turned to bigger fame. Just ask LeBron James; he asked to help her rehab a house for his Family Foundation. See: Rehab Addict Akron

Of course, pop star Daryl Hall was at home on the world’s stage (see Hall & Oates) long before anyone knew he restores old houses into cozy homes as seen on Restoration Over-Hall. DIY Network website explains:

Daryl Hall is passionate about more than just music. He also restores historic homes. Let the famed blue-eyed soulster give you a first look at his latest project — the architecturally correct restoration of a 1780s Connecticut cottage.

Hall still performs music, and his creativity also goes to harmonizing historical accuracy with modern practicalities, safety & style.

Simple starts, super stardom or school-based learning – help your students discover that their career path can be built brick by brick with hard work, high standards, a solution-oriented attitude and whimsy.

Apply the Analogy & Be Ready for Anything

Building Blocks (K-3)
1. Practice hands-on skills. Award a badge/stamp/sticker for each one. Examples: using a screwdriver; sewing (yarn cards); measuring a room (L x W); painting something neatly.
2. Make a 4-sectioned class word & image wall (or scrapbook) to show a collage of labeled images to convey:  ‘elbow grease,’ ‘love/passion/drive,’ ‘beauty/order,’ and ‘shelter.’ Agree as a class on the finished piece’s title (something about ‘future building’ would be a good starting suggestion).
3. Check out Bob the Builder activities to adapt for the classroom or suggest for home use.

Construction  Matters  (4-7)
1. Watch an episode of either show (archived episodes are online). List every job title or professional/practical skill featured in the issue (e.g. ceramic tiler, plumbing inspector).
2. Explore the process of engineering solutions with these cool engineering activities.
3. One of Daryl’s houses had no heat and so they put heating elements in the 2nd story floor. They had to lay new floor boards over top to hide the heating elements, but the new boards did not match the direction of the 1st-story floors. How would you solve the problem to create floors that look and function well without busting the budget?

Do It Yourself (8-12)
1. Read Nicole’s background here. Write your own (future) background in a similar style for any career that interests you. What got you there? What keeps you going?
2. Find a song by Daryl Hall or Hall & Oates with lyrics that address something about building your future. Explain your selection. Construct 3-D art or model to represent the song’s theme.
3. See The Purpose-Driven Career Diagram. Do you agree with it? Would you tweak it? How?

Disclaimer: I do not work for DIY Network or HGTV. I just enjoy many of the shows.

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