Today we built a blanket fort.
This sounds like a weird thing coming from 90 teenagers and a grown adult, but today indeed we broke another barrier. Today we broke down the confines our typical classroom walls and turned them into soft comforting fabric. And as far as our research has provided, it looks like we may have become the first high school class to build a blanket fort. Ever. In history.
6 sheets, over 20 blankets, christmas lights, masking tape, duct tape and 90 students. All contributing to the structural integrity of our blanket fort, rightfully named “Blanketsburg”. Using chairs and computers to hold the fort together we established our list of protocols. With our projector in hand, we set up camp and watched some of our favourite shows “Community” and “Phineas and Ferb”. For one hour and 15 minutes, it was okay to be a kid again.
Why not? It all started with a book my wife had bought for her Kindergarten class called “Not a box”. The book is essentially about the power of human imagination. Too often we (teachers and schools) kill students creativity. After kindergarten, we stick kids in a desk for 15 years and tell them to learn. And we put so much pressure on these kids that they turn into stress freaks.
After reading the book I thought immediately about my classes and all of the things happening in our school. The grade 12′s especially are feeling the stress the most. So I decided we would take one day (PJ Day) to create a blanket fort using nothing more then our own imaginations.. Today we learned by actually building something with our hands for a change. Today we learned, first hand, about teamwork, and design. And more importantly today we shut off the real world for an hour and got to just relax and laugh.
Yes there are people out there that will say that our classroom is phoney, and our curriculum is a joke. But to those people I say they have lost touch with their inner self. They have become so uptight that they have forgotten what it is like to be a child. The sense of wonder. Letting the human heart find joy and meaning in the littlest things. This blanket fort probably meant more to my students then 15 years sitting at desk ever will. I’ll always remember looking back and seeing a smile on all of their faces. The experience and memory of today will live on forever and that’s what true education is all about.
So yes, today we built a blanket fort, and it was freaking awesome!
These awesome photos are from the 2013 Weston Sand Sculpture Festival on the sandy shores of Weston-super-Mare in Somerset, England. Each year the festival has a different theme and this year’s theme is Hollywood.
“Since the festival started in 2006, themes have included Fairy Tales, The Continents of the World, Under the Ocean, Great Britain, and The Jungle. What began with two Dutch sand sculptors building a giant King Kong from 30 tonnes of sand has now turned into a world famous get-together of some of the niftiest hands in sand sculpting.
More than 20 of the world’s greatest sculptors from nine different countries are working away using 4,000 tonnes of sand from the beach.”
The festival opened on Good Friday and runs through the end of September.