Tuesday 12 April 2016

J is for Junk Modelling

Welcome to my posts for the A to Z Challenge 2016.
This year, I am posting 
Special School Stories
 tales from either my time as a teacher or teaching assistant within classrooms in the U.K. or from my own school days growing up around the country

One of the activities most children in my classes have always loved is junk modelling (making things out of old cereal boxes, washing up bottles, etc.).  Sometimes this activity is part of our history topic, so we might make castles, sometimes it might be science so we build mighty insects but often it will have a design technology slant to it too so we are learning about design features as well.

I often ask parents and grandparents if they would like to take part in these afternoons as having a few more adults around in class can be very helpful especially if sharper scissors might be needed or as was the case in this particular lesson proper woodworking tools!

The children were working in small groups to build the longest bridge they could that would support a particular vehicle that they would be asked to push across the bridge at the end.  They worked so incredibly hard and well together and the parents were very supportive and so we had an absolutely fantastic afternoon. However, when it was time to put tools down and go around the groups to have a feedback session about how they felt the project had gone, one of my most well-behaved and studious children decided that she could keep sawing (hands and saw underneath her desk) and of course managed to saw her finger!  It was the only accident of the afternoon and luckily it wasn’t too bad a cut but it went to show that even the best behaved can sometimes get carried away with completing their junk model!!


  1. I don't remember having the opportunity to do stuff like this, but I was very inventive with cardboard boxes and turning the dining room table upside down to make it a pirate ship or whatever. Happy days :)
    Jemima Pett

  2. I loved junk modelling as a kid - I had a whole model village in my room complete with pet shop, hairdresser and school - the important things!

    Fangirl Stitches A-Z Cross Stitch Style
    Travel like a Geek A-Z Harry Potter film locations

  3. That sounds like a neat project. Oh my goodness. That little girl must have been so scared when she cut her finger. I'm glad she is okay.

  4. never heard the term but sounds like fun. What's a little blood?? Yikes!

  5. My friend and I used to love to make projects like this when we were little! Fond memories...

  6. I vaguely remember this but don't think we actually did a lot of this at school, do remember using egg boxes for what we did do though!

    Mars xx
    @TrollbeadBlog from
    Curling Stones for Lego People

  7. OOOH! Murphy's law - if anything bad can happen, it will! Yikes!
    Maui Jungalow

  8. Awesome. You make learning sound fun again!


  9. This learned process served me well as an adult married to a nomad. I learned to decorate an entire house with junk found in old barns and strewn across properties. I think now they call it repurposing. Old wooden wire spools became tables, concrete blocks became bookcases, rocks and dried weeds became centerpieces. Oh and being able to saw your finger and draw blood makes for valuable lessons as well. You have to be careful because no matter how hard you try you can't always be protected.

  10. Upcycling and recycling at its best! I wish I had a teacher like you when I was a kid!

  11. Great post. Had that been my granddaughter, she'd have managed to cut holes in all of her clothes as well as cut her finger. https://mhsusannematthews.wordpress.com/

  12. This sounds like a great, fun project! I have lots of things to use for junk modeling!!