CHARLESTON, SC (WCSC) - Goose Creek primary teacher Ali Little is literally building young minds from the ground up. Little is teaching her first grade class two and three dimensional shapes by constructing a replica of New York.
The project was orchestrated after Little's brother, who lives in New York, asked her what she wanted for Christmas.
"I told him I could use supplies because every teacher can use that,"Little said.
Instead, Little's brother bought her a book for her class entitled "This is New York," and thoughts for the project began.
"I was so excited," Little said."The ideas started going about instead of using robots this year, why not build New York City."
Little's first grade class, along with Mrs. Xylina Lopez's class, worked on the project. The kids wrote about the city, learned about famous people from the city, built it.
Building everything took more than a week and 33 students.
"My favorite part was building Manhattan," said 1st grader Sebastian Manning.
"We have taken the concept and because its project based we have taken it into every area of their learning", said first grade teacher Xylina Lopez.
Little says it took more than 200 recycled materials like cereal boxes, milk cartons and oatmeal boxes collected by the entire school, and parents to make the buildings come to life. From Brooklyn to Manhattan and the Bronx, the full scale model filled the entire classroom with all five burroughs of the city.
The kids even included landmarks like the Empire State Building, the World Trade Memorial Center and both the Manhattan and Brooklyn bridges.
"I wish I could build it 81 more times," said first grader Shakyra Richardson.
"It's been neat for them to take ownership and be excited about their learning," Little said.