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Our Boston: Voices from Kindergarten


Students sharing their design idea with Mayor Wu.

Image Credit: Thuy Buonocore

Mayor Michelle Wu recently asked Boston Public School kindergarteners: “What ideas do you have about construction that could make Boston a safer, fairer, and more interesting place for children?” The Mayor’s question came in the form of a letter that was sent to mark the culmination of the Boston Public Schools (BPS) kindergarten curriculum unit on construction and the beginning of the Our Boston classroom project. The construction unit is part of Focus on K2, a curriculum developed by BPS educators that combines current research on teaching and learning with attention to high standards for achievement.

Classroom Work

The BSA worked with the Department of Early Childhood to design and integrate a lesson on architecture/design into the unit. Since 2018, volunteer architects have visited BPS kindergarten classrooms to bring the lesson to life, share about architecture, and lead a hands-on design activity with the students. This year, the BSA piloted volunteer architect visits specifically for the Our Boston classroom project. During the visit and throughout the unit, students develop skills integral to the design process—analysis, collaboration, creative thinking, and problem-solving. Such skills allow even our youngest citizens—kindergarten students—to contribute potential solutions to the challenges they see facing our city.

The Mayor’s letter to the kindergartners continued, asking students to take their time answering the question, research their ideas, and talk with family and friends before designing and building. From there, teachers and architects help to guide students to design a model together. By inviting students to think about how design can solve problems that affect their families and neighbors, we are also preparing them to create the habit of community engagement, which we believe results in a richer social and urban fabric.

Classroom Models

Participating classrooms will showcase their ideas and resulting models to the public. Models will remain on view from May 6 to May 11. A celebratory event with Boston Public School educators, students, and their families will take place on Saturday, May 11.

Learn more about Our Boston: Voices from Kindergarten