The Geography of Buildings

All over the world there are landmarks and buildings of various types, shapes, and sizes.  But each of these buildings has a cultural, economic, or religious significance.  When we studied Asia in my geography class, one project that was particularly fun was built around landmarks.  Students were asked to choose a landmark–be it a palace, a monument, a museum, whatever–and recreate it using recycled materials.  Then, they were to do some research on its significance.  Why was it built?  Why does it matter today?  How was it used?  I gave them some suggestions to get them started thinking as to what landmark they might choose.  I had students who created the Beijing Olympic Swim Stadium using wood from recycled pallets from his mother’s business, another student who reused balloons from a birthday party to create a papier mache Buddha statue, and still another who used recycled bottles painted white to recreate the Taj Mahal.  In the process, we all took a look at why these buildings mattered.  Was it religious significance?  Cultural?  Economic?  Why does it matter today?  This project could easily be applied to any unit of geography study, and if you’re interested in trying it out with your own students you can find it here:



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