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By Sarah Openshaw — works at a field study centre in North Suffolk

Discovering which buildings are necessary to sustain a community

You will need

The ‘Fairytale buildings’ poster; clipboards; pens; paper.

What to do

Look again at the picture of the Fairytale Village. Is there something that all the buildings have in common? (They are all homes). Talk about what other buildings the village might need – police station, school, shops and so on. Why are these buildings necessary?

Talk about what the buildings are made of and why this is. For example, the dwarfs’ cottage has been built using the stone from the nearby quarry. Stone is strong and will last a long time.

Now explain to the class that you are going out to look for buildings that are not homes and to find out why they are there and what they are made of. Take the children for a walk around the local area, in small groups if possible. Accompanying adults will need a clipboard, paper and pen to record information. They should encourage the children to answer the following questions:

  • What is this building?
  • What is its purpose?
  • What is it made from?
  • Is it nice to look at?
  • Does it fit in with the other buildings that surround it?
  • Why is it where it is?
  • Would it matter if it wasn’t there?

Take the information back to school for the next activity.


Give younger children options to choose from when answering questions about each building. For example, is it made from wood or brick?

buildings image



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