The wooden house

All about the framework

Objectives : The workshop helps children understand how the houses they live in are constructed. This essential step in the process is presented in the form of a model framework, enabling them to imagine the successive stages in the creation of their homes, and the various specialised trades required. The timber-framed house, a medieval architectural style common in our region, is an excellent way to introduce them to our history. They come to understand how medieval houses were built, and can compare the processes with those employed today. They get to handle the raw materials, and their awareness and imagination are put to work through use of crayons.

Procedure : In the company of a workshop leader, the children first of all pay a visit to the part of the museum appropriate to the workshop, presenting the various specialised building trades (house carpenters, carpenters, stone dressers, plasterers, etc.). The workshop leader then goes on to bring children into direct contact with the materials through models of frameworks to be assembled like three-dimensional puzzles. Following this, narration of a short story helps them refocus their attention on the theme of the session and put it into context. A black-and-white reproduction of a timber-framed house is then distributed, and with a little help from the workshop leader the children colour in the parts that seem to them to have been built of wood. They return to school with their productions.

Duration of visit and workshop : 1½ hours