Sixth graders viewed and discussed images of fantastical tree houses that exist all over the world. We discussed the materials available in the various climates that the houses were built (some houses were located in the woods of the Northwest and some were in tropical rain forests) and we discussed the trees and where the houses would have to be built within the trees in order to create a strong, sturdy structure. We discussed and viewed examples of the many shapes a tree house could take on – and thought about options for the shape of the roof, the shapes of the many windows, the doors, etc… Students were asked to push beyond the “basic boxy house with a traingle roof on top” idea and to be as inventive as possible. They were asked to consider a treehouse that was multi-layered. They were told to consider railings and a way to get into and back out of the treehouse. Would they use a staircase – a ladder – a ramp – a pulley system? Many options were considered. They then created sketches and then final drawings – which were colored in with crayon, colored pencil, and watercolor paint.