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Writing for Young Learners


Explore Architecture: Build an Egyptian Pigeon House (Live)

In this maker-based workshop, learners explore the vernacular architecture of pigeon towers from Iran, Egypt, and Qatar, and how these buildings became part of history by creating their own expression of a modern-day house from clay.
Fifi Henderson
305 total reviews for this teacher
New class
  There are no upcoming classes.
55 minutes
per class
Meets once
year olds
learners per class
per learner

How does aOne-Timeclass work?

Meets once at a scheduled time
Live video chat, recorded and monitored for safety and quality
Great for exploring new interests and different styles of teachers

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Class Experience

Wicked Workshop is a maker-based program that introduces youth to architecture through reality-based projects that tackle "wicked" problems like inadequate housing and environmental health. We teach decision-making strategies, complex problem solving, and critical thinking methods recognized as vital 21st century skills necessary to succeed in work, life and citizenship through a straightforward hands-on curriculum based on authentic projects that foster independent thinking, self-directed learning, exploration, iteration and creativity.  

In Egyptian Pigeon Tower, we focus on how historical vernacular buildings (of any type!) can inspire creativity in the built environment. We use architecture to bring to life imaginative ideas that encourage problem solving, big and small. Students practice fine motor skills and empathy while working to connect several parts and pieces to create a convincing habitable design. 
Wicked workshop is taught by Phyllis (Fifi) Henderson.  A mom to two active girls, an architect and an educator, Fifi creates learning experiences opportunities that build self-esteem, independence and critical thinking skills.  As an educator with a PhD in architectural history and theory, she recognized that Design Thinking was being used outside of professional design practice to help resolve issues in multiple industries including business and societal sectors.  Design Thinking is a non-linear, strategy-based process for problem solving that tackles issues through empathy and iterative hands-on making. It was developed by Stanford University’s “d” school for people in business, higher education, the public sector and K-12 education as a process to create real change. As an architect, Fifi practiced this methodology and recognized it as a direct extension of her traditional university architecture school curriculum. After completing her PhD, she decided to scale that learning experience for a younger audience. Working with kids on big problems has been one of the most rewarding aspects of her career and she is continually energized by the ideas, dynamism and joy that kids bring to wicked problems.
There is no homework, although all of our projects carry the likely potential to add more details over time.
This is a clay project (yay!) which means students will need to come to class with clay of some sort. Here are our recommendations: 1.5 - 2 pounds of air-dry clay 1-2 plastic drinking straws Several small round toothpicks, sticks or twigs Clay "tools" such as a popsicle stick are nice to cut the clay or smooth it out Tip #1: Many students like the Crayola Brand Air Dry Clay because it seems easier to manipulate than others, but any air-dry clay will work. Feel free to be creative and choose colorful clay if you'd like. Tip #2: The round sticks or twigs should to be easy to cut or break into small pieces. Consider collecting small twigs from outside - these will work perfectly.
55 minutes per week in class, and an estimated 0 - 1 hours per week outside of class.


Fifi Henderson
Lives in the United States
305 total reviews
248 completed classes

About Me

I’m a mom to two active girls, an architect and an educator.  As a mom, I spend a lot of time looking for opportunities for my girls to build self-esteem, independence and critical thinking skills.  As an educator with a PhD in architectural... 
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