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Explore Architecture: Building Castles & Creatures (Flex)

Explore architecture! Explore real & fictional castles like Hogwarts & Minas Tirith. Build your own Gothic castle with secret tunnels, underground chambers, dungeons, shifting walls, draw bridges and a poison garden & fantastic beasts.
Fifi Henderson
305 total reviews for this teacher
5 reviews for this class
Completed by 27 learners
No live meetings
Over 4 weeks
year olds
learners per class
per learner - per week

How does a "Flex" course work?

No scheduled live video chats
Discussions via classroom forum and private messages with the teacher
Great if your learner prefers independent pacing or is uncomfortable with live video chat

Available Times


Mon, Nov 28

Nov 28 – Dec 16 (4 weeks)
Flexible Time
Don't see a time that works for you?
Outschool is not affiliated with, sponsored by, or endorsed by Warner Bros. Entertainment Inc., owner of the Harry Potter® mark and related Harry Potter marks.


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 Castles & Creatures, we focus on historical and fictional architecture to bring to life imaginative ideas and encourage problem solving, big and small. Students practice fine motor skills and empathy while working with many individual parts (land, water, walls, draw bridges, etc) to create a convincing design by combining historical data and cultural trends for inspiration. We build our world from the ground up, starting with the site, and incrementally add more details to achieve completion.
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.
 1 file available upon enrollment
Below is a list of materials for each project; however, feel free to explore other materials, colors and sizes. When colored paper is called for, your learner can easily use plain white paper and color it with markers, colored pencils or crayons (or just leave it white). Pro Tip: Remember that each project features a Materials Demonstration Video and a printable Scavenger Hunt. Because these projects are designed to be flexible and unique to each student, I suggest watching the materials demonstration video before collecting your materials. Be sure to have fun! Feel free to explore other materials, colors and sizes. Don't worry about materials you don't have - find fun substitutions and keep going. Project 1: 2-3 sheets of green copy or construction paper (for land) 1 sheet of blue copy or construction paper (for water) 15-20 sheets of card stock, any color, or cardboard (easy to cut, from a cereal box, etc) (for the base) Project 2: Downloaded & Printed Castle Walls (3 Sheets of plain paper or card stock) 10 sheets of plain paper, any color (for arches, turrets, etc) 1-2 Paper towel rolls Project 3: Anything goes! Here are some suggestions: For the draw bridge: Cardboard or card stock, sticks from the yard, straws, pencils, string, yarn, Popsicle sticks... For the garden: artificial plants, colored beads, gems, pompoms, colored plastic, leaves from your yard... Project 4: Anything goes! Here are some suggestions: Modelling clay or Sculpey, Clothespins, googly eyes, pipe cleaners, fishing lures, pompoms, feathers, sponges, bubble wrap, tissue paper, rubber bands, recycled bottle, pillow stuffing, cotton balls...
We encourage your learner to upload their work for instructor feedback.
No live meetings, and an estimated 2 - 4 hours per week outside of class.


Fifi Henderson
Lives in the United States
305 total reviews
249 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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