Chalk Village

by | Mar 11, 2024 | Cafe Chats

A play-inspired conversation starters for group meetings or for individual reflection.


From ‘scribbles’ to graffiti to artwork hung in art galleries, drawing and mark making is a distinctively human language. So, when I saw first two, then three, then four, then many children drawing together on the playground pavement, I felt pulled toward their conversation.

What did I see?

At first the children were working individually, side by side, drawing individual homes with sidewalk chalk. From my vantage point the playground was being developed into a subdivision!

These homes had multiple levels, with stairs, windows, bedrooms, kitchens, play spaces, hall lights, electrical outlets, a sky light, an internet tower, and most importantly doorways in and out of their homes.

I watched as the chalk builders of these homes invited other children and teachers to come through the door and into their homes to look around.

When one of their guests entered their home and told them they didn’t have a home of their own, the host of the tour ‘built’ an addition to their home with an extra bedroom.

This extra bedroom was furnished with a bed and stuffie for the homeless child.

The children came back to their chalk village again and again over several outdoor playtimes. They visited one another in the village homes, and continued to renovate and build more homes….. until it rained and the chalk village blurred and vanished from sight.



  1. If you ‘listen’ closely to the actions and drawings of these children, what do you hear? What might these children be expressing or exploring?
  2. As an educator how could you keep this conversation and exploration going among the children, even after the chalk village was washed away by the rain?