In this blogpost I'll go over the basics of what I showed them.
Then I announced the project itself: we were going to group build a tower. I loaded my iPad with Google image search results of various towers. I tired to get a variety of towers. Ones that were widest at the base and tapered smaller all the way to the peak. Towers that had a wider top level, towers from various cultures, towers with function, towers that were decorative, and symmetrical & asymmetrical towers.
And our goal wasn't to recreate one of these exactly, but to pick out design choices we liked as a group to include into our model.
Cardboard (single and double corrugated––all scavenged shipping boxes), rulers, x-acto knives, a cutting mat, a pack of basswood scraps (purchased at a local hobby store), sandpaper (using up discs I have for a palm sander that bit the dust years ago) and 3 types of glue: Hot Melt (not pictured) for anything structural, Super Glue for anything that required finesse, and glue stick for applying paper patterns and details to flat surfaces (I'd usually use spray adhesive here, but to cut down on mess, I went with glue stick)...
And lastly, sheets and sheets of patterns and textures and building elements I cobbled together from Google image searches printed out on copy paper.
For my models, I'd print these as-needed and to the exact scale my model required...but for the workshop I just came prepared with a half dozen sheets of shingles, brick, stone, tiles, pavers, arches, wood elements, windows, doors and more.
The group was well attended. My only regret is that to get them started, I spent a lot of time building a lot of the first section myself instead of having them get in there and get into it faster. But, I did put knives and glue and paper and trim in their paws and got them making decisions about our tower.
The session was a few hours and we got a good hunk of work done (unfortunately I don't have a photo of where we were when the group had to disband for the next workshop event), but we kept the space set-up so that in the free-work time later that night folks could come back up and continue to push the model forward. And with the help of some of the students (some that were in the first session and some that joined us anew in the evening) we finished this tower model:
If you have more interest in my architectural models, I have a YouTube Playlist here showing several of the models, materials I used to make them and how they helped me illustrate my stories: