Drawing and perambulating your labyrinth.

In this phase of the activity, the teacher will draw the class' labyrinth on the board (or OHP sheet); then the teacher and class together will lay paper on the floor and copy out the labyrinth on a large scale. Finally class will walk through the labyrinth.

Note: If the class walked through the Cretan labyrinth, they would all end up in the center, at level 8. This is not practical. So the class will draw the labyrinth in rectangular form, with the entrance at the top and the exit at the bottom. Interested students can reconstruct the round form of this labyrinth. It would also be twice as large, and hard to fit in a classroom. (If the class had devised a 6 or 8-level maze, the round form would be fun).

On the board. The class can help you do this. The first picture you get will be the maze path. The walls of the maze will be drawn around it.
Draw a rectangular grid, 11 down by 9 across; number the horizontal lines from 0 to 10. In a different color (or using dashed lines) draw a horizontal line between every two horizontal lines of the grid, and a vertical line between every two verticals, including lines on the outside of the grid on both sides. Label the new horizontal lines A, B, C, D, E, F, G, H, I, J, with A between 0 and 1, etc. , and J between 9 and 10.

The segments above the numberline should be transferred to vertical lines on the right side of the grid, but reordered so that the longer segments lie to the right. The segments below the numberline should be transferred to vertical lines on the left side of the grid, but reordered so that the longer segments lie to the left. The picture shows this stage for the maze 0 9 4 7 6 5 8 1 2 3 10.

Now, except for 0 and 10, there should be two segment ends at each level. Join them with a horizontal line in the grid. This is the maze-path.

Now draw the walls of the maze using the extra, different-colored lines. There will be one wall on the extreme right, and one on the extreme left, each extending from from the A level to the J level; there will be one all the way across the top except at the extreme right where the path enters, and one all the way across the bottom, below level 9, except at the extreme left where the path exits. Fill in the rest of the walls to separate nearby parts of the path.

On the floor. Clear an area approximately 14 x 17 feet. The class can help you calculate how large the maze will be. You should make the path width 18 inches. The 9 horizontal levels will then require 13.5 feet. Leaving a couple of feet at top and bottom makes about 18. The width you will need will depend on the labyrinth you found. If you found 0 9 2 7 4 5 6 3 8 1 10 the labyrinth will be square, but probably you will need less room across than down.

Have the students take off their shoes. You take off yours, too! Have the students lay down the paper (use masking tape to hold it down and to protect edges between strips) and guide them in transferring the design from the board to the floor. Note that you will transfer the walls (red in our picture) and not the path. It may be useful to block out horizontal levels A, B, C, ... , J approximately 18 inches apart.

The Perambulation. Get a volunteer to lead the class through (someone creative but sane). Play the music.

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Tony Phillips
November 11 1997