Spanish Version

Design a School

Creative Design Activity

Your students will have a chance to build their ideal school in this activity.


  • Large sheets of graph paper
  • Colored pencils or markers
  1. Have students share stories about the different kinds of schools they have attended. Discuss how they were the same or different from their present school. Decide whether the differences were mainly due to size, shape and kind of school building, the number of students and teachers, or the subjects they studied.

  2. Explain to students that they will be creating an ideal school based on their ideas about what would make the perfect school.

  3. Brainstorm with students a list of rooms and areas their ideal school will have and what kind of learning will go on in each. (Explain that offices and custodial work areas do not have to be shown in the plan they make.)

  4. Divide the class into small groups and have each group choose a different room or area of the school to design. To help them with their plans have them consider and discuss the answers to questions such as these:
    • How many students and teachers will fit at one time in the room or area?
    • What will be the size (length, width, circumference) of the room or area?
    • How many windows and what kinds of lighting will be needed?
    • How will the room or area be used? What kinds of activities will take place there?
    • What furniture, equipment, or materials will be needed for the room or area?

  5. After considering these and any other questions, each group is ready to draw their room plans on graph paper and then explain them to the class.

  6. As a class, decide how to combine all the plans into one school building plan. Make any necessary or last-minute adjustments to the individual plans before combining them into the larger one. Encourage them to name their new school and attach a list of its perceived advantages and special features. Display it in a hallway or the cafeteria.

  7. Invite the principal to view the new school plan and to discuss the advantages of this ideal school plan and the ideas about learning behind its design.

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