Construction Ahead!

Math/Art Activity

Two of the pigs in the fairy tale The Three Little Pigs made some serious mistakes when constructing their homes. Students can help out those pigs by designing a stronger and more efficient house of logs or straw.



  1. Have students work in small groups to design their homes. Have each group brainstorm the type of home they would like to build, deciding on details such as how many rooms, windows, and doors it will have.

  2. Have students draw a floor plan. Provide them with copies of sample floor plans. These can be found in many home magazines, such as Better Homes and Gardens. If Kid Cad (Davidson) is available, students will have fun using it to design their floor plan. Also, if any of the students, parents are in the home construction trade, you might want to ask them to come in and talk to the class about building homes.

  3. Give each group fictitious money to work with. This is their budget. (The amount will depend on cost estimates of building materials in your area.) Then have students figure out the costs of items such as windows, doors, bathrooms, etc., using home building store circulars and/or calling or visiting home building stores in the area. After calculating costs, students may find that they have to revise their original plans.

  4. Have students draw a final picture of their floor plan (or blueprints), labeling each area and item included in the house. Have them attach an itemized costs list to their plans.

  5. Have students draw a picture or make a model of the finished house. Then set aside plenty of time for each group to present their homes to the rest of the class. Parents may also enjoy this presentation.

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