Follow the Plan

Math, Art, and Social Studies Activity

Children will use instructions on cards to draw a house with a specific number of features.



  1. Before class, create a number of flashcards (approximately 3" x 5"). Each card will include a number and a picture of the part of a house. For example: 1 (picture of a door); 2 (picture of two windows), 3 (picture of chimneys), 4 (picture of steps), etc. You might also want to make cards that indicate the colors of a house, such as brown, white, yellow, and so forth.

    Sort the cards by category (doors, windows, colors, etc.) into bowls or other containers. Be sure that children won't be able to see their choices before they pick a card. If you wish, label the bowls with a picture indicating each category.

  2. Tell children that one kind of job is called an architect. An architect draws plans of buildings, including houses, for builders to follow. Often, the plans are based on the needs and wants of the people who will live in them. These needs and wants are called "specifications." Tell children they are going to draw a house based on the "specifications" they choose from the bowls.

    One by one, have children choose one card from each bowl. When each child has chosen a card from each bowl, they will begin their drawings based on the instructions on the cards.

  3. When children have completed their drawings, ask volunteers to tell the class about how they drew their houses based on their cards.


You might display the children's houses in a group, to simulate a neighborhood.

Children might enjoy it if you invite an architect into the classroom to discuss his/her job. Ask the architect to bring plans for and a photo of a finished house he or she designed.

Have children count the doors, windows, chimneys, etc., in the building in which they live. Use the results they bring to class to make a graph of the information.

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