HOUSES AND HOMES

             Due Date: Friday, November 7, 2008

Soon it will be the end of our “Houses and Homes” Thematic Unit! As a way
to evaluate what your child has learned in science, math and social studies
throughout our unit a final project will be completed. Here is your chance to
participate and help solidify concepts with your child and make a wonderful
childhood memory at the same time!

We have studied various types of houses and homes around the world. We
have also studied building materials, workers related to construction,
simple machines, forms of energy and technical drawing of houses. We have
compared house building to skyscrapers and different houses styles to each
other. Armed with all this knowledge your child should be ready to:

             “Build and Present a simple House Model”

            Here is what the project must include for a full grade:

      A model house or home

      A simple floor plan of the model and a frontal-view drawing of it

      A short written report that states:
       1. What the house is made of
       2. Why the student chose to build this style of house
       3. Where this type of house might be found
       4. How long it took to create
       5. Any problems and solutions during the creation of the project

What Kind of House?

Your child is not limited to a specific type of house. It can be a real house or
a fantasy home. It can be in any form and made from any material. The only
limitation is that it cannot be a “pre-made” home such as a plastic model or
a toy house such as a Barbie Dream home etc. Here are some of the types of
homes students have done in past years that could be used or your child can
come up with something new and innovative:
Mud and Straw Huts            Igloos         Teepees          Tent Homes

                 Log Cabins         Tree Houses        Adobe Houses

Brick Flats         Wooden Homes            Stilt Homes        Cave Dwellings

              Trailer Homes         Recycled Homes        Castles

Farm Houses           House Boats        Glass Houses          Apartments

              Light Houses      Windmills            Animal Skin Homes

Nests          Beaver Dam Homes          Sod Houses         Thatch Roof Homes

How Do I get Materials for my child?

You can use almost anything to build a home. Part of the fun and learning
for your child will come from the “trial and error process” of building it! If
something does not work, try another material. This often happens with real
home construction too. You can use, dirt, sand, wood chips, fabric,cans,
boxes, balsa wood, clay, plastic blocks, sugar cubes, sticks, stones, shells,
aluminum foil, tooth picks, branches, rocks, nylons, plastic wrap and a
myriad of other common household items. Supplies on the economy can
easily be purchased inexpensively from Bricco (near Auchen) or at Etnapolis
(the new mall near Motta).

How Do We Get Started?

This is meant to be both a fun family project and a good learning experience
that gives your child the opportunity to express their ideas and knowledge
with your guidance. Try this as a start – sit down and talk with your child
about what they think they might want to do. Talk about the materials that
could be used, perhaps even research on-line different kinds of homes at
Architect sites. Then let your child be a part of the material gathering
process whether you shop for it or just pick it up from around the
neighborhood. If your child wants to build a house from scratch make sure
they know how to use tools safely and oversee the work carefully. Discuss
ways it could or might be put together more easily as a suggestion.
Demonstrate steps and then begin each part but let them continue from
your example. Parents can really help with “the finishing touches”. Children
need to know that the project isn’t really completed until details are added
(shrubs, curtains, swimming pools, paint, etc). This also helps children
visualize the total product at the end of a long process of hard work. A
“display ready” project gives children a great deal of confidence in
themselves and since this is their first project, you will need to help them
quite a bit, but please don’t do the whole thing for them! Encourage them to
be both creative and practical with their house project trying to relate it’s
creation to one in a real setting – (Who would live there? Where would it be
built? Would it be expensive?) We have done a good deal of this in school.
When they present their project to the class someone might ask them these
types of questions about their model. This encourages your child to problem
solve and use critical thinking skills. If you take the project seriously and
carefully prepare and plan it with them, then they will take it seriously and
want to be involved in every step of its creation too! HAPPY BUILDING!!

When is the project due in class?   Friday, November 7, 2008

Your child can bring their project in as much as a week earlier (not more
due to space limitations) but with four full weeks to work on it, there will be
no extension of the due date. (Stateside Family emergencies only). If you
are going away on a trip prior to the assigned due date, please turn in your
house project prior to leaving so we will have it for the show! Thank You!

Have Fun!!

Ms. Bors

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