Elementary schoolchildren learn about spaces, materials, form, function and style when they create a floor plan. They hone their basic math skills as they read blueprints and design their own floor space. The Internet offers children opportunities to manipulate wall and furniture arrangements and test their designs for function. Websites offer point-and-click and drag-and-drop tools for design.
Create an account at an Internet floor or house planning site. You will go back to this site with your students.
Explain to your students that a room plan is a simple design on paper that shows a room drawn to scale and viewed from above. Ask the students what they think is involved in developing a good floor plan and write down and discuss their answers.
Tell the students that they are going to use the Web to design their own floor plan for a room. Pass around books that show basic floor plans. Show them magazines that display different room styles. Give the students a chance to discuss and decide on what they want their floor plan to look like.
Emphasize that floor plans need to be detailed and complete before building can even begin. Introduce the concepts of form and function. Discuss details like walls, doorways and building materials. Talk about furniture arrangements and styles.
Go onto your Internet floor planning website. Start with an already designed example or with an empty room. Make your choices based on the age of the children and your lesson plan objectives.
Monitor the students as they design their floor plan. Drag corners to make skewed angles or drag the walls to change the size of the room. The students even have the option to split walls to create more complex shapes.
Print the completed floor plan. Discuss mathematical scaling, sizes, and proportions--work some math into a fun project. Decorate the room, incorporating different colors and textures for furniture.
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