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Design a Gingerbread House

Students will draw a picture of a gingerbread house and draft blueprints showing how to build it. Then they will follow their designs and create their own gingerbread houses.

PROCESS:

  1. Poll the class to see how many students have ever built a gingerbread house. Invite volunteers to describe the building process. Guide the class to recognize that, while it may seem simple, building a gingerbread house is a bit like constructing a real house. To succeed, you need the right materials and tools. You also need a plan.
  2. Inform students that they are going to design and build a gingerbread house of their own. First, have students draw a picture showing what they want their gingerbread house to look like. Then, have them create a plan. The plan should include a list of materials they’ll use as part of the gingerbread house, a list of tools they’ll need to build it and a blueprint with precise measurements to show how they will get it done.
  3. Give students time to complete their projects. Display students’ creations in a classroom gingerbread village.

ASSESSMENT:

Invite students to display their creations and post their initial drawings in a classroom gingerbread village. Encourage classmates to compare and contrast the before and after visions. As a class, review the building process. Encourage students to describe the biggest challenges they faced when constructing their gingerbread houses.

CUSTOMIZE THE LESSON:

Grades 3–4:
Prior to conducting this activity, collect cardboard, foam board and an assortment of other materials students could use to build a gingerbread house. Or, have students bring materials from home. If you use any food products, be sure to avoid items that might cause allergic reactions. Have each student draw, design and build their own gingerbread house.
Grades 5–6:
Prior to conducting this activity, collect cardboard, foam board and an assortment of other materials students could use to build a gingerbread house. Or, have students bring materials from home. If you use any food products, be sure to avoid items that might cause allergic reactions. Have each student draw and design their own gingerbread house. Challenge them to create a blueprint with precise measurements. Give students time to build their creations.
Grades 7–8:
Instruct students to draw a picture of a gingerbread house they would like to build. Then have them draft blueprints with precise measurements showing how it will be done. Provide cardboard or foam board and have students bring any other building materials they will need from home. Give students time to create their gingerbread houses. Once the houses are finished, encourage students to inspect each other’s houses to verify that the finished products match the measurements noted in the blueprints.
Grades 9–10:
Instruct students to draw a detailed picture of a gingerbread house they would like to build. Then have them draft blueprints with precise measurements showing how it will be done. Provide cardboard or foam board and have students bring any other building materials they will need from home. Give students time to create their gingerbread houses. Once the houses are finished, encourage students to inspect each other’s houses to verify that the finished products match the measurements noted in the blueprints and the colors and design replicate those proposed in the initial drawing.