Step 1: Gather materials.
- Assorted materials for building (popsicle sticks, straws, tape, legos)
- Book: Three Little Pig
Note: Small parts pose a choking hazard and are not appropriate for children age five or under. Be sure to choose lesson materials that meet safety requirements.
Step 2: Introduce activity.
- In large group, ask children to share what they know about building houses
- After children have shared, read the book “The Three Little Pigs”
- Ask children to recall what materials the pigs used to build their houses and what happened when the big bad wolf came around.
- Ask children why they think the house of bricks was not blown away.
- Discuss possibilities of why the house was not blown away (strong base, materials used, how much of the material was used, etc)
- Explain to children that now it will be their turn to design and build a house that cannot be “blown away”.
Step 3: Engage children in lesson activities.
- In small groups, invite children to design and draw their house that they can build with assorted materials.
- Ask children to think about the materials they want to use to build their house and to incorporate them into their drawing.
- After the children draw their house, invite them to start building their house using the assorted materials (popsicle sticks, straws, legos, etc).
- As the children are building, ask if their house looks like their original design and if different, why did they choose to build it different?
- After the children are done building, ask them to predict if they think their house will be blown away or stand up to the big bad wolf (fan)?
- Bring fan out and test if it will blow away the houses.
- After all the houses have been tested, discuss and analyze why some of the houses stood strong or got blown away.
- Invite children to re-design their house and build with other materials so they can keep investigating.
Step 4: Vocabulary.
- Predict: To guess what might happen next
- Design: To create a plan for something that will be built
- Test: To try out an idea to see if it works or not
- Conclude: To make statements about what was learned after an observation or experiment
- Analyze: To examine information in order to make conclusions
- Base: The part of a building that sits on the ground
Step 5: Adapt lesson for toddlers or preschoolers.
Adapt Lesson for Toddlers
- Not be able to draw a design of their house before building
- Not be able to build as precise using some materials (straws, popsicle sticks, tape)
Child care providers may:
- Skip the drawing component and go straight to building
- Only supply legos (or other types of blocks)
Adapt Lesson for Preschoolers
- Want to use recycled materials to build a house with
- Want to work together as a team and test out the houses in teams
Child care providers may:
- Provide other materials to build with (cardboard, tubes, blocks)
- Provide heavier materials to build with
- Building a House By: Byron Barton
- How a House Is Built By: Gail Gibbons
- If I Built a House By: Chris Van Dusen
Music and Movement
- Song” “This is the way we build a house” and encourage children to act out movements of each step of building a house
- Go on a neighborhood walk to compare the different houses and buildings in the neighborhood