cardboard tiny house student project

Your mission

Design the perfect dream home for a young family with a baby and a dog



cardboard tiny house student geometry and measurement grade 3-5

The details

It's a tiny home (and a big dog)so you have to be really creative with space.



dwell.com image of modern tiny home

The inspiration

Tiny homes save space, are sustainable, can be transported and are fun to design!


Presented by:

Marci Klein, MD

Dean, 3DuxUniversity

The Story

Young Designers k-2:

You just graduated from architecture school and this is  your very first job. A young family of three with a baby and a dog want you to design their tiny dream home. In this exercise, you will have the opportunity to create the perfect living space for them.  Your job is to imagine, design, build and decorate the perfect tiny home for this young family. 


Advanced designers 3-5:

 You just graduated from architecture school and this is your very first job. A young family of three with a baby and a dog want you to design their tiny dream home. In this exercise, you will have the opportunity to create the perfect living space for them. Your job is to imagine, design, build and decorate the perfect tiny home for this young family. But wait, there are some rules. The area of this home will be only 150 square feet  (shape is up to you) and may only be 10 feet tall. Your challenge is to add everything this family would need in that space to live (notice, it’s a dream home because seriously, they must be dreaming!!!)   In this exercise, 150 sq. feet is the “footprint”. You can, however,  make use of the vertical space (create a loft or even a roof patio). The ceiling height allow is 12 feet. Keep in mind that many adults are more than 6 feet tall  so a full second story is quite possibly going to lead to lots of concussions. 

materials

* assorted 3DuxDesign Connectors and cardboard

* supplemental cardboard pieces

* 16 x 16 inch board or paper for floorpan 

*  Ruler (36 inch ideal) 

*  Pencils 

*  scissors 

*  scrap cardboard pieces for interior components 

* crayons 

* home/garden magazines for scrap or computer and printer

* 3-5 graph paper 

• Pipe cleaners, straws, craft paper, stickers, glue, markers, paint 

• any other recycled materials of interest

day 1 

K-2 :

Introduction: What is a tiny home?  A tiny home is house built as small as possible. It is not an exact size,  but the typical tiny home is only 1/5th the size of the typical american home. The Tiny House movement is a group of people  who are choosing to downsize the space they live in. The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical tiny house is between 100 and 500 square feet. 

Discussion: Why would we choose to live in a tiny home? Answers may include the following

- mobility, some tiny homes are mobile

- sustainability - less material, less clearing of land and cutting down trees, less energy use (heat)

- easier - less cleaning to do

- less expensive to build and keep up

- adventurous and fun

Activity: Research tiny homes in the world and create a brainstorming collage of tiny home ideas. this may be cut out magazine pictures, printed images from the internet and drawings. Be sure to include the inside of tiny homes too


Grades 3-5:

Introduction: 

What is a tiny home? A tiny home is house built as small as possible. It is not an exact size, but the typical tiny home is only 1/5th the size of the typical American home. The average size of an American home is 2,600 square feet and costs $273,000. The average cost of building your Tiny House will be only $25,000 and it will take up only 150 square feet of floor space (the actual square feet will vary based on your own design- we will discuss that later)

What is the Tiny House movement? This is an idea dreamed up by a group of people who are choosing to downsize the space they live in. The typical American home is around 2,600 square feet, whereas the typical tiny house is between 100 and 500 square feet. 

Why would you want a tiny home?

Discussion: Why would we choose to live in a tiny home? Create a grid and discuss  PROS AND CONS 

some pros might include 

- mobility, some tiny homes are mobile 

- sustainability 

- less material, less clearing of land and cutting down trees, less energy use (heat)

- easier 

- less cleaning to do 

- less expensive to build and keep up

Some CONS might include

- not room for everything you need

- privacy

- noise and ability to concentrate 

- room for visitors 

Activity:  Research tiny homes in the world and create a brainstorming collage of tiny home ideas.  This may be cut out magazine pictures, printed images from the internet and drawings.  Be sure students include interior images, furniture and other space-saving ideas. They will need to start a list of important "MUST HAVES" for their own build.



day 1 homework

k-2

finish your collages and discuss with your family fun space saving ideas, return to school with complete collage and written or pictorial list of what should go in your tiny home. This should include the basic "living spaces" like kitchen, bathroom, bedroom, play area, storage etc


3-5

Continue research on tiny homes - 

1. This can be a photo and description of one single famous small home concept, interesting tiny home conversions (school bus, shipping containers, boats etc). Alternatively, a student may choose to research small homes in history or other cultures (yurts in Mongolia, teepees - American Indians etc). 

2. create a list of the "MUST HAVE" living spaces (kitchen, bedroom, bathroom, recreations, storage) and the furniture and built-in needed to live in the space. 

  

day 2

k-2

Activity: today we will build our own tiny homes. Students may work alone or in pairs. Using 3DuxDesign connectors, cardboard and crayons, children will create the structural component of their tiny home. Each student should have they same size sheet of paper, oak tag or cardboard base to work with, ideally 16 x 16 inches.  They should focus on outside perimeter of the structure, interior walls and making sure they include the "MUST HAVE" spaces on their list. Students should also think about the outside of their space and how to add room for car and small yard (or roof garden, vertical garden along the walls -let them be creative here)


3-5

Activity: Today we will build our own tiny homes. Divide students into groups of 3-4.

1. compare lists of "MUST HAVE" spaces and generate final list of the important spaces needed in this home. 

2. Using paper or cardboard sheet and a ruler, draw a grid with a 1” to 1’ ratio, for the floor plan (suggest 15 x 15 inches). 

3. Using a pencil, have students brainstorm and work out the 150 square floorpan. When designing the interior, they should think about how people live in a space, how they move from one place to another as they live. They should place living spaces with consideration of how people live in terms of movement through a home, privacy, sound, windows and light/view vs privacy, door locations etc.  They should label the MUST HAVE areas within the plan and adjust as needed. Students should try to be accurate in scale with the space needed. 

4. Review how to calculate area and perimeter (and volume if desired).

4. They should also think about what they will do with the extra property space (garden, play space, sculpture, detached workshop, parking, storage etc). They should think about lofts, roof space, wall space, anything they can think of that will add functional space. 

  

day 2 homework

All grades

Using materials from the home have students imagine, design and create a  model of one  multi-functional or space-saving item for the home. Anything from furniture on the floor to hanging chairs or wall shelving. This is the space for true open-ended creativity. Make sure they prepare to present it. 


  

day 3

K-2 

Activity: Complete the home with furniture, decorations, characters, gardens etc

Presentation: Each student should present their tiny home design and share their special creation with the class.


3-5 

Activity: The Floorpan Calculating area, perimeter, volume and costs

1. On graph paper, each  student will need draw the floorpan including exterior and interior walls.  Measurements will be needed for each floor of the home (loft, roof top, rooftop gardens etc). Anything on a manufactured surface should be included. Outdoor garden is not included. 

2. Calculate the area of each floor and add them to calculate the entire floor space used for living

3. calculate the exterior  perimeter and area of your home

4. calculate the area of all interior walls in your house

5. calculating costs - calculate the cost for finished floors if each square foot= $10/square foot), exterior walls = $10/square foot, interior walls = $5/square foot How much does the entire home cost to build?


  

day 4 grades 3-5

Activity: 

Complete the home with furniture, decorations, characters, gardens etcPresentation: 

Presentations:

Each group should present their tiny home design with special space-saving features why the family will enjoy this space and the cost of their home 

  

NGSS and math standards 

K-ESS3-3-Communicate solutions that will reduce the impact of humans on .the land, water, air, and/or other living things in the local environment. 

K-ESS2-2 Construct an argument supported by evidence for how plants and animals (including humans) can change the environment to meet their needs.

K-2-ETS1-1 Engineering DesignAsk questions, make observations, and gather information about a situation people want to change to define a simple problem that can be solved through the development of a new or improved object or tool.

K-2-ETS1-2 Engineering DesignDevelop a simple sketch, drawing, or physical model to illustrate how the shape of an object helps it function as needed to solve a given problem.

K-2-ETS1-3 Engineering DesignAnalyze data from tests of two objects designed to solve the same problem to compare the strengths and weaknesses of how each performs.Performance ExpectationGrade: K-2 K 1 2


3-5-ETS1-1. Define a simple design problem reflecting a need or a want that includes specified criteria for success and constraints on materials, time, or cost. 

3-5-ETS1-2. Generate and compare multiple possible solutions to a problem based on how well each is likely to meet the criteria and constraints of the problem. 

3-5-ETS1-3 Engineering DesignPlan and carry out fair tests in which variables are controlled and failure points are considered to identify aspects of a model or prototype that can be improved.Performance ExpectationGrade: 3-5 3 4 5



  

featured results


Addison, age 8 created an accurately scaled and beautifully detail-oriented design. She made use of vertical space with a bedroom loftand a rooftop terrace. She included all of the necessities for living including spaces for sleeping, eating, food prep and bathing. She added a windmill for a sustainable energy source and plants for both decoration and for their health benefits. This space had a footprint of only 125 square feet of ground space but the living area was actually 175 square feet given the loft and roof garden. Way to go Addison!

Connor, age 7 decided to focus  on minimizing our carbon footprint and sustainable housing options


Sam, age 6 felt that the entire space should be one giant garage because his family likes to travel a lot.

Sarah, age 8 wanted to be certain that Fluffy the Dog had a place to sleep, eat and drink. 

more results
coming soon! 
submission

email material to info@3duxdesign.com 

1. must include at least 5  photos,  including photos of sketches, brainstorming list, WIP, final project 

2. written description or drawings 

3. may include video presentation with link to youtube or vimeo content - 

5. share your post on Facebook and/or instagram with tags @3duxdesign and @billionboxproject @3duxuniversity for eligibility to win products, prizes and more

* no photo with child's face or identifying information will be posted

elementary school students STEAM curriculum tiny home design architecture and build lesson plan and curriculum with NGSS engineering standards for k2 and 3-5