Home of Ivy Olcott

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Project Info

Grade Levels5, 6
DisciplinesMathematics, Visual Arts

Project Overview

These blueprints were created by a 5th/6th grade student from the Shutesbury Elementary School in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, as part of a Learning expedition on Architecture.

The blueprints correspond to a character file (CF) created by the same student and are meant to be a realistic representation of a home that in design, expense and square footage is appropriate for the life of their fictional character and his or her family. See entry #246 for an example of a CF of an architect. 

The blueprints that students created were drafted on professional vellum in standard residential scale (¼” = 1’), with furnishings and color. Each student went through at least four standardized drafts (for an example of these drafts see entry # 144): Draft 1 – rough sketch on plain white paper; Draft 2 – refined sketch on large white art paper; Draft 3 – scaled drawing on 18” x 24” ¼” graph paper; Draft 4 – final draft on professional vellum. Students went through intensive critique, which included feedback from a professional architect in between most drafts. Unlike construction blue prints, these do not include dimension lines; this was purposeful to allow students to add interior design elements. The blueprints follow standard architectural conventions, follow constraints in square foot expenses, and adhere to standard residential building codes. Students used professional furniture templates for the interior design work.

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Exemplifies a product that could not be accomplished without extensive drafting and revisions.
  • Unusually authentic combination of math work – scale, estimation, computation, and geometry – with visual arts
  • Compelling balance of individual creativity and rigid standards for accuracy
  • An appealing format that is engaging to look at; many students are immediately motivated to begin their own version of this project after viewing a model
  • Highlights an extension of another product format – the Character File.
  • Shows an example of exemplary student work. Notice the careful work done by this student – including the coloring, unique home features and consideration of details
  • Highlights extensive work with local experts
  • Highlights a format in which the work of each student can be individually assessed

Associated Standards

StandardLong-term Learning Targets
5.MD.1I can convert among units within one measurement system (metric, standard, time, etc.).
I can solve measurement word problems involving conversions.
I can represent the context of the measurement word problem using a variety of models.
6.RP.3I can explain the relationship between rate, ratio, and percent.
I can solve word problems using ratio and rate reasoning.

Content Areas & 21st Century Skills

  1. Core subjects and themes – Math: Scale calculations, estimation, geometry; Art: Drafting, lettering, color, attention to detail 
  2. Learning and innovation – Creative effort through drafts and revision. 
  3. Information, media, and technology skills – Use of professional drafting equipment, art equipment 
  4. Life and career skills – Working independently; consulting with professionals; following codes; managing time; producing results; skills of critique; ethic of revision 

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