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Collection of Reviewed Teaching Resources

A House model: A House for Me - Materials and Design for Different Climates

Subject taught
- Technology

Link
https://www.teachengineering.org/activities/view/a_house_for_me

Type of Product
- Articles
- Exercises
- Lesson Plans
- Web Site/Portal

Language Skills Developed
- Interaction
- Listening
- Reading
- Speaking
- Writing

Transferable/Scientific Skills Developed
Students will develop analytical skills, critical thinking skills, problem-solving skills.

Description
Students brainstorm and discuss the different types of materials used to build houses in various climates. They build small models of houses and test them in different climate (work in small groups).

The general aims are to develop the observation skills and the ability to make connections and suppositions. To be able to be engaged in team work. To acquire and interpret information in a critic way through different contexts.

Subject specific aims:
• The impact climates have on the building of structures
• Details about several types of climates
• Basic structural design
• Basic experimental skills

Linguistic aims:
- to listen English with ease
- to understand content
- to learn from written texts
- to express opinion
- to enable students to understand topic correctly
- to translate English words into the mother tongue using their own words.

This task is aimed at students of 11-12 years old.
Level of competence in English (CEFR): A2
Time required to use the resource with the students: 1 hours 15 minutes: 45 minutes for building and 30 minutes for testing.

How to use it: teacher tells about house contruction and materials due to climate conditions in living teritory (additional materials links for houses examples and pictures are given), uses topic related definitions (vocabulary).

Teacher presents the Engineering Design Challenge:
1. Have the class think about why people need houses, what materials are needed to build a house, and what the various parts of a house include.
2. Pair students and have each team choose an environment where the students want their house built. Have students figure out what type of climate their house must be able to handle in that environment. Instruct them to design and sketch a house to withstand that climate.
3. Have each group to present their concept to the rest of the class. Have the class comment and make suggestions on each other's ideas.
Build:
4. Have the groups build their designs with the available materials. Have students construct their houses on an 8.5 x 11 piece of paper with a grid printed on it.
5. Estimate the area of the house by counting the squares.
Test:
6. Test the houses against the elements that would be appropriate for the climate they built their houses to withstand.
7. Compare each of the groups' houses and discuss what materials are needed in different climates.

For final evaluation teacher uses the attached rubric to evaluate student teams' success in three areas: quality of design and construction, performance of house against climate tests, and demonstrated understanding of concepts.
Teacher should show students the rubric criteria in advance to clarify the grading process.

Possible difficulties for the students: students who have poor knowledge of English may have difficulties to understand the content.

Comments
Strengths: the teaching resource allows students to understand the impact climates have on the building of structures in a short time, illustrating with picture examples. Students not only learn more topic related words but also expand their knowledge on the surrounding environment through brainstorming, interpersonal communication. Weakness: Teachers should prepare slides for given material in order to shorten speaking time, to visualize the narrative and to emphasize the vocabulary/definitions. Scientific reliability: the source is scientifically reliable as correspond to educational standards • NGSS: Next Generation Science Standards - Science • Common Core State Standards - Math • International Technology and Engineering Educators Association - Technology • State Standards Pedagogical value (collaborative learning, peer assisted learning, language development across the curriculum, interdisciplinary, teaching complex thinking, teaching through conversation, contextualization, empowering creativity.)

Related Video Lessons

Model House Part 1

Model House Part 2