Saturday, April 11, 2015

Build A House

As a STEM school even the kindergarteners get to spend time learning about engineering, which is so much fun! This year my kids got to learn about engineering while we were learning about Fairy Tales. We spent 3 weeks learning about The Three Little Pigs and the different types of houses they built.

Week 1
Each student got to work with a partner to build a house of straw. We definitely made a mess but it was well worth it! Before we got started each student worked with their partner to draw a picture in their science notebook of what they wanted their house of straw to look like and what materials they were going to use. Obviously they all used straw but they got to choose if they wanted to use tape, glue, or both. They recorded their materials in their science notebook and then we got started on our experiment. I gave them about 15 minutes to work with their partner before the Big Bad Wolf showed up. We made sure everyone had their pig in their house and we took turns seeing if the Big Bad Wolf (Blow Dryer) could blow down their house. Amazingly I had a group build a house that did not blow down even on the highest setting of my blow dryer! They used SO much tape and the kids all thought it was so awesome :) 

Week 2
This week it was time for us to build stick houses. I would love to use real twigs next time I try this experiment but for the sake of time I just used popsicle stick. Once again the students designed their houses in their science notebooks. They also had a choice of materials again. They could once again choose tape, glue, or both and they had to record their choice in their science notebook. We really talked about what the structure of a house looks like this time. (It is kind of hard for 5yr olds to build a true structure out of straw. It mostly turned out like big piles last week! haha) We talked about a roof and how it doesn't touch our heads so we had to make sure our pigs would fit inside our houses. We talked about building walls and what would work best to hold it all together. Once again they had about 15 minutes to work on their houses and then we all took turns blowing down the houses. This time there were a couple of houses that stood but even if the house stayed standing most of the pigs blew away.

Week 3
Lastly it was time to build brick houses. This one was definitely the most interesting experience for me. Before we started building we talked about bricks and we looked up some pictures online. We talked about people using mortar to hold brick together when they build things. We talked about the pattern that bricks are in when we look at the outside of a house. I also reminded them of what we had talked about last week with the structure of a house. The students once again worked with their partner to draw their design in their science notebooks. They did not have a choice materials this week because everyone was using clay and rocks. These houses mostly turned out in the shape of an igloo but they stood up to the Big Bad Wolf very well. The only problem the kids had was that if they didn't build up all the walls the blow dryer would just blow the pigs out of the house. 

I hope you decide to try this experiment and enjoy it as much as we did! I have created a TPT Product  that includes the pages we use in our science notebooks for this experiment. It also includes an emergent reader and some math, writing, and literacy activities. Please check it out if you decide to give this experiment a try! 

Material List
Note: Some of the links in this list are affiliate links. Read my disclosure here.

Have A Great Day :)
Mrs. Daleo


  1. Fabulous idea! You are a great teacher. Thinking of how something like this could be tied into natural resources. :)

  2. I really really love this idea!!! thank you for sharing, I will be using this