Build This House with Benjamin Vela



Build This House with Benjamin Vela

Learning Objectives

CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.5 Recognize area as an attribute of plane figures and understand concepts of area measurement.

CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.6 Measure area by counting unit squares (square cm, square m, square in., square ft., and improvised units).

CCSS.Math.Content.3.MD.C.7 Relate area to the operations of multiplication and addition.

Guiding ideas for Survival City – Making Homes

Opening Slideshow Materials:

  • Math notebooks and pencils (colored pencils and graph paper are good for this too)
  • Slideshow file
  • Whiteboard and markers (see Supporting Files section)

Go through the pictures on the slideshow and brainstorm any thoughts and observations of how multiplication and area are related. Use the students’ brainstorm comments to get them. Once the students have made a connection that math is needed to build homes, unit measurements, area, and perimeter, unveil the Big Idea. Math is needed to construct all buildings and measuring the area and perimeter of shapes are its tools.

Student activities for Survival City – Making Homes

Blueprint Pass out the Blueprint Worksheet and help the students as they design their homes’ foundation by drafting area and perimeters in their plot of land. As students finish, have them peer review each other’s work before entering the Home Prototype World.
Developing a Prototype Students will enter the Home Prototype World and have three activities to complete that will follow the worksheet.
1) They will flatten an area that is 10 meters by 10 meters and find the area.
2) Next they will build a foundation consisting of two rectangles, find the area of each and then find the total area. They will show work of their measurements with slates and pictures.
3) Then students will measure and build a perimeter on top of their foundation. Note: some students might notice that their perimeter might be a larger number than the amount of blocks that are in the perimeter. This is an example of higher level thinking and happens because we added up the perimeter in meters and built in blocks, so the cornerpieces get counted on two sides.
Encourage them to explain the difference on why this happens and ask them to adjust the equation to count blocks and not meters.
Over all, this is not in the main lesson plan because we don’t want to overwhelm students with changes to the basic perimeter problems: however, you can still use this to look for higher level thinking skills. If students finish early, send them in the Class Survival World to start gathering materials for the class, such as wood, stone, sand, and gravel.
1. What is a unit square and how can I prove it? 1×1=1
2. How can math help you build a home?
3. How is perimeter different from area?

Performance expectations

Depth of Knowledge 4 Student did all of the following: 1. The student was able to create a flat property area that is 10 meters by 10 meters and the area in terms of total units. (3.MD.5A,B 3.MD.6 3.MD.7A) 2. The student was able to design prototypes of floor plans on the worksheet and in creative mode. 3. The student was able to find and explain the area and perimeter of a 2 room floor plan. (3.MD.7.B, 3.MD.8, 3.MD.6 3.MD.5) 4. The student was able to explain strategies on how they did the math, such as measuring, and the length and width to find the area. 5. The student was able to build a foundation for a home in Survival World. 6. The student was able to show higher level thinking skills by changing equations to make new looks in their homes or realized and accounted for the difference between the measured perimeter and the amount of blocks in the perimeter.
Depth of Knowledge 3 The student completed four out of the six listed above
Depth of Knowledge 2 The student completed three out of the six listed above
Depth of Knowledge 1 The student completed two out of the six listed above


  • Creativity
  • Critical thinking


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