1.  Set up a team with two or three other members of your class.  Using several different sources, such as the internet, pictures, and books available in the library, research the ways in which house styles and materials have changed throughout history.  It would be a good idea to take notes along the way of different details that interest you.  It will be helpful later when you decide what your individual team members will specialize in, and later when you are designing the model.

2.  Each team member will decide on an area to specialize their research.  Depending upon how many members you have, decide how many topics to include.  A good number of topics is about four.  You could then each concentrate on the styles and materials of a major feature such as the roof, windows, siding, and chimney.  If there are more members, each category can have a team.  As an alternative, you could each pick a complete style of house and research how it is built.

3.  Return to the group with your research.  Bring your individual ideas together and design a house that incorporates parts from at least four different styles.  For instance, your house could turn out to be an English house built with bricks in a Flemish bond style, palladian windows, and a French roof covered in German split cedar shingles.  If you have each studied an entire house style instead, take a part from each style and agree on an overall design that way.  Surprisingly, you will end up with exactly the same result!

4.   Build a small model of your proposed design.  Working as a team, construct the individual parts of your house from your choice of materials.  You could cut the basic shapes from cardboard and draw the details like shingles, bricks, and windows on before assembling it with tape or glue.  Or you could print out pictures of your features from the computer and cut them out to cover the cardboard model.

5.  Work together to write a short report that explains the separate parts or details of your finished house.  Give examples such as where the style originated, why it might have originated, and why it is or is not still in use today.  You could each write the section for your particular area, and then work together to make the sections transition to each other.

6.  Present your model and the explanation of the individual parts to the board of commissioners.  If this is to be an oral report, each member of the team could take turns explaining their part of the design.  After all, that person is the expert in that field now!  


Move to next page, Resources

Go back to Task

 Return to main page