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Johnson STEM Magnet Student Project Constructing a Solid House


1st Grade

Key Question What if the 1st Little Pig was an Engineer? What if he knew all about the properties of solids? What if he only used materials that could withstand wind caused by the Big Bad Wolf? How might the story change?

Task Can we build a solid house for the 1st Little Pig? • Students will explore a number of different solid materials.They will describe how the properties of solid materials can have specific uses in construction. • Then they will build a tower with solid materials to withstand wind. • Finally students will use their acquired knowledge to design and build their own house for the 1st Little Pig. They will test if the big bad wolf would be able to blow their houses down.

The content areas of focus are Science and Engineering using Technology

Technology • • • • • • • •

Teacher MAC Laptop AlphaSmart Neo Digital Camera Flashdrive Laptop Computers Classroom Printer Pixie Software Document Camera

• • • • • •

MS Power Point MS Paint MS Word iPhoto Classroom Computers Internet Resources – see Websites

1st Grade Science Standards • PS1a -Student know solids, liquids, and gases have different properties • I& E4b -Draw picture that portray some features of the thing being decribed • I& E4b -Record observations and data with pictures, numbers, or written statements

Project Grouping Students will be working throughout the project, both independently and with partners. • They will be working in partners to compare given designs. • Then they will work independently to design and construct their own houses.

Exploring Solids What solid materials would make a good tower? They use Alpha Neoboards to record their predictions.

STUDENT’S WRITING FROM NEOBAORDS Juliana wrote; How to make a good tower? I think I can use cups block or cardboard or plastic, tringle or foil. Everything T’Ari wrote; HOW TO MAKE A TOWER WELL I THINK YOU SHOULD USE SOME FOIL A STRAW AND A CUP FOR THE TOP AND A WIRE A PLACTIC TUBE A CYLINDER A CRAFT STICK A CLOTH A PLASTIC TRIANGLE

Foil cup Alondra

straw cardboard Cylinder tape

Planning to Make a Tower Students view short videos on using the document camera and laptop.

They learn about building basics, architecture and creating blue prints.

Building and Testing Towers Using predictions written on Alpha Neoboards to construct towers

Challenge-Let’s Make a House! Can the students make a house that could withstand the huffing and puffing of the Big Bad Wolf, using their knowledge of designing and constructing?

They plan & design their own houses using Pixie and MS Paint on student computers.

Engineering Process What material will we use? We decided that craft sticks, glue, and paper would be the best materials. Craft sticks are rigid and strong. Glue will help to keep it from falling down when it is windy. Paper will help to give it a base and can be used for designs.

And So the Big Bad Wolf Came…. “Little pig, little pig, let me come in ! cried the Big Bad Wolf “Not by the hair of my chinny chin chin” said the 1st Little Pig, who was smarter than the Wolf. “I am an Engineer and my house is strong.”

“Then I will huff and puff and blow your house down!”

So he huffed and puffed.

And He Huffed and He Puffed But he could not blow the house down. The Big Bad Wolf was so mad he left.

So the 1st Little Pig and his brothers lived Happily Ever After. The End

Johnson Site Support Support • Michelle Bryant- Magnet Resource Teacher • Reba Gordon-Matthews-Site Ed Tech/Computer Lab Teacher/NASA Explorer School Teacher. • 1st Grade Team • Michael Cook- Science Lab Teacher • Marisa Ramirez- Engineering Lab Teacher


Other Resources 1st Grade Foss Physical Science Kit Solids and Liquids

Images Acquired from


Constructing a Solid House


Constructing a Solid House