When students come to visit me years after they have had me as a teacher, they often refer to this activity as one of their favorites!
In Design Your Own Room, the students get to select a room of choice...bedroom, living room, game room, etc...and create their own layout, including all the contents of the room.
Through this activity, the students will design and then create a model of their room in a cardboard box. They will measure the dimensions of the sides of the box, determine surface area (minus the area of the doors and windows), and also create and measure their different pieces of furniture and decorations they put in their room. This allows students to see what steps are necessary when determining how much paint and carpet are needed when doing an actual task like this in the real world.
Included in this document is:
*A teacher information page, which includes suggestions and needed materials for the project
*A general direction sheet for students
*A step-by-step guide sheet that students follow to complete the mathematical components of the project
For this activity, you will need the following materials:
*A cardboard box for each student (The cafeteria staff is always a great support for me with getting the cardboard boxes!)
*Various materials that could work as wallpaper, paint, and carpet. This could be items, such as construction paper, paint, carpet samples or remnants, different types of fabric, wallpaper samples or remnants, etc. Often times, the students will bring in their own materials from home if they have something they feel will work…the possibilities are endless!
*Construction paper, cardboard or poster board to make different pieces of furniture
The activity is set up so that you can decide if you want the students working with fractions or decimals when dealing with side lengths, as well as if you want them measuring in centimeters or inches (I have done both!).
This project is a great way for students to apply the different skills they've learned, including area, volume, multiplication of fractions or decimals, and addition/subtraction of fractions or decimals, while seeing how those skills are utilized in the real world! All this, while being engaged and having a great time!
(As a side note, volume is only included if students create a 3-D rectangular prism piece of furniture or decoration to go in their room. The other skills involving area and decimals or fractions are the main focus skills.)
I hope your students enjoy this project and deepen their mathematical understanding of using math in the real world as much as mine always do! :-)