Dream houses don't have to be on the ground. Some of the best houses having been created in the trees. Treehouses have evolved from simple shacks in the backyard tree to multi-tiered architectural cathedrals in the air...and now your students can make their own.
Treehouse Construction is a project based learning activity that asks students to design to design and build a 3D version of their dream treehouse. This project based learning activity focuses on designing elements, using multiple problem solving skills, and collaborating in the classroom. It allows for easy differentiation, so students can work at a pace they will be successful at. At the end are additional resources and another PBL activity for students to create another version for an amusement park. This can be completed together or independently.
Students WILL CREATE a miniature 3D version of a treehouse. The size of the houses could all be different and each can be as large or small as they need it to be. Students can design a single room treehouse or create a multileveled mansion in the trees. Students could even attach their houses to others. It’s all based on what the student chooses.
--This includes extra resource pages for story writing, math skills (geometry), and can be used in conjunction with many other subjects. This PBL activity focuses on the real-world application of multiple academic concepts used in building and designing homes (and treehouses), while practicing problem-solving skills , collaboration within the classroom, and using their imagination.
6 About this Resource (Teachers)
9 Cover Page and Introduction
11 To-Do List
12 Treehouse Parts 1-5
17 Practice: Blueprints
22 Build It
31 Exterior Design
32 The Little Things
36 Up In The Air
37 Additional Activities
46 Treehouse Amusement
63 Alternate Treehouse
68 Teacher Rubrics & Student Reflection
72 Making A Treehouse: Projectable Page (with images)
You can use this project based learning activity in a variety of ways. It is broken into multiple sections that can be completed together or in smaller chunks. The main portion focuses on creating a 3D treehouse. If that is the only portion use pages 10-37. You DO NOT have to print each of those pages. Go through and pick ones that fit your students best. This includes the direction pages, which can be projected for students to read/follow.
If you would like to add some of the math and writing activities use the Additional Activities pages.
First: Treehouse Parts, 1-5
READ all of the instructions! Each page focuses on a different design element of your treehouse.
There is a single page for you to practice creating a treehouse. Use these blueprints to brainstorm how you want your house to look.
You must choose 8 specific items to have in the treehouse. Check off each item as you design the 3D version. This page also includes directions (which were seen in the Treehouse Parts section).
Fourth: Build It
This is where you will design and build the treehouse. There are multiple choices to pick from (for your house size) and you may make as many as you feel you need.
Fifth: Exteriors Design the exteriors of the treehouse.
Sixth: Little Things
Go back into your treehouse and see what small details you can add. These could be illustrations or other attachments to your treehouse.
Seventh: Up In The Air
Decide how you want your treehouse to come off the ground. There are a variety of options for you to choose from, take your time and choose what would work best.
For a longer PBL portion use the TREEHOUSE AMUSEMENT section on pages 47-63 that includes over 10 activities. In this portion, students use their skills to create a treehouse for an amusement park.
- - - - - -
The TREEHOUSE AMUSEMENT can also be used as the guiding tool for this entire project. Have students start with this section, then follow it with students creating the 3D treehouse to match their designs on pages 10-37.
47 Title Page - Introduction
48 Moving On Up
Students learn they will be designing a treehouse for an amusement park.
49 Planning It Out
Students answer questions pertaining to their design, what will work, and how they will create.
50 Make It Official
Students create a name and logo specific to the treehouse in the park.
51 Budget And Supplies
Students must budget out items they would like to include. This is four pages long with an emphasis on math skills, along with the reasoning behind their choices.
Students must invent something brand new for the treehouse which could be a ride or activity in the tree.
56 Job Positions
Students must pick classmates or people that will work at the treehouse during visiting hours.
57 Large Equipment
Students must illustrate what eight of the large items are on the treehouse. These could come from their budget picks.
59 Flying High
Students must create a two page flyer that highlights the new treehouse.
60 Map and Key
Students will create a map and key of the treehouse.
They can use an overhead or side view to do so.
-card stock or regular paper (for
Building the Block)
-crayons, colored pencil, markers
-tape and glue
The time frame for completing this project will vary. If you are planning on completing it in a week, give 45-60 minutes per day--but it still could take longer, depending one how deep you want students to take this. Time can vary based on many factors. Once students understand how it works and is put together, they may try to take it to another level (which is encouraged).
--This PBL focuses on pushing students to create and design while using math, writing, and design skills while applying problem solving techniques and collaborating with others. It allows for easy differentiation, so students can work at a pace they will be successful at. There are steps and procedures to assist students through this project, but the work and results will be determined by their ideas that each students adds.
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