Use models to expand design communication tools, and to further design development. A lot of questions will be answered during this step of the game. Make sure the students understand that this is a great time to make changes to their designs, because they will be visualizing parts of the building that may have been hard to imagine.

Group Size: Any

Learning Objectives:

Students will each produce their own model to scale of a classroom design that they have been working on.

Guiding Question:

  • How can you convey your design ideas to others?
  • How much detail is necessary to explain your design?



Found items. Cardboard, paper, sticks, exacto knives (depending on age range of student), glue, straight edge for cutting.


Use previous sketches and ideas to model a classroom. Pick a scale to keep models consistent (1/4”=1’-0”). They should all be about the same size at the end of the project. Quality and intricacy of details will vary depending on grade level and on the level of design that has been reached by this point. Begin by making the floor plan, and build the walls according to design. Walls should have all of the windows and doors modeled. Then build the roof according to plan. Students are free to add any necessary or design details.

The models can be used for interactive exercises including solar orientation analysis and the effect of adding or removing sunshades on particular sides. Ask students to do this and record the light quality inside of the model.


Students will be assessed on their presentation of the model and the thoroughness in which they have explored different elements of their classroom.

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