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A Special Place

Study homes and habitats from the past then move into the future to construct innovative new living spaces.

  • Grade 3
    Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Have students use electronic and library resources to research the homes of various cultures and the habitats of various animals.
    2. Conduct a group brainstorm with the class of alternative ways to use the limited space available in the future. Consider how living spaces might change if humans/animals reside in atypical locations (i.e., sky, underwater). Students list criteria to consider as they design a "special place" for the future, including needs, special features, entrances, building materials and power sources.
    3. Students select a specific environment for their future living space. Use Crayola® Model Magic® to construct buildings, water storage facilities, and other structures.
    4. Have students experiment with mixing white and colored Crayola Model Magic modeling compound. Blend two primary colors (red, yellow, blue) together well to make a secondary hue (orange, green, violet). Blend colored compound with white to create tints and with black to make shades. Create marbled effects by incompletely blending various colors together.
    5. Student shape mixed compound with hands or a rolling pin to make thick flat pieces or slabs for a floor. Use a plastic dinnerware to cut out geometric wall and floor shapes.
    6. Students glue the floor shape to a base of cardboard or foam core board. Assemble and press walls and floor together.
    7. Students cut out additional slabs and shape these into towers, roof and other components. Build long, thin or delicate forms around plastic straws, gift wrap tubes or toothpicks secured in basic structure.
    8. Students model fine details and add texture with modeling tools, plastic dinnerware or toothpicks. Let forms dry.
    9. Students use Crayola Washable Markers to suggest place's setting on the cardboard base. Draw and texture paper shapes (i.e., trees, fences, rocks) with washable markers to represent other setting qualities. Use Crayola Scissors to cut out shapes, adding a tab to the bottom of each. Fold the tab back and glue it to the base to make shapes stand erect.
    10. Students name their special place, then explain its location, design and special features in writing.
  • Standards

    LA: With guidance and support from adults, produce writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task and purpose.

    LA: Ask and answer such questions as who, what, where, when, why and how to demonstrate understanding of key details in text.

    LA: Know and use various text features to locate key facts or information in a text efficiently.

    LA: Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development and organization are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

    SCI: Engage in a critical reading of primary literature of science, appropriate to grade level, and discuss hypotheses and conclusions.

    SCI: Ask questions about the natural and human-built worlds.

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems; use it as the basis of an explanation about how the system will behave in specified circumstances.

    SS: Describe how people create places that reflect ideas, personality, culture, and wants and needs as they design homes, playgrounds, classrooms, and the like.

    SS: Recognize examples of cause and effect relationships.

    VA: Use different media, techniques, and processes to communicate ideas, experiences, and stories.

    VA: Know how the differences among visual characteristics and purposes of art in order to convey ideas.

    VA: Understand that there are various purposes for creating works of visual art.

  • Adaptations

    Websites for habitat research could include: Threats to Biodiversity located at; Humans and Animal Habitats located at;

    Students may research global locations that they would like to place their new habitat and resources that they would like to have available for their inhabitants. They may also want to research types of government for their future living spaces. Website suggestion: Kidipede History and Science: Governments located at

    Student/group habitats can be created on multi-levels. Student groups can brainstorm how, using materials provided, they can create a multi-level living space.

    Student/group will write a summary paragraph collaboratively describing how they constructed their habitat and defend why they chose the design.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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