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Brazilian Oval House

Build a replica of a house using the local materials and construction methods of Brazil! Discover the people and resources of this intriguing South American country.

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

    1. Look up information about Brazil’s people, climate, vegetation, and other natural resources. What kinds of traditional homes were built in this South American country? You will find that some homes were made with mud, sticks, and leaves. Take students outdoors and collect thin sticks that have fallen from trees. Have students wash their hands when they return.
    2. Students use Crayola® Model Magic and their imagination to build a replica of a traditional oval house. To create the desired Earth color of Crayola Model Magic, rub color from a Crayola Multicultural Marker into it and knead. Continue adding color several times to achieve the perfect shade.
    3. Sculpt the Model Magic into a rounded dwelling. Leave an opening for a door. Before the modeling compound becomes firm, press the sticks (or use wood scraps) into the walls of the house. Air-dry for 24 hours.
    4. To create the roof, ask an adult to cut a cardboard oval larger than the circumference of your house. Choose more cardboard on which to set your house.
    5. Cover the art area with newspaper. Use Crayola Washable Kid's Paint to make the roof look like it is made of plants. Paint the cardboard base a natural shade using a Crayola Paint Brush. Air-dry the cardboard flat.
    6. Cut slits around the edges of the roof to resemble leaves. Attach the roof to the top of the house with Crayola School Glue. Glue the home to the base cardboard. Air-dry before displaying.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas and information clearly.

    LA: Report on a topic or text or present an opinion, sequencing ideas logically and using appropriate facts or relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

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

    SCI: Construct drawings or diagrams as representations of events or systems.

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

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

    VA: Select and use subject matter, symbols, and ideas to communicate meaning.

    VA: Identify specific works of art as belonging to particular cultures, times, and places.

  • Adaptations

    In small groups, students tour their home town and sketch the various types of dwellings found. A short description of each should accompany each sketch. Encourage students to find the dates, or eras, when dwellings were constructed. Have students look for patterns in their sketches. Were there any materials common to all eras? Were there any new materials used in more recent eras?

    Students research types of housing from around the world in varying time periods. Students re-create models of these houses for display, accompanied by a summary of the location where the model would be found, the time period, and materials typically used to create this structure.

    In small groups, students create a chart that lists countries, climates, and the type of building materials that are/were native to the area . Discuss the chart, including commonalities and differences that are observed.

    Invite a professional builder to speak with the class about building materials used in current-day and new technologies that are improving housing. Students will compose questions for the expert prior to the meeting. Students post new learning to a class blog after the meeting.


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