Deserving Room

By LeQuyen Tran, January 17, 2009

Grade Level

  • Elementary School


  • Architecture

Subject Area

  • Arts
  • Language Arts
  • Mathematics
  • Science
  • Social Studies
  • Technology

Lesson Time

6 lessons of 50 minutes sessions


Students will sketch their own room with many perspectives, then use the writing process to describe it in paragraph form to address 5th grade writing standards. Then they will create a new design for the room of their dreams with furniture using the Google Sketchup program.

National Standards


Students will be able to understand the design process for decorating a room and be able to use the Sketchup program to design pieces of furniture to fit in a room. Students will be able to use the writing process to describe their room using the standards of their grade.


Design and architecture magazines and websites Samples of fabrics and paper Computer lab with Sketchup downloaded  


paper, rulers colored pencils or markers Grid paper Measuring tape


scale dimension form color texture  


Day 1 Do you have a private place where you can go to if you need peace and quiet? Is it very likely your own room? But first let's see if you know your room very well. Well, today we will start looking closely at your own room/space and see if you can describe it very well so we can imagine it with our eyes closed. 1. You will start by sketching your room in your writer's notebook. You can use colored pencils or markers to color if you want to. You can even sketch your room from many perspectives. (Teacher shows examples of perspectives from books or magazines and discuss how artists shows the perspectives of each example) Let students work on their sketches. 2. After a couple of sketches, students are asked to list the items in their room after they label them on their sketches. then students are asked to write a detailed description of their room. Review how a good writer describes. 3. At the end of lesson, students are asked to bring their notebook home to check their sketches and add more details. Day 2 Students bring their notebooks and share with their table. Students share noticings about sketches and descriptions. Teacher asks:"How many of us are very happy with our own room? How many of us would like to make some changes? Well, you might be able to do something about this." * Identify the problems their current room might have. * Brainstorm possible changes they can make. Can they change the shape of their room? the color of the walls? the floor coverings? furniture? There is a big chance that they can only change the color of their room and the furniture. From the list of items in their room, ask students to circle the items they would like to keep and explain why. Start a new list for their new room; write the items they want to keep and think about what new items they want to add. Explain why they need the new items. Explain that they will be using a computer program that will let them do some designing, but that they will need dimensions to do so. So tonight their homework is to measure the room and some furniture, the items they want to keep. Day 3 Teacher models how to access Sketchup and use the tools to draw designs. Mini-lesson on design and form for room furniture. Show examples from books, internet sites. Students look through magazines and books as well as internet sites to look for ideas or models of room design. Day 5 Students can use grid paper to sketch a new design before they go on the computer, or just use Skechup to design it. * Students also need to explain why they chose the new designs of the objects, explain the choices in shape or color or texture,... in their writing notebooks. Were they inspired by something they saw, a particular style, or a mixture of different ideas, ...? Were they trying to resolve a design or function issue? Print out the finished design. Day 6 Mini museum walk. Each table will have a share time to present their creation and explain the changes and how it has stayed with the designer's original ideas or not. Discuss why things change or not. Also explain the changes in the designs of the new objects. * Ask for peer's feedback Reflection - Students reflect on their experience and comment on the design they created and how realistic it is or not. Did the new design solve the problems identified at the beginning?  


Writing: Students use specific vocabulary and lots of details to describe their rooms. Students' reflections show a motivated learning and personal connection to the project and a sense of understanding design. Drawings and Designs: students show a sense of perspective and an appreciation of form, function and color scheme. Students should be able to explain why they chose their new designs.

Enrichment Extension Activities

Students can make dioramas of their design to compare with their Sketchup design. Students survey their peers to see if their new design might be marketable and what suggestions can be added.
  1. Students like all people are unique individuals and would like to function in their own “Special Space”. Many students do not have access to their own space as they share space at home and school and every place else. This design lesson would allow stuednets to design that ” Special Space” that could be uniquely their own. While doing so, they sharpen their academic skills and improve their social skills as they learn from each other and improve their designs.

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