By Carolyne Kellner, January 1, 2007

Grade Level

  • Elementary School


  • Other

Subject Area

  • Arts

Lesson Time

One fifty-minute class period


This lesson introduces students to the idea of design and teaches them how to design a 3-dimensional, mini-interior environment that includes two walls and a floor, like a diorama. This lesson also introduces students to the idea of the third-dimension.

National Standards


As a result of this lesson, students will:
  • learn the meaning of design and interior design
  • understand the idea of the third-dimension
  • create a 3-dimensional room out of paper and add furniture to create a complete interior designed environment


  • student exemplars and the limits of the students' imaginations
  • examples of the interior of rooms from magazines or off of the internet


  • 12" x 18" colored paper
  • scissors
  • scrap paper
  • pictures from magazines
  • glue


Design-to create for a specific function or end <design a training program for auto mechanics>; to make a pattern or sketch of <design new fashions>; to think up and draw the plans for. Interior design-the art of decorating and furnishing the interior of a building. Perspective-the art or technique of painting or drawing a scene so that objects in it seem to have depth and distance; the appearance to the eye of objects in space with respect to their distance and positions in relation to each other. Three-dimensional-of, relating to, or having three dimensions (as length, width, and height); giving the appearance of depth or varying distances.


Introduce the students to the definitions of design and interior design. Lead a class discussion about the concept of design and interior design. Have the students site examples of both design and interior design by describing their bedrooms, other rooms in their homes, or the classroom. Make sure they point out how the design of the room they describe serves a function or solves a problem (i.e. by having a table in the kitchen, food prepared there can be eaten in close proximity, etc.). Tell the students that they will design a miniature version of a room. 1. Cut 12" x 12" paper squares from 12" x 18" colored construction paper. 2. Fold the paper corner to corner and then again. 3. Cut from any corner along the fold and stop at the center. 4. Slide one cut side underneath the other and glue closed. 5. Use scraps or images from magazines to complete the effect of the interior design. Make furniture, window, floor, and rugs, etc. 6. Remind the students throughout the exercise to think about the use of the room and encourage them to create a layout that is conducive to whatever activities they want to take place in the room. You may have your students create a floor plan or sketch of the room before they begin to glue in furniture, etc.


Group reflection and display. The two walls must be decorated as well as the floor.

Enrichment Extension Activities

1) Look at floor plans 2) Create a 3-dimensional model 3) Speak with architects or builders

Teacher Reflection

This lesson is a sure fire hit and looks good too. Most of the time, students came up with their own bedroom as a product. The students were very enthusiastic and excited to build their own rooms. Some students additionally wrote words and incorporated them into the design theme. Some also cut and folded paper to create interesting 3-D furniture with removable drawers. And, some would draw the furniture and use marker and then glue it on the walls. There is a Dr. Seuss-like quality to the finished product, especially due to the use of various colored construction paper drawn on with pointed markers.

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