I Like It! Discovering Your Personal Style
By Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum, October 5, 2006
- Middle School
- Language Arts
One or two 50 minute class periods
This activity is designed to help students become aware of the wide range of design styles and choices in everyday living. Students will explore their personal preferences as they investigate different interior design styles, including, but not limited to, Arts and Crafts, Asian, Southwestern, Eclectic, English Country, Cottage and Contemporary. They will conduct research and create collaborative classroom presentations.
Standard 1. Level III. Uses the general skills and strategies of the writing process 5. Uses content, style, and structure (e.g., formal or informal language, genre, organization) appropriate for specific audiences (e.g., public, private) and purposes (e.g., to entertain, to influence, to inform)
2. Uses a variety of resource materials to gather information for research topics (e.g., magazines, newspapers, dictionaries, schedules, journals, phone directories, globes, atlases, almanacs, technological sources)
Reading Standard 7. Level III. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts 1. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts (e.g., electronic texts; textbooks; biographical sketches; directions; essays; primary source historical documents, including letters and diaries; print media, including editorials, news stories, periodicals, and magazines; consumer, workplace, and public documents, including catalogs, technical directions, procedures, and bus routes)
Listening & Speaking
Standard 8. Level III. Uses listening and speaking strategies for different purposes 6. Makes oral presentations to the class (e.g., uses notes and outlines; uses organizational pattern that includes preview, introduction, body, transitions, conclusion; uses a clear point of view; uses evidence and arguments to support opinions; uses visual media)
Working With Others
Thinking & Reasoning
Visual Arts: Artistic Expression & Communication
Students will do the following:
- respond to writing prompts
- conduct Internet research
- compare, contrast, and analyze diverse sources of information
- create a class presentation
- Interior design Internet websites
- "Design Styles" handout
- computer with Internet access
- drawing or construction paper
- interior design and style magazines
- markers, crayons, pencils
- stapler, scissors, glue
Building Background Personal PreferencesThe purpose of this activity is to help students reflect on different aspects of their personal taste and style preferences. 1. Ask your students to respond in writing to the following prompts:
- What is your favorite color?
- What is your favorite sound?
- What is your favorite texture?
- If you were buying a new couch, what material would it be made from? (leather, chenille, cotton, etc.)
- Describe your favorite room in your house.
- What color combinations are your favorites?
- Describe the most beautiful room that you have ever seen.
Steps for Learning Style ExplorationsThe purpose of this activity is to help students explore a variety of design options and styles. 1. Divide the class into groups of three students. Give each group a copy of the "Design Styles" handout. 2. Create a classroom design exhibit that features students' presentations. Provide time for each group to present its work to the class. 3. Lead a class discussion about the different presentations, and what students liked, found helpful, and learned about the different interior design styles. 4. Ask students to respond to the following writing prompts:
- What did you learn from this activity?
- What surprised you the most?
- What did you learn about your personal style preferences from this activity?
Create a class rubric with your students that will help them assess their presentations. Use the following guidelines to help create the rubric.-Rate how effectively you analyzed the varied information sources you used. Excellent Good Adequate Poor-Rate the overall effectiveness of your presentation in explaining your selected style. Excellent Good Adequate Poor-Rate your creativity. Excellent Good Adequate Poor
Enrichment Extension Activities
Design a Room
Ask your students to design a room that reflects one of the design styles they researched in this activity. Have them create a floor plan and describe the colors, furniture, and accessories they would use in designing this room.