Mrs. Snead has an example of a paper house she made at a workshop displayed in the classroom, I noticed right away that students always thought it was neat and wanted to know how to make it. Because of the high student interest I knew I wanted to try this lesson with a class so Mrs. Snead showed me the general procedures for cutting and folding the paper.
I chose to work with a smaller 5th grade class (one of my favorite classes!), it was sort of an experiment since the lesson had never been done before, it involved geometry and math and it took us about 3 classes to put together the house.
This class really impressed me, once they had the understanding for basic construction of the house and additions, they really took it to the next step adding pools, trees, patios, driveways, etc. What I liked even more was that they were helping each other out, it was like we were all teachers that day. It was a very hands on, cooperative learning experience for everyone. For the lawn, students used tissue paper to create grass and shrubbery.
During this project was also when I had 'the teacher moment', something they told us about at the beginning of internship that makes it all feel worth it, outweighs the bad days, and builds your confidence and desire to teach. One of the students said it was the most fun and best project he ever did, coming from a 5th grader who has been making art with Mrs. Snead really meant something to me. In general the whole class had fun while thinking critically and creatively and I could tell they were proud of the final product. That is one of my favorite parts about teaching, when students are proud of what they learned.