Beacon Lesson Plan Library

How Big Is Your House?

Kenneth Blackman
Santa Rosa District Schools


The students will explore geometric formulas involving area by measuring and developing a scale drawing of their own homes. The students will find the area of each room as well as the total area of the house.


The student constructs and uses scale drawings to recreate a given situation.


-Graph Paper
-Tape Measure


1. Put needed formulas on the board.
2. Make sure students have access to needed materials within the classroom.
3. Allow students to check-out a tape measure if one is needed at home.


Day 1
1. Introduce the concept of area and the formula: Area = Length x Width.

2. Discuss with the students the importance of calculating the square footage of a house and how it is related to real estate.

3. Model to the students how to calculate the area of the chalkboard.

4. Draw a scale drawing of the chalkboard on the board. Make a grid on the board where each grid will represent a certain number of inches. Show the students how the scale drawing can be used to calulate the area.

5. Hand out the tapes and rulers to the students.

6. Have the students in groups of 4 measure the dimensions of the classroom using the tape measure and then calculate the area. Allow for comparison of data from groups.

7. Have the student groups create scale drawings of the classroom on graph paper.

8. Circulate, assist, and check drawings.

9. Review the concept and formula for area with the students.

10. Homework. Assign the students to measure each room and the outside walls of their home, list the dimensions, and bring the data back to school the next day. (Note: have some measurements ready for students who forget theirs.)

Day 2:
1. Review the formulas related to area and square footage of a home.

2. Have the students draw scale models of their homes on graph paper.

3. Instruct the students to calculate the area of each room and the total square footage of their home. Students should write the dimensions of the room on the model itself. You may need to demonstrate this. Also share room abbreviations with students: BR, LR, K, etc. Circulate and offer assistance as needed.

4. Have the students present their drawings to the class.


Students will be assessed by the scale drawings of their homes. The scale drawings will be assessed to insure the measurements are consistent and proportional to the actual building. The area of each room added should equal the total area.


This activity can be used to teach volume and surface area of a rectangular prism. This activity can also be used to teach estimation and precision of measuring tools.The students could also develop scale models of their home.
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