Amateur Architect is a hands-on math project that requires students to read directions and compute fraction operation problems. Students use the resulting measurements and a ruler to construct a house and garage. (See pictures and teacher feedback below.) This is one of my all-time favorite math projects!
(View Actual Pages from the Amateur Architect Fraction Project)
(42 Math Lessons, Projects, and Games – 438 pages)
(9 Number Sense Lessons and Projects)
Lesson Description: Amateur Architect is a hands-on math project that requires students to read directions and compute fraction operations problems. They use the resulting measurements and a ruler to construct a house and a garage. Students use pencil and ruler to draw and center parts of the house and garage. This project combines the foundational skills of solving fraction operation problems with the practical application of ruler measuring skills.
Math Content: Fraction Operations, Measuring and Constructing Drawings with a Ruler
Suggested Grade Level: 5th-8th
Time Required: This project usually takes about 4-7 class periods, depending on whether or not the Ruler Skills worksheets are used and if you allow any part of the project (such as the final title and drawing) to be done at home.
Materials Needed: Rulers (class set), two transparencies, construction paper (optional)
Teacher Testimonial: This is one of my all-time favorite math projects. Amateur Architect was created over 10 years ago and has been used in the classroom many times by a number of teachers. Students combine their knowledge of fraction operations with the practical application of ruler measurement in order to create a house and garage. It has been amazing to see how many students did not previously know how to read a ruler or to construct and center objects accurately. The project also provides a real-life context for the use of fractions. The students enjoy the project and the finished projects make a great display for the classroom.
The Amateur Architect Project includes:
- 1 Amateur Architect project cover sheet
- 3 Ruler Skills worksheets (for optional preparation prior to the Amateur Architect project)
- 3 Ruler Skills worksheet answer keys
- 2 Amateur Architect project pages
- 1 Amateur Architect project Fraction Calculations worksheet
- 1 Amateur Architect project Fraction Calculations worksheet answer key
- 2 Amateur Architect Grading Templates (one with dimensions included)
- 1 Amateur Architect project Terms Transparency
- 2 Amateur Architect Teacher Tips pages
- 1 Amateur Architect Grading Rubric
17 pages in all!!
VERY IMPORTANT: When printing Amateur Architect be sure that “NONE” is selected for Page Scaling in the Adobe Print Box. Otherwise, templates of the project and the lengths of the segments on the Ruler Skills pages will not be accurate.
Enjoy your lesson!!
Mark P. Tully
“I’ve taught for 30 years and this is the best project, using fractions, that I have ever used. The kids love it! I love it!”
-Judy Arlotti, Suzanne Middle School, Walnut, CA
“I recently bought your book of projects and I am in the process of doing the Amateur Architect with my class. I love it! The students have found it to be challenging and fun. The student discussion has been great. I can hear the math as they discuss how to figure out the dimensions.”
-Cheryl Blum, Mandarin Middle School, Jacksonville, FL
“I just collected the Amateur Architects that I used with 7th math. Students really worked hard and were motivated. Again, I like the reinforcement and practical application of fractions. I think they may actually be able to measure with a ruler on their own….The teacher directions were perfect. I was able to follow your directions and feel successful at it the first time around.”
-Linda Adrid, Suzanne Middle School, Walnut, CA
“My students loved working on the Amateur Architect project. The project allowed them to practice their fraction skills, collaborate with classmates and realize yet again how relevant math is in everyday life!”
-Bethany Korn, The Archer School for Girls, Los Angeles, CA
“We used the Amateur Architect lesson last year. It was a great success. The students were able to see application for the math work we had done with fractions and measurement. They were so engaged while they were working; they had such pride in their final pieces. I’m anxious to use the Royal Reward because I see the same application and motivation for students in the lessons. I appreciate the work that you have put into creating these lessons. They are well thought out and have all the tips a teacher need to use it with a class. Thanks so much!”
– Tracy Pickle, Adrian Middle School, Adrian, Michigan
“My son was really inspired by the architecture lesson. He jumped right on the assignment (which is not like him) and he worked hard to get all the details correct. He liked it so much, he is going to explore architecture as a possible future career.”
-Teri S. (parent of 8th grader; Lake Forest, CA)