Building Your Own Historic Structures Using Computer Aided Design (CAD)

In this lesson students will become familiar with CAD; research a historic structure (building, monument, house, etc.); sketch a 2D design of the structure; convert the actual length, width, and height (LWH) of the structure to a scale of .025; and build a scale model of the structure. This lesson will take approximately 10 class periods (5 if you leave off the scale models) and should be done in teams of two or three students. 

Standards & Objectives

Academic standards
4.1
Students will use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
4.1
Students will use telecommunications to collaborate, publish, and interact with peers, experts, and other audiences.
4.2
Students will use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
4.2
Students will use a variety of media and formats to communicate information and ideas effectively to multiple audiences.
TSS.Math.7.G.A.1
Solve problems involving scale drawings of geometric figures, including computing actual lengths and areas from a scale drawing and reproducing a scale...
 
Alignment of this item to academic standards is based on recommendations from content creators, resource curators, and visitors to this website. It is the responsibility of each educator to verify that the materials are appropriate for your content area, aligned to current academic standards, and will be beneficial to your specific students.
 
Learning objectives: 

The learner will:

  • become familiar with CAD using a program
  • such as Auto CAD LT, FloorPlan, InstantArchitect, Google Sketch Up or other program.
  • research a historic structure such as a building, house, monument, etc. from the Built in America collection on the Library of Congress Web site.
  • make a hand sketch of the structure and print a CAD drawing.
  • utilize math skills to convert from a larger scale to a smaller scale.
  • build a scale model of a structure using Balsa wood and place as many features of the original structure on it as possible.
Essential and guiding questions: 

How does the architectural design of a building provide stability and aesthetic appeal?

Lesson Variations

Blooms taxonomy level: 
Applying
Extension suggestions: 
  • Students can build the structures found in a particular area such as a city square, Washington D.C, etc. and build a scale model of the entire area including roads, sidewalks, trees, and other features.
  • Compare and contrast building materials and methods of building from the time students’ historic structures were built and modern-day materials and methods. 

Helpful Hints

MATERIALS:

  • Handouts:
    • Historic Structure Project Overview
    • Picture Analysis Response Sheet
    • Library of Congress Historic Structure
    • Investigation Sheet
    • Structure Conversion Worksheet
    • Self and Peer Evaluation
  • Project Portfolio - 3 prong binder or folder (each student needs one)
  • CAD Program: InstantArchitect, FloorPlan,
  • AutoCAD, Google SketchUp (free), etc.
  • Graph Paper
  • Balsa wood: 1/8”x1/8”x36” pieces;
  • 3”x1/16”x36” pieces
  • Cutting tools: hobby knife, small hand saw, or other appropriate cutting tool
  • Ruler
  • Glue: instant glue, wood glue, hot glue or other fast drying glue