MY HOME, OUR COMMUNITY – Form, Colour, Proportion

Students use a stuffed paper lunch bag as an armature, paint and construction paper to make a model of their home and then show how it fits into their community.

Required Time

70 Minutes

Grade Level

Kindergarten to Grade 3


Language Arts
Social Studies
Visual Arts


armature colour community form proportion


Crayola Scissors Crayola Construction Paper - 22.9 cm x 30.5 cm (9" x 12") Crayola Washable No-Run School Glue Crayola Paintbrush Set - 5 Count Crayola Washable Project Paint Small Paper Lunch Bag - 1 per student Recycled Plastic Bags or Newspapers Water Containers Paper Towels Bristol Board 30.5 cm x 30.5 cm (12" x 12") - 1 per student

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MY HOME, OUR COMMUNITY – Form, Colour, Proportion - Step One

Step One

  1. Choose a piece of construction paper in a colour similar to your house. 
  2. Cut the construction paper the size of the front of your paper bag.
  3. Glue the construction paper onto the front of your paper bag. 
  4. This will be the front of your house. 
MY HOME, OUR COMMUNITY – Form, Colour, Proportion - Step Two

Step Two

  1. Choose colours of construction paper that match your house.
  2. Cut out windows and other details.
  3. Try to make the size, shape and location of your details match those in your own house. 
  4. Cut out large shapes for the main objects.
  5. Cut out narrow strips of construction paper to frame the large shapes.
  6. Glue everything in place making sure the paper sticks firmly to the paper.
MY HOME, OUR COMMUNITY – Form, Colour, Proportion - Step Three

Step Three

  1. Add other details, such as bricks and numbers with paint.
MY HOME, OUR COMMUNITY – Form, Colour, Proportion - Step Four

Step Four

  1. Stuff the paper bag with recycled plastic bags or newspapers.
  2. Make sure you fill it with enough stuffing to support your house so it will stand without falling over.
  3. Glue the top of the bag shut.
  4. Fold a piece of construction paper in half to make a roof.
  5. Glue it in place.
MY HOME, OUR COMMUNITY – Form, Colour, Proportion - Step Five

Step Five

  1. Glue your house to a Bristol board base.
  2. Add other details such as a fence, plants and shrubs.
  3. View your model with fresh eyes.
    - Does it look like your own house?
    - How do the details make the model look realistic?
    - What is your favourite part of the model? Why?


Learning Goals

Students will be able to:

  • create a three-dimensional model of their home using a stuffed paper bag as an armature;
  • use paint and construction paper to accurately show the features and details of their home; 
  • demonstrate technical accomplishment and creativity.


Have students:

  • create an entire neighbourhood, placing their own house on the appropriate street and adding other community features such as parks, libraries and schools;
  • research the history of their neighbourhood answering questions such as:
    Who first settled here?
    - Why did they choose this location?
    - Are there any historical buildings or artifacts that reference earlier days? 
  • share their work with students in another class.


  1. Prior to this lesson, take students on a community walk.
  2. Create an anchor chart of student findings, including types of homes, community features and amenities etc.
  3. Ask students to bring in a picture of their home.
  4. Display student pictures.
  5. Gather the materials needed for this project.
  6. Download and display the Colour, Form and Proportion posters available on this website.
  7. Review or teach the elements of colour, form and the principle of proportion.
    - Colour - primary colours
    - Form - 3-dimensional object
    - Proportion - the relationship of one object to another, e.g., size of the door in relative to the whole house
  8. Gather and make available books about homes and community, such as Look Where We Live!: A First Book of Community Building, by Scot Ritchie;  
    A House is a House for Me, by Mary Ann Hoberman; In Every House on Every Street, by Jess Hitchman, and Lili La Baleine; Quinito's Neighborhood/El Vecindario de Quinito, by Ina Cumpiano, and Jose Ramirez; and Our Class is a Family, by Shannon Olsen, and Sandie Sonke.
  9. Introduce communities focussing on their characteristics in general and the students' community in particular. 
  10. Conduct a  read-aloud with the book Our Class is a Family, by Shannon Olsen, and Sandie Sonke focussing on how the class is a community within the larger community.
  11. Have students create a large bulletin board sized map of the school catchment area.


  1. Lead a discussion about different types of homes.
  2. Ask students to note what makes their home unique and special to them.
    - What similarities and differences do they notice among the homes in their community?
  3. Have students create drawings of their homes, showing the size and locations of windows and doors as well as the colours of each surface.
  4. Encourage students to think of the kinds of details they will need to include in order to make their home look realistic.
  5. Ask students to think about ways that they can show different building materials such as brick, wood siding, stucco etc.
  6. Introduce the challenge.


The Challenge

  1. Create a three-dimensional model of your home using a stuffed paper bag as an armature.
  2. Accurately show the features of your home including doors, windows etc.
  3. Place your completed home on a base and decorate the outside to show what it looks like including fences, trees, shrubs and flowers.
  4. Demonstrate planning ability, accuracy, creativity and technical accomplishment.

The Process

  1. Ensure that everyone understands the challenge.
  2. Establish success criteria with your students, for example,
    I know I am successful when I have:
    - created a three-dimensional model of my home
    - used recycled plastic bags to stuff a paper bag
    - created a strong armature 
    - created details with paint
    - accurately shown the features of my home

    - glued objects in place securely
    - constructed a model that can stand on its own
    - kept everything in good condition
  3. Encourage students to refer to the pictures of their home to ensure accuracy as they proceed.
  4. Guide students through the steps outlined in this lesson plan.
  5. Observe students as they work.
  6. Provide individual assistance and encouragement.


  1. Once all the models are complete ask students to work in small groups taking turns sharing their work with each other. Ask students to:
    Look closely at the models.
    - Share thoughts about the work.
    - What details do you see that help make the model look realistic?

    - How have materials been used to make the model more interesting to look at?
    - What do you like best about the models? Why?
  2. Once students have had a chance to share their work in small groups ask for volunteers to share something interesting they learned with the whole class.
  3. Have students locate where they live on the map and draw a small icon to represent it.
  4. Display the models in the classroom alongside the map.
  5. Discuss how people contribute to the sense of community in their neighbourhood.


  1. Observe students as they work – thoughtful focus, discriminating, seeking more information, elaborating, experimenting.
  2. Observe students as they discuss their models – speaks with a clear voice, looks at audience while speaking, points to areas in the model, provides accurate information, answers questions from the audience effectively.
  3. Observe students as they listen – looks at presenter, asks effective questions, supports ideas with evidence found in the artwork.
  4. Use a checklist to track progress. (Downloads – Home_tracking.pdf) 
  5. Have students use the self-assessment form to evaluate their work. (Downloads – Home_self-assessment.pdf)