Mapping Blueprints

Lesson adapted from Susan Riley’s Lesson Seeds, EducationCloset
Mapping Blueprints Step 8
Mapping Blueprints Project Example

Key Vocabulary

  • Blueprint
  • Floor plan




Students will observe floor plans and identify shapes used. Using artistic thinking, students will re-design the example floor plan using the same size shapes they identify.


Order three objects by length; compare the lengths of two objects indirectly by using a third object.

Identify and classify uses of everyday objects through drawings, diagrams, sculptures, or other visual means.


Engage students in observing their school, either by taking a walk around the school or through photographs of the building. What do they notice about the building in terms of size and shape? How are the shapes related to each other inside and outside the building? Have students take a look at a set of blueprints of the school (if blueprints are not available, you can draw a basic floor plan of the school to share with students). Facilitate the conversation about the blueprints or floor plan by using prompts like, “Does this look familiar?” or “Think about what we just observed on our walk, what similarities and differences do you see?” and “How are the shapes related here?”


Step 01

Show students another example of a blueprint or floor plan. For this example, we used the historic Peter E. Col house (link in Resources section). Either project the floor plan, or hand out a copy to each student.

Step 02

Do a "guided tour" of the house, describing where the front door would be, tracing with your finger, trace the path you could potentially take to walk through the house. Encourage students to close their eyes and visualize walking through the front door and seeing the living room in front of them, and then turning to the right and seeing a doorway to the dining room. Continue on a guided tour of the house like this (encouraging students to use their finger to trace the path you're taking through the house if they have their own copies).

Step 03

After the guided tour, ask students if they recognize some shapes on this floor plan. Have students think-pair-share any shapes they see, and how many times the shapes they see, and how many times the shapes repeat.

Step 04

Trace the shapes

Model tracing the shapes that make up the floor plan, and have students do the same on their copy of the floor plan.

Step 05

Next, have students use a pencil or ruler to identify three rooms that are the same shape, but different sizes. Ask students to order these three shapes from smallest to largest by writing a 1, 2, and 3 (one being smallest, three being largest) in the shapes of the rooms they’re comparing. (Make sure students keep these labeled shapes handy for the end!)

Step 06

Explain to students that they are going to do a little remodeling of the floor plan, but they have to keep the rooms the same size. To do this, students need to cut out the room shapes from construction paper. There are various ways to go about this. You can have students cut up the floor plan and trace the shapes onto construction paper, then have them cut out the shapes again. You can have students cover the back of their floor plan in pencil and then use a ballpoint pen to trace the shapes onto the construction paper to cut out. You can have students cut both the floor plan and the construction paper at the same time (using tape to keep the papers together, if needed). You decide which method will work best for your students.

Step 07

Once students have their shapes cut out from different colors of construction paper, have them rearrange the shapes to make a different floor plan from the original, and glue them to the tagboard.

Step 08

Have students label the rooms on their new floor plan, and attach the three labeled shapes (from step 5) to their paper for your asssessment.


Assess students’ ability to order rooms from largest to smallest.Ask students to take a partner on a guided tour of their remodeled floorplans like you modeled for them in step two.

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