Creating the Blueprints


  • This lesson is intended to further studentsí knowledge about the process of design, focusing on the mathematics and procedures of creating floor plan blueprints.

Estimated Time

  • 30-45 minutes


  • Graph paper
  • Rulers
  • Protractors (optional)
  • Compasses (optional)
  • Pens or pencils
  • Example of a blueprint (links included below)


  • The students will learn the process and procedures of designing a one-story building.
  • Student designs should be correctly proportional, drawn to scale, labeled properly. Straight-edges and compasses should be used.

National Standards Addressed

Math (Presented by National Council of Teachers of Mathematics in 2000)
  • Specify locations and describe spatial relationships using coordinate geometry and other representational systems
  • Use visualization, spatial reasoning, and geometric modeling to solve problems
  • Apply appropriate techniques, tools, and formulas to determine measurements
Problem Solving
  • Solve problems that arise in mathematics and in other contexts
  • Apply and adapt a variety of appropriate strategies to solve problems
  • Communicate their mathematical thinking coherently and clearly to peers, teachers, and others
  • Use the language of mathematics to express mathematical ideas precisely
  • Recognize and apply mathematics in contexts outside of mathematics
Science (Presented by National Research Council in 1996)
Unifying Concepts and Processes
  • Evidence, models, and explanation
Science and Technology
  • Abilities of technological design
Technology (Presented by the International Society for Technology in Education in 1998)
Social, ethical, and human issues
  • Students understand the ethical, cultural, and societal issues related to technology
Technology productivity tools
  • Students use technology tools to enhance learning, increase productivity, and promote creativity

Engagement Activity (optional)

  • Using the aerial photographs from Google Earth of Yankee Stadium and the Orange Bowl Stadium, have students find distinguishing marks of both fields (e.g.: 1st base, 2nd base, 3rd base, home, infield, outfield, 50 yard line, end zones, etc.).
  • We want the students to picture an object from an aerial point of view, and then to free-hand draw it.
    • Instruct the students to picture themselves being in an airplane, looking out the window, and looking down on their house, playground, or schoolyard.
    • Suggest the fly's perspective from the ceiling looking down on a dining, living room, or bathroom, or from the top of a tall building looking down at the street.

Instructional Plan

Ask students what architects might consider when designing a building. Discuss the need to consider the weather and other natural phenomena (hurricanes, tornados, earthquakes). Tell students they are going to create the plans for an office building. The plan is called a blueprint. It is usually drawn by architects and used by engineers and interior designers. Explain that a blueprint is an aerial view of a building without a roof. (Other sections of the blueprint show the roofline, front view, and side view of the building.) Students will draw an aerial view on graph paper. The actual building is 50 feet by 50 feet. The blueprint will be drawn to a scale that fits the graph paper. Have students determine an appropriate scale. Each drawing should contain the following:

  • At least 1 hallway
  • At least 2 exterior (entrance/exit) doors, each 3.5 feet wide, with doors at least 60 feet apart
  • At least 6 offices, each with a minimum of 100 square feet
  • Each office should have a door that is 3 feet wide
  • At least 3 of the offices should have windows, and at least one of those 3 should have two windows
  • A bathroom that has a minimum of 40 square feet

Entrances, exits, windows, doors, and supports should be labeled. The drawing should also contain a key to indicate the scale used. Students should calculate area and perimeter for each room. Post areas should be deducted where needed.

Sustaining, Concluding, or Extending Activities (optional)

  • Students will share their drawings with their classmates, explaining why they used a particular design.
  • Students create the design made in this lesson on a computer.
  • Add electrical outlets, lights, switch plates, furniture and office appliances (e.g. photocopiers) to the design.
  • Create a blueprint of their original idea from the engagement activity.

Evaluation and Assessment

Teacher will collect the studentsí blueprints as an evaluation tool, looking at the following criteria
  • Student design fulfills required guidelines for number of doors, windows, and rooms. Student design fulfills required placement guidelines for support column placement and exterior doors
  • Student design uses an appropriate scale factor
  • Student accurately determines perimeter and area in the design
  • Higher points can be given for creativity and accuracy in details

E-Resources, Print Materials, and Hands-on Activities

Example Floor plan:
Aerial Photography for engagement activity:
Though not necessary for this lesson plan, Google Earth can be downloaded free to find more aerial views of worldwide locations: